Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

Canary Rockfish Recreational Limit Increased

Canary rockfish photo by CDFW.

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announces a statewide increase to the recreational canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger) daily limit within the Rockfish, Cabezon and Greenling (RCG) bag limit. The sub-bag limit for canary rockfish will increase from one fish to two fish within the RCG daily bag limit of 10 fish, effective Saturday, April 14, 2018.

Limited retention of canary rockfish in California’s recreational fishery began last year as a result of the stock being declared rebuilt. Because retention of canary rockfish had been prohibited in recreational fisheries off California for more than a decade, a one fish daily sub-bag limit was implemented as a matter of precaution. Catches were monitored weekly to ensure harvest limits were not exceeded.

“We saw great fishing in 2017 and higher than expected effort for rockfish,” said CDFW Environmental Scientist Joanna Grebel. “Despite this, catches of canary rockfish under a one fish bag limit were less than predicted. We are excited to be able to offer additional opportunity in 2018.”

Pursuant to California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 27.20(e), CDFW has the authority to make in-season modifications to the recreational fishery, including adjustments to bag and sub-bag limits.

CDFW encourages anglers to avoid known yelloweye rockfish hotspots when pursuing canary rockfish. Yelloweye rockfish cannot be retained and stringent annual limits on yelloweye rockfish bycatch mortality remain in effect for California’s recreational groundfish fishery in 2018. Bycatch mortality of yelloweye rockfish is monitored during the fishing season and modifications to regulations could be made if mortality amounts reach annual limits.

For more information regarding groundfish regulations, management, stock status information, fish identification tools and current catch trends, please visit the CDFW Marine Region Groundfish webpage atwww.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Groundfish.

Channel Islands Waters Protected From Trawlers

Channel Islands National Park Service photo

The Pacific Fishery Management Council announced safeguards to protect the rich coral deposits on the sea floor around the Channel Islands area, which will have an effect on deep sea fishing off the Southern California coast.

Here’s the San Diego Union-Tribune with more:

Federal fishery regulators voted to protect a 16,000-square-mile swath of sensitive ocean habitat off Southern California in a rare agreement lauded by both marine conservationists and fishing fleets.

“This is the new gold standard for habitat protection,” said Geoff Shester, California program director for the conservation group Oceana, one of the organizations that drafted the proposal. “I think we own it now in California.”

The Pacific Fishery Management Council placed the waters around the Channel Islands from San Diego to Point Conception off limits to trawling, a fishing technique that involves dragging large nets across the sea floor. The process is used to catch rockfish, but can damage deep sea corals and other sensitive habitat.

As part of the decision, the council also reopened large, productive fishing grounds previously closed to rockfish fleets.

 

The end result, he said, is improved protection for high-priority habitat, the rocky outcroppings, reefs, coral gardens and sponge beds that harbor rich biodiversity and serve as nurseries for young rockfish and other species — the very fish that anglers depend on.

CDFW Hosting Several Public Meetings To Discuss Trout Plan


CDFW photo

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will be soliciting public comment and ideas on the statewide management of trout at a series of public meetings.

“We are seeking stakeholder feedback on the development of three important elements of our statewide trout management efforts,” said Roger Bloom, CDFW Inland Fisheries Program Manager. “Our overall goal is make positive programmatic changes that will help ensure we’re getting the right fish in the right place at the right time.”

The three key areas for which CDFW are seeking input are:

  • The revision of CDFW’s Strategic Plan for Trout Management, last published in 2003
  • The creation of a new Strategic Plan for Trout Hatcheries
  • Simplification of inland trout angling regulations

Each meeting will include a brief presentation covering each area. CDFW personnel will be available at information stations to answer questions and listen to stakeholder interests, needs and ideas.

All stakeholder input will be taken into consideration as draft plans and a regulation simplification package are developed for formal public review. Stakeholders can fill out a short questionnaire online or at any of the following meetings:

Bishop
Place: Talman Pavilion, Tricounty Fairgrounds
Location: 1234 Fair Street
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Truckee
Place: Truckee-Tahoe Airport Community Room
Location: 10356 Truckee Airport Road
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Los Alamitos
Place: CDFW Los Alamitos Field Office
Location: 4665 Lampson Ave. #C
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
Date: Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sacramento
Place: Arcade Library Meeting Room
Location: 2443 Marconi Ave.
Time: 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Sausalito
Place: Bay Model Visitor Center
Location: 2100 Bridgeway
Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018

Fresno
Place: Betty Rodriguez Regional Library
Location: 3040 N. Cedar Ave.
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Date: Thursday, May 10, 2018

Redding
Place: Redding Library Community Room
Location: 1100 Parkview Ave.
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2018

More information is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Inland/Trout-Plan. Meetings are in-person only and no conference line or webcast will be available.

Dana Wharf Halibut Derby Winners

The following is courtesy of Dana Wharf Sportfishing: 

David Sluder (top) and Lennie Green.

AND THE WINNERS ARE…

1st place  $1,500 David Sluder 36.9
2nd place  $750 Chuck Cardona 32.5
3rd place  $500 Cher Owens 32.4
4th place  $250 Greg Harrington 25.1
5th place  $100 Carlos De Los Santos 19.3
The top 25 Anglers competed Sunday, April 8 in the FREE FISH off Halibut Drift trip. Congrats to Lennie Green who won $500 with a 10.4 lb halibut
Also a donation in the amount of $732 was made to CCA-CAL working hard for your fishing rights.

 

The top 25 Anglers competed Sunday, April 8 in the FREE FISH off Halibut Drift trip. Congrats to Lennie Green who won $500 with a 10.4 lb halibut
Also a donation in the amount of $732 was made to CCA-CAL working hard for your fishing rights.

THANKS to our sponsors: OkumaWaterman’s HarborBD OutdoorsFishworks, and Hogans Bait & Tackle

Fish Overnight and All Day

The 65-foot Fury has overnight and all day trips running with modern equipment: radars(2), side-scanning sonar, Satellite communications and colored fish finder. The bunkroom is furnished to sleep 46 passengers, blanket and pillow provided for each bunk. Book your epic fishing trip!Join us on our 1/2 day and 3/4 day trips running all week long. We’re targeting all kinds of species. Check the schedule

Twilight fishing has begun – every Tuesday,  Friday and Saturday night only $29

Check Dana Wharf Sportfishing Schedule

Charter a Boat this Summer

Board any of our clean, well-equipped vessels or private yachts for an unforgettable trip! Dana Wharf Sportfishing charters come with expert captains, friendly crew and live bait.The time to book your fishing charter is NOW! We are taking reservations for summer fishing season and dates go fast call us today 949-496-5794 ext 2
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Book Your Kid’s Fishing Camp TODAY

Plant Poachers – Yes, Plant Poachers – Arrested In Humboldt County

Photo by CDFW

The following press is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers have made another arrest this week in their ongoing battle against a rising poaching trend on the north coast of northern California with international connections.

CDFW arrested Taehun Kim, 52, and Taeyun Kim, 46, both of Korea, and Liu Fengxia, 37, of China for poaching over 2,300 Dudleya succulent plants near Trinidad in Humboldt County. Charges include illegal take of the plants and felony conspiracy, among others.

Poachers profit financially from the illegal take of Dudleya by stripping plants from sea cliffs and shipping them overseas to other countries, including Korea, China and Japan, where they are prized by some for decorative purposes. On April 4, wildlife officers intercepted and seized 1,334 of the plants in boxes on their way to be shipped overseas. An additional 1,000 Dudleya were found in the suspects’ hotel room during the service of the search warrant. The overseas market value of the plants is between $40 to $50 per plant, resulting in a conservative value estimate of over $90,000.

The removal of Dudleya can result in environmental degradation of habitat and a destabilization of bluffs and cliffs on the coastline. Illegal harvesting is also alarming because California hosts a number of Dudleya species and subspecies that are rare or at risk of extinction.

CDFW enforcement initially identified this trend earlier this year, in part, after determining that a man was shipping Dudleya out of a Mendocino post office to China.

In recent months near Point Arena, Mendocino County, wildlife officers cited three individuals for a series of misdemeanor violations including illegal take and trespassing. The charges were elevated by the Mendocino District Attorney to felony conspiracy and grand theft, based upon the value of stolen plants.

On Jan. 29, one man was apprehended with approximately 50 succulents, and on March 6, two men were cited after being apprehended with 1,400 succulents. The individual in the January incident pleaded guilty to the illegal take of plants and received a sentence that included three years of probation, a $5,000 fine and 240 hours of community service. The March case is pending.

“We have seen a remarkable amount of concern over this from botanists and the public alike,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of Law Enforcement. “A public tip started this investigation and ultimately uncovered an international conspiracy to poach Dudleya succulents and ship them overseas for profit. A critical part of the Department’s mission is to protect and manage California’s diverse fish, wildlife and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.”

Law enforcement personnel from the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and East Bay Regional Parks, in addition to representatives of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), U.C. Santa Cruz Botany Department and local citizens, assisted with the investigation. CDFW personnel have replanted the seized succulents in the areas where taken whenever possible with assistance from CNPS and U.C. Santa Cruz botany experts.

Anyone who believes they are witness to unlawful poaching or pollution activity is encouraged to call CalTIP, CDFW’s confidential secret witness program, at (888) 334-2258 or send a text to tip411. Both methods allow the public to provide wildlife officers with factual information to assist with investigations. Callers may remain anonymous, if desired, and a reward can result from successful capture and prosecution.

Mono County Gears Up For “Fishmas Day”

CunninghamLaneBridge_Walker_NickSouza_MonoCountyTourism.jpg

Photo by Nick Souza/Mono County Tourism

The following press release is courtesy of Mono County: 

MONO COUNTY, Calif. – The 2018 Mono County trout fishing season officially kicks off on Saturday, April 28 this year and wraps up Nov. 15. Mono County is well known as an exceptional trout fishing destination, and the opening date has been dubbed “Fishmas” because it’s the most wonderful time of the year for anglers.

Another reason to celebrate: winter snow pack in Mono County is nearly 100 percent of normal, which is great news for the water supply, fish and anglers alike.

“The late snow we received this year will certainly help the snow pack and keep our lakes and rivers full – we won’t see the CFS and runoff that we experienced last spring, but we still have so much water left from last winter that our lakes and reservoirs will be full well into late fall,” said Jeff Simpson, Mono County’s economic development manager. “With spring’s warming temps, we will likely have early access to some of the higher elevation lakes like Virginia Lakes, Tioga Lake, Ellery Lake, Saddlebag Lake and Rock Creek Lake.”

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has planned 630,000 pounds in fish stocking allotments for Mono County and Inyo County, currently scheduled for every other week along with holidays and local events, according to James Erdman, an environmental scientist with the department.

Mono County is committed to stocking approximately 20,000 pounds of rainbow trout this year. Some of the Mono County streams and lakes regularly stocked throughout the fishing season include Rock Creek, Rock Creek Lake, Convict Lake, Crowley Lake, Mammoth Lakes Basin (which includes Twin, Mary, Mamie and George), the June Lake Loop (June, Gull, Silver and Grant), Saddlebag Lake, Lee Vining Creek, Lundy Lake, Big Virginia and Little Virginia Lakes, Twin Lakes in Bridgeport, Bridgeport Reservoir, Robinson Creek and the West Walker River.

CDFW staff attempt to visit waters prior to opening day to generate a list (including photos) of waters that are ice-free and accessible to fishermen.  Please visit the CDFW website to find a list of open waters in Inyo and Mono counties.

Businesses now open:

With the opening of fishing season, visitors will also be able to take advantage of the various roads and businesses opening for the season. June Lake Loop, Monitor Pass and Highway 120 East are now open to traffic, and Bodie Road (SR270) is expected to open by the start of fishing season.  Beaver’s Sporting Goods in Lee Vining, the Bridgeport InnMono Inn (now open Saturdays and Sundays) and Twin Lakes Resort have opened in anticipation of fishing season. Also, Whoa Nellie DeliEpic Café,  Mono Cone (Lee Vining), High Sierra Bakery (Bridgeport), Silver Lake Resort (June Lake) and Annett’s Mono Village will be open in time for Fishmas.

 

Fishing Opener Events:

The official Mono County Fishing Opener begins April 28 with numerous events, derbies and festivities, including the classic Fishmas Day Celebration at Tom’s Place, Crowley Lake’s Big Fish Contest and the Monster Trout Contest in the June Lake Loop.

 

Free Eastern Sierra Fishing Map: 
Mono County, in partnership with Mammoth Lakes Tourism, Bishop Chamber of Commerce and Inyo County, publishes a comprehensive Fishing Map outlining top fishing destinations in the front country of both Inyo and Mono counties.

 

For a free Eastern Sierra Fishing Map, and a complete list of fishing events all season long at Mono County, visit MonoCounty.org/Fishing or contact Mono County Tourism at 800-845-7922.

About Mono County: 

Located approximately 315 miles north of Los Angeles, and 280 miles east of San Francisco, Mono County accesses the east entrance to Yosemite National Park and beckons visitors in all seasons. The Eastern Sierra’s vast playground is an easily reached destination whether arriving by car on the all-weather US Highway 395, or taking advantage of convenient direct flights to Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH) on Alaska from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  US Highway 395, which traverses Mono County from north to south, is a State-Designated Scenic Byway offering motorists tremendous vistas right from the steering wheel and countless side-roads, hiking trails, lakes, and roadside villages to explore.  For more information or to request guides, visit MonoCounty.org or call 800-845-7922.

Conviction Handed Down In Los Angeles Ivory Selling Case

 

CDFW photo

 

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

A Los Angeles County jury has convicted a 48-year-old man on misdemeanor charges of selling elephant ivory. Oleg N. Chakov was found guilty on April 3 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, and sentenced to 10 days in county jail in lieu of a $5,000 fine, three years probation and 30 days of community service. He is also prohibited from possessing ivory and all evidence from the case was forfeited to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The penalty was set pursuant to Fish and Game Code, section 2022, which took effect on July 1, 2016.

The investigation began in March 2017, when wildlife officers from CDFW’s Trafficking Unit saw several ivory statues advertised for sale online. Officers emailed the seller and asked to meet to look at and possibly purchase the ivory statues.

Chakov told officers he worked at the Durant City Library on Sunset Boulevard and requested they meet there to conduct the sale. Chakov brought nine ivory statues to the meeting, offering to sell them for $3,000. He ultimately sold two of the statues to the undercover officers for $800.

The nine ivory statues were seized as evidence and sent to the CDFW Wildlife Forensics Lab for additional analysis. The Forensics Lab staff was able to positively identify several of the statues as proboscidean ivory (African elephant, Asian elephant, mammoth or mastodon).

“We would like to thank the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for their assistance in this investigation and the subsequent prosecution,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Law Enforcement Division Chief. “The penalties assessed by this court should deter further acts of ivory trafficking and prove California’s commitment to halting the demand for ivory which contributes to poaching of elephants in their native range.”

Assembly Bill 96, authored in 2015 by then-Assembly Speaker and current Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), made it unlawful to purchase, sell, offer for sale, possess with intent to sell or import with intent to sell ivory or rhinoceros horn, except as specified. A first-time violation of this law is a misdemeanor subject to specified criminal penalties and fines between $1,000 and $40,000, depending upon the value of the item.

This Adorable Critter Is A Feared Predator… And Threatened In NorCal And Oregon

A rare coastal Pacific marten in the Oregon Dunes is captured by a remotely-triggered camera. U.S. Forest Pacific Northwest Research Station and Oregon State University photo.

The following press release is courtesy of Chris Branam, public issues communication specialist at Oregon State University: 

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The coastal marten, a small but fierce forest predator, is at a high risk for extinction in Oregon and northern California in the next 30 years due to threats from human activities, according to a new study.

The study, published today in the online journal PeerJ, will be available to federal and state wildlife agencies for their consideration to determine whether distinct geographic population segments of the coastal marten warrant state or federal listing as threatened or endangered, said Katie Moriarty, a certified wildlife biologist and lead co-author on the study.

“Martens are like the river otters of the woods,” Moriarty said. “But they can be vicious little critters, too. When you capture one and it’s growling at you from inside a cage, there is no mistaking its intent. They’re the size of kittens and act like they’ll attack a pit bull.”

Some threats to coastal martens include trapping and being hit by cars, said Moriarty, an Oregon State University graduate now with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station. Martens are trapped for their fur throughout Oregon with no bag limit.

“This study provides the most conclusive evidence yet of risk to a coastal marten population,” she said. “It’s the only robust population estimate of a marten population in the Pacific states.”

A male coastal marten in the Oregon Dunes wears a radio collar attached by researchers. Photo by Mark Linnell, U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Martens are rare in the coastal forests of Oregon and northern California. A different subspecies of martens thrives in the high elevation forests within the Cascade mountains. Martens resemble a cross between a fox and a mink, with bushy tails and large paws with partially retractable claws.

Coastal martens were petitioned for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2010, but withdrawn for consideration by the fish and wildlife service in 2015. Last year, the U.S. District Court for Northern California denied the withdrawal, and the fish and wildlife service is now collecting information on marten populations for a decision to be made in October.

“This marten population is now so small that it is in imminent danger of extinction, which would leave martens without a source population to recolonize the central and northern coast of Oregon,” said Taal Levi, a professor of wildlife biology in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and a co-author on the study.

Martens once ranged throughout coastal forests throughout Oregon to the northern California wine country. Extensive surveys revealed that the coastal marten population is now restricted to two populations, one in southern Oregon and Northern California, and another small population in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, west of U.S. Highway 101 in central Oregon.

To determine how many martens are in the Oregon Dunes, the researchers live-trapped and attached radio collars to 10 adult martens (six females, four males) and set 31 remotely triggered cameras in the study area that could identify unique patterns on collars. Statistical models were then used to estimate the number of martens based on the frequency in which uniquely marked martens were seen on camera.

Their population assessment revealed that the central Oregon population of coastal martens is likely fewer than 87 adults divided into two subpopulations separated by the Umpqua River. Using a population viability analysis, they concluded that the extinction risk for a subpopulation of 30 martens ranged from 32 percent to 99 percent.

In the short term, limiting human-caused deaths of the coastal martens would have the greatest impact on the animal’s survival, said Moriarty, who has studied the animals for several years. In the long term, the species requires more habitat, which perhaps could be accomplished by making the adjacent federal land in Siuslaw National Forest suitable for martens.

OSU graduate Mark Linnell, the study’s lead co-author, led the field research. Co-author David Green, research faculty in OSU’s Institute for Natural Resources, created the model that estimated the population size. Levi conducted the population viability simulations.

The study’s survey research was funded by the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Siuslaw National Forest, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

California’s Recreational Halibut Fishery Opens On May 1

CDFW photo

 

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

The 2018 recreational Pacific halibut fishery will commence Tuesday, May 1 for the first of four open periods. The season’s dates will be May 1-June 15, July 1-15, August 1-15 and Sept. 1-Oct. 31, or until the quota is reached, whichever is earlier.

The 2018 recreational Pacific halibut quota for the California subarea is 30,940 pounds – about 4,000 pounds less than the 2017 quota.

Since 2015, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has managed the Pacific halibut fishery to keep catches within the state’s recreational fishery quota. The open dates are not guaranteed days, and the fishery could be closed early if it is determined that projected catches will exceed the California quota.

Again this year, CDFW will monitor catches of Pacific halibut during the season and provide catch projection updates on the CDFW Pacific halibut webpage (see link below). If the cumulative catch is expected to reach or exceed the quota prior to Oct. 31, a closure date will be determined and the public will be notified.

For the first time, state Pacific halibut regulations will automatically conform to federal regulations using the new process described in the California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 1.95.  Federal regulations for Pacific halibut were published in the Federal Register (83 FR 13090) on March 26, 2018, and are effective as of March 24, 2018.

Season dates were chosen based on input CDFW received from an online survey that was conducted in February 2018. The open dates are expected to meet the goal of providing as much opportunity to fish for Pacific halibut throughout the season while remaining within California’s limit.

Public notification of any in-season change is made through the National Marine Fisheries Service Pacific halibut hotline. Before engaging in any fishing activity for Pacific halibut, please check one of the following resources for the most up-to-date information:

 

Stripers Biting In The Central Valley

Photos by MSJ Guide Service

Our March cover story previewed Northern California’s striped bass run in both the Delta and on the more fishable river, the Sacramento. Our pal Manny Saldana Jr. of MSJ Guide Service is off to a good start as more fish head in despite some less than desirable water condition:

“Here are some pictures from my first guided striped bass trip of the season. We were catching some fish on bait due to the rivers meaning the Sacramento and Feather rivers are still muddy,” Saldana said. “I decided to start casting the 4-inch and 5-inch Badd Bubba Shad swim baits the striped bass couldn’t resist them! Not all were keepers, but my client Tim from Montana sure had a blast!”