Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

Irvine Lake Planting Browns

An Irvine Lake brown trout (PHOTO BY IRVINE LAKE)

An Irvine Lake brown trout (PHOTO BY IRVINE LAKE)


From Irvine Lake, which opens its season on Oct. 31

NEWS FLASH; Irvine Lake’s October 31 Trout Opener to receive 10,000 pounds of rainbows AND 10,000 pounds of brown trout.

                The prospects for Irvine Lake’s upcoming 2014-15 public trout season opener, scheduled for Friday, October 31 just got more exciting. Some 20,000 pounds of trout will be planted just prior to opening day, of which 10,000 pounds will be the lake’s always popular bright Calaveras rainbows, and 10,000 pounds will be beautiful hook-jawed brown trout. This will be the largest single stocking of brown trout in the history of Irvine Lake. Even better, the lake will plant at least 5,000 additional pounds of trout each and every week until next spring, ensuring that Irvine Lake will be the Southern California’s best trout fishing destination all winter long.

Follow Irvine Lake on Facebook, on the web at or call 714-649-9111

Drought Causing More Bear Break-Ins?

(Cristen Langner/CDFW)

(Cristen Langner/CDFW)


It really hit me how dire California’s drought crisis is becoming when I received my October issue of National Geographic, which included a lengthy report and included some staggering photos of ridiculously-low lakes like Oroville and Shasta, not to mention once fertile Central Valley farmlands now looking like a reincarnation of the Oklahoma Dust bowl days, which ultimately brought farmers from the Great Plains to then lush California for a chance at a better life.

Just one more reason to be concerned about the continuing trend of water shortages is what seems like an abundance of bears breaking into homes around California’s and Nevada’s Sierras communities. The bruins’ lack of food and water sources, which may or not be directly tied into the drought conditions around the state, is an issue, says a report from Fox 40 in Sacramento. Here’s more news from AccuWeather’s Kevin Byrne:

The dearth of water has stalled the growth of available wild foods, such as grasses, natural fruits and nuts, which grow in upper regions of the Sierra Nevada that the bears call home.

When these natural foods fail to mature in the volume needed, there is not enough to sustain the bear population in Nevada or California’s Lake Tahoe Basin, Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) Spokesman Chris Healy said.

“Often times, unfortunately, because a lot of our urban areas here in Nevada are right up to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, the bears will extend their search for garbage,” Healy said. “And the more the drought conditions have affected the natural food supply for the bears, means that we’re going to have more interactions with bears searching for garbage.”

Eighty percent of the state of Nevada is under severe drought conditions, with half of the state suffering from extreme drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. … 

Across state lines in California, black bears routinely wander into urban environments throughout the Sierra every year, said Jason Holley, a supervising wildlife biologist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

While there have been some interesting bear incidents that could be attributed to the drought this summer, there’s no direct data to show correlation to the drought, Holley said.

“The one thing we do suspect, is that since this drought is so severe and it’s gone on so long, we do suspect that it has increased the need for bears to wander farther in finding their food and finding their daily water needs,” he said.

“And in turn, that increases the likelihood that they come across people or they come across roads.”




Ducks Unlimited’s California Migration Projection Less Than Optimistic




Ducks Unlimited released its waterfowl migration predictions for the Pacific Flyway, and overall drought-stricken California’s analysis doesn’t bode well for the upcoming duck hunting seasons.

Here’s what DU says about California:

Areas of California with good waterfowl habitat could provide excellent hunting as long as food supplies hold out. Due to the drought, the acreage of flooded rice fields in the Central Valley could decline from 300,000 acres in a normal year to possibly as few as 50,000 this fall. The reduction in flooded rice fields on private lands and managed wetland habitat on federal and state areas could have a significant impact on waterfowl distribution. Given the ability of waterfowl to adapt to changing conditions, many believe ducks and geese will seek alternative habitats, and regional waterfowl movements and distribution may reflect this.

The Stockton Record also chimed in:

Even before the drought, waterfowl were already at a major disadvantage, with more than 90 percent of the Central Valley’s historic wetlands having been paved or plowed over the past century.

Only pockets of habitat remain. One of those pockets is the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes the San Joaquin River refuge south of Stockton. Officials there expect to receive about 65 percent of their normal water supply — a “huge hit” for refuges that are supposed to receive at least 75 percent even in a severe drought, said Kim Forrest, refuge manager.

This summer, the refuge didn’t have enough water to grow the plants that the birds like to feast upon, Forrest said.

Flooding fields to create roosting habitat has also proved difficult, with the parched earth sucking up much of that limited water. Ultimately, only about half of the 10,000 acres of wetlands at San Luis will be flooded this year.

“Our ditches were bone dry,” Forrest said. “There’s people who have worked here 30 years and have never seen that.”

In some places, hunting opportunities will be curtailed or even eliminated this fall. At the Grasslands Water District near Los Banos, a patch of privately hunted wetlands the size of New York City, General Manager Ric Ortega said he fears some hunters will walk away.

The Northeastern Zone season begins Saturday, with many other zones in the state getting started on Oct. 18.



Helping To Prevent Human-Caused Wildfires


It hasn’t been a good summer for wildfires in California.  So many fires are triggered by human-created reasons like burnt cigarettes, and companies such as Green Smart Living/GEO are attempting to help prevent such issues by eliminating the combustible cigarettes. Here’s a release that will coincide with National Fire Prevention Week, which is Oct. 7-13:

GEO To Help Support National Fire Prevention Week

SALT LAKE CITY – Each and every summer, we all hear news stories of wildfires reeking havoc to our nation’s forests. To make these matters even worse, up to 90 percent of all wildfires in the U.S. are caused by humans.

While some of these fires can be contributed to unattended campsites, or a variety of other natural causes, many of these fires are caused by discarded cigarette butts. GEO (, a leader in creating a conscious living and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional combustible cigarettes, understands that this issue needs to be addressed.

By helping to eliminate the traditional combustible cigarette, they focus on helping reduce the amount of fires that plague our national forests, and even our own communities. “In one year alone, 900 people were killed, and 2,500 people were injured just because of fires started from cigarettes. If that wasn’t enough, the toll of human and property damage in these fires totaled 6 billion dollars. All of this simply because of reckless and careless smoking.” Stated GEO CEO Adrian Chiaramonte. This is one of the main reasons that GEO wanted to help.
In an effort to help support this worthy cause, GEO will be donating 5 percent of online sales to a local wildfire organization during National Fire Prevention Week. With this donation, the hope is that everyone will learn about the dangers of wildfires, and how preventing them can benefit us all.

GEO recently emerged as one of the leading environmentally friendly rechargeable e-cigarettes in the industry, and is creating a solution to the problems of the smoking industry though its GEO recyclable e-cig products.

Many people do not realize the environmental toll that it takes just to produce cigarettes, or the total damage that is done by improperly discarding the cigarette waste.

By helping people realize that small actions can make a big impact on our planet, we can help people live a bit more responsibly. This in turn helps everyone live in a place that is a bit greener, cleaner, and more sustainable.




Catch Collins Lake Catfish As Trout Season Nears

Our friends at Collins Lake Resort had this report to share:


Although September produced mostly catfish, October will be a different story!  Starting mid-October the Fall Planting will begin for rainbow trout.  This year our lake is low which won’t affect the fishing, it might even help the fishing by having them more concentrated in a smaller area!

Our concrete boat launching ramp at Road 4 is NOT in operation right now, but our alternate ramp IS available at Road 9 which is by the face of the dam.  We have provided a courtesy dock at that location to tie your boat to temporarily while you park your vehicle.

Doug Clark hooked a nice 6-pound catfish while trolling under the power lines using a Kastmaster.  I spoke with Doug and his fishing buddy Jimmy Trejo and they said they also caught a couple of bass real shallow as it appears they were chasing the shad!



Aaron Mendoza of Grass Valley hooked a 10-pound and a 5-pound cat in the north end on a nightcrawler.



 Lucius Phifer from Pleasant Grove  caught a huge catfish as well (10 pounds, 4 ounces) near the dam on frozen catfish bait.

Chicken livers helped Charlie Lynn of Sacramento  in successfully landing a 7-pound cat by the dam. 


Evan Wakefield from Vacaville stayed home (in his campsite that is) and hooked a 3-pound, 8-ounce cat using PowerBait. 


Lori Tollner from Fresno fished near the marina with worms and hooked her 6-pound, 8-ounce catfish. 



For more information on Collins Lake, call (800) 286-0576.



Another Bow-Caught Record Mako Shark

Patrick Eger's 544-pound mako shark was a world record caught with a bow until a far larger mako was landed off Orange County. (BIG E. OUTDOORS)

Patrick Eger’s 544-pound mako shark was a world record caught with a bow until a far larger mako was landed off Orange County. (BIG E. OUTDOORS)


In September’s California Sportsman, we featured Wisconsin-based outdoors TV host Patrick Eger’s 544-pound, 8-ounce mako shark he caught with a bow off the Catalina Island coast. That weight was considered world record, but it didn’t last long.

Texan Jeff Thomason, who like Eger also hosts an outdoors television show, was fishing off Huntington Beach when his bow landed a far more massive mako, which weighed in at just over 809 pounds.

From the San Antonio Express-News:

Thomason, of Weatherford, hosts the cable television show “Predator Pursuit,” which airs on the Sportsman Channel. Thomason said the world-record catch took a total of five people 30 minutes to haul in. …

They’ve got to be about three feet from the boat to get the arrow to stick, so we threw a fish on a line and teased him to the boat,” Thomason told Lone Star Outdoor News. “I try and shoot for the top of the back. As soon as the arrow hit, all hell broke loose. We freaked out because I spined him and we thought he might sink.”

The crew raced back to shore after securing the fish and had it measured at a certified weigh station in Los Angeles.

“It was one of those days when everything went right,” Thomason said.

Here’s our report on Eger’s catch.

Large sharks are common swimming off California’s coast. But it’s still eye-popping news when another one emerges, especially one that established a world record caught by a bow.

Wisconsin-based TV hunting host Patrick Eger of Big E TV (855-424-4388; was filming off Catalina Island in Southern California. He was aboard with Capt. Mark Potter of Breakaway Sportfishing (714-893-7743; in Huntington Beach. Potter saw a large mako shark off the stern.

“As the massive shark made its way through the chum and sized up the boat on several passes, the crew and Eger determined that it was large enough to harvest and should claim the record they were looking for,” said a Big E TV press release.  “On several passes the killer shark rammed the boat and made it known that it had no fear of the crew or anyone onboard.”

Eger proceeded to unleash an arrow from his Xpedition Archery XCentric bow, tipped with an Innerloc broadhead arrow on 200-pound test line. The shot hooked the fish, and a two-hour fight between man and shark ensued. After a series of majestic jumps, the mako was finally reeled in and tipped the scales at 544 pounds, 8 ounces.

The Bowfishing Association of America documented the shark, which measured 10 ½ feet long, as both the California state record and bowfishing world record.

There are bigger ones out there, and there are more than you care to know. This record won’t stand forever, and I am counting on that,” Eger said. “That is what this is all about”.  “I look forward to having another hunter break my record, but the key is you have to get these things documented and register them into the books.” 





Lake Jennings’ Trout Season Approaching

This 9-pound catfish was caught on chicken livers in Siesta Cove by Robert Molebash and Troy Gross. (LAKE JENNINGS)

This 9-pound catfish was caught on chicken livers in Siesta Cove by Robert Molebash and Troy Gross. (LAKE JENNINGS)





Lake Jennings‘ usual hot summer is now transitioning to far more cooler conditions as we creep slowly toward October. So its scenic setting in Lakeside, northeast of San Diego, is preparing for its Nov. 10 opener. Until then, there are a lot of catfish being stocked and pulled out of the lake, as Francine Thompson from the Helix Water District explains in her report:

Dust off your trout gear and get ready for the upcoming season!Plenty of catfish are still available even though everyone did a great job this season in making a dent in the 10,000 pounds of channel catfish that were put in the lake. We had reports of lots of double digit cats this season.

The channel catfish can be targeted year-round. The blue catfish are active during the spring time for spawning and then the fall, looking for a good meal.
Though the night fishing season is over along with the stocking of catfish, the number of cats stocked combined with our existing population will last year round.
The redear and bluegill continue to produce high numbers if you can tolerate the heat. Fish for a bit, take a break
and grab a bite to eat and plenty of water, and then go back out. Your permit is good from open to close. Not every place around the lake will produce high numbers, and you will need to work for them, but check out the information provided below for some tips.
The bass bite continues to be fair throughout the day but has had very good improvement during the evening. Night fishing is not just for catfish. The lake water level will drop more over the next month and with the drop everything is on the move, bait and fish.
Keep on the lookout for the announcement of the change to the upcoming trout season. Hopefully you will be as
excited as we are!!
The first trout stocking will take place the week of November 10th and will include our largest stocking yet to start a season, 4,000 pounds of Sierra ‘bows and new this year, Nebraska Tailwalker,  with fish in the 2- to 12-pound size.
Lake Jennings Campground continues to draw in campers from all over and if you haven’t made your reservation yet don’t wait any longer. If you like to have your camping experience a bit less occupied then come out during the week from Sunday through Thursday. The next Long Term (minimum 30 days) reservations start in October so make plans soon because we will sell out for the next six months.
For more updates and/or to post comments, visit and “Like Us” on Facebook, or go to and search “Lake Jennings Recreation.



Placerville Wildfire “Highest Priority Fire In The Nation”





It’s been a tough month in California for wildfires. Up and down the state, blazes have kept firefighters busy. In total, six Northern California fires burned 275,000 acres. The worst currently is the King Fire  in and around Placerville, east of Sacramento on the way to South Lake Tahoe.

From the Associated Press:

The fire has burned through 145 square miles since it started Sept. 13. It has destroyed 12 homes and is threatening another 12,000.

Containment was up to nearly 40 percent, but crews were expecting another day of gusty winds and low humidity Wednesday before the arrival of cooler, wetter weather.

“We’re not sitting back and waiting,” said state fire Battalion Chief Scott McLean. “We have crews trying to get those containment lines strengthened.”

Nearly 2,000 firefighters were brought in as reinforcements Tuesday, bringing the total to about 7,400.

“This is the highest priority fire in the nation,” McLean said

The wildfire, which authorities believe was deliberately set, is threatening about 21,000 structures, more than half of them homes.

Best wishes to all the fire crews, those who have lost their homes and those hoping their homes will be spared.


NSSF, California Waterfowl Team To Support ChildSafe Program

ChildSafe Shooting Sports California Waterfowl

Teaming up for a great cause.



[NEWTOWN, Conn and ROSEVILLE, Calif] – The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF®) announced today that California Waterfowl, California’s leading, waterfowl, wetlands and hunting heritage conservation organization, has become a promotional supporter of NSSF’s Project ChildSafe® Program, which focuses on storing firearms responsibly when not in use.

“We are proud to join forces with Project ChildSafe to share its important message with our members and all gun-owning Californians: Responsible gun ownership means taking all possible steps to help prevent children from handling guns without supervision, risking injury to themselves and others,” said California Waterfowl President John Carlson, Jr.

“We’re excited to work with an organization that has handed out 36 million free gun safety kits, and we look forward with helping Project ChildSafe distribute even more information and tools for storing firearms responsibly throughout California.”

NSSF, the trade association of the firearms industry, launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 as a nationwide initiative to promote firearms responsibility and provide safety education to all gun owners. In providing its support, California Waterfowl joins a growing list of leaders in the hunting conservation and shooting sports industries that have endorsed and supported Project ChildSafe’s mission.

California Waterfowl’s involvement will help spread NSSF’s message of “Own It? Respect It. Secure It.SM” through outreach to members, events, and social media outreach.

“Responsible storage is the number one way to help prevent firearm accidents in the home,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti.  “We’re so pleased to have California Waterfowl and its members involved in this program.”


About Project ChildSafe: NSSF, the trade association of the firearms industry, launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (prior to 2003 the program was called Project HomeSafe) as a nationwide initiative to promote firearms responsibility and provide safety education to all gun owners. Since 1999, the program has provided more than 36 million free firearm safety kits that include a gun lock to gun owners in all 50 states and five U.S. territories. That’s in addition to the more than 70 million free locking devices manufacturers have included, and continue to include, with new firearms sold since 1998. While helping to prevent accidents among children is a focus, Project ChildSafe is intended to help adults practice greater firearm safety in the home. More information is available at

About California Waterfowl: California Waterfowl, founded in 1945, is a nonprofit organization that conserves California’s waterfowl, wetlands and hunting heritage. Visit CWA at

Deer Hunters: Check For Wildfire Closures

Firefighters work to help contain the Yosemite Rim Fire earlier this year. (USFWS)

Firefighters work to help contain the Yosemite Rim Fire earlier this year. (USFWS)

Update: Here’s a link that all fire victims should check out:

An In-Depth Guide to Financial Emergency Preparedness

With the coming weeks some of California’s prime deer hunting opportunities, the state’s swatch of wildfires that has affected areas throughout the state.  There are fires in Siskiyou, El Dorado, – those two blazes have been among the most devastating – Madera, Mono, Alpine and Orange Counties.

Deer hunters should be advised about potential areas that will be closed due to the wildfires. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife released this statement today:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) advises deer hunters to check for fire closures before heading into the field for upcoming deer hunts. Drought and extremely dangerous fire conditions have combined in many areas of the state to ignite several large wildfires in many popular deer hunting areas.

Some areas of public land and roads have been closed to protect public safety. Deer hunting season opens in some of these areas over the next few weeks.

The U.S. Forest Service’s most updated closure information can be found at

CAL FIRE’s most updated closure information can be found

King Fire closure information for deer zones D3-5 can be found at

Hunters are urged to check these links frequently in order to obtain the most up-to-date information. Although some hunting areas may be closed, there is still plenty of public land where deer hunters can find hunting opportunities.

Detailed information and maps of California deer zones can be found at .

Deer season opening and closing dates by zone can be found

Given the exceptionally dry conditions this year, it is even more important that hunters do their part to prevent wildfires. One less spark means one less wildfire. Learn more