Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

CDFW Officers Catch Diver Doing Bad Diver Things

This is is one of those “Huh?” moments. California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials caught a diver off Catalina Island attempting to coax fish out of rocks for the purpose of selling them.  The 46-year-old Ventura man allegedly used rubbing alcohol and faces charges of “use of chemical while collecting marine aquaria and unlawful take of marine aquaria at Catalina Island, which is prohibited by law.”

From the CDFW website (which also includes a photo gallery):

Officers entered the 62-degree water and observed a diver squirting a liquid (later determined to be rubbing alcohol) from a bottle into cracks of rocks. The liquid was forcing small fish, Blue Banded Goby (Lythrypnus dalli), into the open water where the man then caught them with a small aquarium fish net and immediately put them in a small plastic receptacle attached to his SCUBA gear. The warden used a mask and snorkel from just below the water’s surface to watch the diver squirt the bottle twice. The warden then dove down, showed the diver his warden identification, and directed the diver to come to the surface. Before ascending, the diver left one of his squirt bottles on the rocks and attempted to drop a small, mesh bag containing another squirt bottle. A warden retrieved both squirt bottles and the mesh bag.

Once on the sailboat, the suspect told the officers he was a licensed marine aquaria collector and his buyers were paying him $10 per fish.  He stated that he did not know it is illegal to use rubbing alcohol to catch the small fish, or that it is illegal to partake in marine aquaria collection operations off Santa Catalina Island.

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Lake Jennings Fish Report

From Francine Thompson of the Helix Water District

 

Lake Jennings Weekly Catch and Release
November 18, 2013
Hello from your Lake Jennings!
Trout season couldn’t be off to a better start as anglers continue to catch limits of Sierra Bows from both shore and boat. No reports of Bass or Catfish this week.
Best Catfish Spots: Deeper waters and the buoyline at the tower
Best Catfish Bait: Mackerel, Chicken Liver, or Dough Bait
Best Bass Spots: Points in 25’ to 30’ of water along the weed line.
Best Bass Lures/Bait: Swimbaits, small Crawdads and drop shot Morning Dawn worms.
Best Wiper Spots: On the move in schools
Best Wiper Lures/Bait: Live Shiners, Chicken Liver and frozen Anchovies
Best Trout Spots: Hermit’s Cove and Cactus Patch
Best Trout Lures/Bait: Kastmasters, PowerBait, PowerWorms and Mini Jigs
Notables: Donald of El Cajon for the second week in a row caught a limit of Sierra Bow Trout with a total weight of 24.9 pounds, the largest one at 5.8 pounds using Kastmasters at Cactus Patch; Kevin Lee of San Diego, limit of Sierra Bows, total weight of 21 pounds with the largest one at 6.4 pounds using Nightcrawlers and Kastmasters at Hermit Cove; Austin Chang of San Diego, limit of Sierra Bow Trout using Nightcrawlers at Hermit Cove; Joel Murillo of Pacific Beach, limit of Sierra Bow Trout with the largest at 4.12 pounds using Nightcrawlers at Hermit Cove.
Prognosis: Lake Jennings will stock another 1,000 pounds of Sierra Bow Trout, and we will continue to plant trout up to 8 pounds. The water level is now being brought back up and this may draw the fish around the inlet (moving water) until the level is back up. “NEW”, Lake Jennings will stock Sierra Bow Trout up to 12 pounds throughout the season. Right now we are putting in 6-8 pounders until the water gets a bit cooler and then come the 10-12 pounders.
Water Temperature: 70 degrees and dropping
Note New Hours:
FRIDAY, SATURDAY, and SUNDAY
OPEN AT 5:45 AM
CLOSE AT 5:15 PM
NOTE: The Campground Entrance Station will be open on Thanksgiving Day
from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM.
Firewood, Ice and Fishing Permits will be available at the Bait and Tackle Shop
from 5:45 AM to 4:15 PM.
Shore fishing below campground is available by purchasing permits at the campground Monday thru Thursday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Fishing University Time: 10 AM EVERY Saturday at the Bait & Tackle Shop
Lake Jennings Campground now has WiFi at every campsite.
Lake Jennings Campground is open year round. Make your reservation online today at:
http://www.lakejennings.org
For more information about fishing at Lake Jennings,
contact Ranger David Acevedo (619) 962-8394
Plan your next outing at Lake Jennings – visit us online at www.lakejennings.org
####Helix Water District — Setting standards of excellence in public service
Each trout stock will include 1 ¼ to 2 pound trout as the average and 10 percent of each stocking having TROPHY Trout in the 3-8 pound and 8-12 pound range. Two deliveries in the spring will include 500 pounds each of Lightning Trout.
Stocking Date is “week of”
Amount
10/28/13 “Opening Week”
2000 lbs. 1500 lbs.
11/04/13
2000 lbs. 2000 lbs.
11/11/13
1000 lbs. 1500 lbs.
11/18/13
1000 lbs.
11/25/13
1000 lbs.
12/02/13
1000 lbs.
12/09/13
1000 lbs.
12/16/13
1000 lbs.
12/23/13
1000 lbs.
12/30/13
1000 lbs.
01/06/14
1000 lbs.
01/13/14
1000 lbs.
01/20/14
1000 lbs.
01/27/14
1000 lbs.
02/03/14
1000 lbs.
02/10/14
1000 lbs.
02/17/14
1000 lbs.
02/24/14
1000 lbs.
03/03/14
1000 lbs.
Total
20,000 lbs.
Camp at Lake Jennings Park
Lake Jennings – 9535 Harritt Road, Lakeside, California
Take Lake Jennings Park Road north off of I-8, right on Harritt Road
Bring family and friends for a great time outdoors. Relax in the quiet, cool, restful, campground while enjoying the views of the lake and watching the wildlife—deer, owls, osprey, and even the occasional eagle. Take a walk along the nature trail and enjoy the wild flowers. Fish from the bank, launch your own boat, or rent a motor boat or paddle boat on weekends.
Campground Amenities:
? 98 – Full, partial, non-hookup, and tent sites available
? Pavilion available to all registered campers
? Pet friendly
? Free wi-fi accessible from sites
? Clean restrooms and showers
? Outdoor and indoor games, such as foosball, hillbilly golf, and horseshoes
? Fishing and picnic areas open year-round
? Catfish stocking will begin in late April
? Night fishing through Labor Day
For information and camping reservations, visit: www.lakejennings.org
Contact us: 619.390-1623; Email: ranger@lakejennings.org
Get 10%

CDFW Makes Statement On Enviormental Damage Settlement

From the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham made the following statement today regarding a large settlement agreement reached after two Humboldt County residents entered felony and misdemeanor pleas regarding violations to the Clean Water Act. 

 “While none of us are pleased at such severe damage to our natural resources, this outcome sends an encouraging signal that large-scale environmental crimes will be prosecuted fully. We are incredibly proud of our environmental scientists and wildlife officers who were involved in this case. We also thank the California District Attorneys Association for providing expertise and seeing this case through to completion.”

The pleas and subsequent settlement agreement resolve a significant case of illegal mining of valuable peat from sensitive wetlands in the Bridgeville area near Highway 36. The penalty assessed in this matter is one of the largest to ever be assessed in California against individuals, rather than corporations, for violations of section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

CDFW Environmental Scientists Mike Van Hattem, Scott Bauer, Gordon Leppig, Geologist Mark Smelser, and Senior Environmental Scientist Tony LaBanca of the CDFW northern region, and Wildlife Officers Ed Ramos and Shane Embry were involved in this case. Deputy District Attorney Matthew Carr was the environmental prosecutor from CDAA on the case.

 

 

Outdoors Opportunities For Veterans

From the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

 

CDFW offers reduced-fee hunting and fishing licenses to both resident and nonresident disabled veterans. Any honorably discharged, disabled veteran with a 50 percent or greater service-connected disability who wants to hunt birds or mammals, or fish in California is eligible. The 2014 Sport Fishing License (Reduced – Disabled Veteran) and Disabled Veteran Hunting License cost only $6.95 when purchased at CDFW license counters.

Special hunting blinds have been constructed to be accessible to people with mobility impairments at some state wildlife areas and ecological reserves, and at some National Wildlife Refuges.

CDFW also works with military installations on wildlife management and provides tags for those installations to issue to military personnel for deer and Tule elk hunting opportunities.

 

 

Remember The Alamo; Never Forget Veteran’s Day

 
I just got back from a quick weekend getaway to San Antonio, a quintessential Texas city I never previously visited but enjoyed during the short time I was there. Mostly, my friend and I went for sports fan purposes, taking in an NBA, college football and college basketball game in roughly a 24-hour period. But being the history nerd that I am, there was no way I could go to San Antonio and not see The Alamo. That it was Veteran's Day weekend made it an emotional journey.</p><br /><br />
<p>When you see The Alamo for the first time, located smack dab in the middle of San Antonio's urban jungle, you're first taken back by how much smaller it is than you must have assumed given how much of a symbol this landmark is to Texas pride. But then as you walk through the other tourist hordes and find a rare quiet corner to yourself, it hits you how miserable those 32 volunteers must have been during the 13 days they spent waiting for the Mexican army to overwhelm them. Death was surely preordained and anticipated.</p><br /><br />
<p>During that time, the doomed men were not defending United States soil, but they were all patriots in their own right (As I scanned the list defenders in The Alamo visitor's center, I was taken back the number of Irishmen who were in the fort, nameless individuals lost in the shuffle of The Alamo's "celebrities" David Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Travis and others).<br /><br /><br />
I have no military background, and while my dad is a Navy veteran, I can only get a small sense of what these and other veterans of wars spanning generations went through. I've visited Civil War battlefields, World War II museums, battleships and aircraft carriers. The common theme that's always struck me is how dedicated these men and women - the ones who survived and gave their lives for their country - have been and continue to be during these turbulent times.<br /><br /><br />
Please remember all those who fought for our freedom today.

 

I just got back from a quick weekend getaway to San Antonio, a quintessential Texas city I never previously visited but enjoyed during the short time I was there. Mostly, my friend and I went for sports fan purposes, taking in an NBA, college football and college basketball game in roughly a 24-hour period. But being the history nerd that I am, there was no way I could go to San Antonio and not see The Alamo. That it was Veteran’s Day weekend made it an emotional journey.

When you see The Alamo for the first time, located smack dab in the middle of San Antonio’s urban jungle, you’re first taken back by how much smaller it is than you must have assumed given how much of a symbol this landmark is to Texas pride. But then as you walk through the other tourist hordes and find a rare quiet corner to yourself, it hits you how miserable those 32 volunteers must have been during the 13 days they spent waiting for the Mexican army to overwhelm them. Death was surely preordained and anticipated.

During that time, the doomed men were not defending United States soil, but they were all patriots in their own right (As I scanned the list defenders in The Alamo visitor’s center, I was taken back the number of Irishmen who were in the fort, nameless individuals lost in the shuffle of The Alamo’s “celebrities” like David Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Travis and others who we read about in books or see portrayed in Hollywood by Billy Bob Thornton, Jason Patric and Patrick Wilson).
I have no military background, and while my dad is a Navy veteran, I can only get a small sense of what these and other veterans of wars spanning generations went through. I’ve visited Civil War battlefields, World War II museums, battleships and aircraft carriers. The common theme that’s always struck me is how dedicated these men and women – the ones who survived and gave their lives for their country – have been and continue to be during these turbulent times.
Please remember all those who fought for our freedom today.

Photo: Remembering The Alamo and Veteran's Green Day</p><br /><br />
<p>I just got back from a quick weekend getaway to San Antonio, a quintessential Texas city I never previously visited but enjoyed during the short time I was there. Mostly, my friend and I went for sports fan purposes, taking in an NBA, college football and college basketball game in roughly a 24-hour period. But being the history nerd that I am, there was no way I could go to San Antonio and not see The Alamo. That it was Veteran's Day weekend made it an emotional journey.</p><br /><br />
<p>When you see The Alamo for the first time, located smack dab in the middle of San Antonio's urban jungle, you're first taken back by how much smaller it is than you must have assumed given how much of a symbol this landmark is to Texas pride. But then as you walk through the other tourist hordes and find a rare quiet corner to yourself, it hits you how miserable those 32 volunteers must have been during the 13 days they spent waiting for the Mexican army to overwhelm them. Death was surely preordained and anticipated.</p><br /><br />
<p>During that time, the doomed men were not defending United States soil, but they were all patriots in their own right (As I scanned the list defenders in The Alamo visitor's center, I was taken back the number of Irishmen who were in the fort, nameless individuals lost in the shuffle of The Alamo's "celebrities" David Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Travis and others).<br /><br /><br />
I have no military background, and while my dad is a Navy veteran, I can only get a small sense of what these and other veterans of wars spanning generations went through. I've visited Civil War battlefields, World War II museums, battleships and aircraft carriers. The common theme that's always struck me is how dedicated these men and women - the ones who survived and gave their lives for their country - have been and continue to be during these turbulent times.<br /><br /><br />
Please remember all those who fought for our freedom today.

 

Irvine Lake Update

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An Irvine Lake limit of trout weighing in at 14 pounds, 10 ounces

 

Friend of the magazine, and regular California Sportsman contributor, Steve Carson, wrote up this report on Irvine Lake. The popular Orange County trout fishery held its fall opener on Nov. 1. (Photos Courtesy of Irvine Lake)

IRVINE LAKE REPORT
By Steve Carson
11/3/13

Irvine Lake west shore sizzles for trout opener, big browns and rainbows highlight catches
Trout season arrived with a bang at Irvine Lake this past weekend, with the lakes west shore area being a particular hotspot. The wide-open action held up for all four days of opening weekend, and even on Sunday afternoon, Jimmy Getty at the Pro Shop reported, “It’s [the trout bite] still very good right now. There is some very good action first thing in the morning, but the bite perks up again when the sun hits the water, and late morning from 9 AM to about 10:30 AM has been the best overall time. The majority of the fish have been beautiful Merced River rainbows from Calaveras Trout Farm in the 2 to 3 pound class.”
Getty added, “We stocked over 20,000 pounds of trout for the opener, including several batches of trophy grade brown trout from 8 to 12 pounds, and huge rainbows from 8 to 18 pounds. There are still a lot of those big fish left in the lake, and we will be stocking another 5,000 pounds later this week, and then again every week all winter long!”
Opening day itself saw many anglers limiting out early, and numerous “second limit”, and even some “third limit” passes were sold. Typical of the early-limit catchers was 2012 Masters qualifier Johnny Navarro of Fullerton, who used a chartreuse Power Egg/worm combination, with a 12-inch leader of 2-pound test at the west shore, making relatively short casts of about 20 feet.
Also limiting out before 9 AM with a stringer that included a nice brook trout was 16-year old Chris Pihl of Huntington Beach, who used garlic PowerBait on a 4-pound test leader that was 18 inches long.
The Ana clan of Trabuco brought a spectacular catch to the cleaning tables at 10 AM; double-limits for four anglers- a total 40 nice trout in the 2 to 4-pound range. The group used white Power Trout Worms and garlic Power Bait in Boat Dock Cove for the bulging stringer.
Limiting out at 10:30 AM from his float tube, 13-year old Chris Azpetia of Chino fooled his stringer-full of 2 to 4-pound rainbows with dropshot-rigged orange Power Trout Worms off the west shore. “I’ve been coming to the trout opener here for 3 years; I love catching fish at Irvine Lake”, beamed Chris proudly.
Trollers also did very well, with the west shore outside the buoy lines, along the dam restriction lines, and especially mid-lake being hotspots for trollers. The standout trolling lure was a size 4 Flicker Shad in hot pink, with honorable mention going to the same lure in firetiger. Slow trolling speeds were important, and going too fast kept the otherwise eager fish off the lures.
Expert troller Mike Meredith of Huntington Beach dragged Flicker Shads in pink and clown colors along the Red Clay Cliffs and Rocky Point for an easy limit, and tipped, “Troll slowly; I got all of my fish trolling at just .08 to 1.2 mph.”
John Struckman of Fullerton also trolled up a heavy limit that included a dandy 8-5 rainbow. “I was using size 4 Flicker Shads in rainbow color on 6-pound line”, advised Struckman.
Families with children age 12 and under found good numbers of stocker-size rainbows in the Kids Lagoon using PowerBait. Surface temperature on the main lake was 62-64 degrees, with underwater visibility rated very clear.
Outstanding catches of the week at Irvine Lake included:
Billy Cohill of Fullerton, 11-4 rainbow trout on a nightcrawler at the west shore
Craig Adkinson of Orange, 9-2 rainbow trout on a Power Trout Worm at the west shore
John Struckman of Fullerton, 8-5 rainbow trout on Flicker Shad at mid-lake
Nick Silva of Orange, 8-1 brown trout on a Lip Ripper at the west shore
Jimmy Sheldon of Orange, 8-1 brown trout on a Kastmaster at the west shore
7-year old Blake Thomasen of Westminster, 6-6 brown trout on a Power Trout Worm at the west shore
Tom Lawrence of Lake Havasu, 8-2 steelhead on a homemade lure at the west shore
Chris Pihl of Huntington Beach, 2-8 brook trout on PowerBait at the west shore
14-year old Alexa Kadota of San Pedro, 7-1 channel catfish on PowerBait at the west shore
James Ana of Trabuco, 1-3 bluegill on a mini jig at mid-lake
Follow Irvine Lake on Facebook, on the web at IrvineLake.net or call 714-649-9111

Johnson limit 1113

Another limit of Irvine Lake rainbows

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Lake Del Valle Fishing Report

Sammy Baeza

Sammy Baeza with a 7 1/2-pound rainbow caught at Lake Del Valle

A report from Ashley Lotscher at the Bay Area’s Lake Del Valle (ebparks.org/parks/del_valle):

November 1, 2013

 

The water temperature is 66 degrees at the end of the dock. Fishing has been exceptionally well with the weather and water temperatures winding down.  A lot of trout have been caught and they have all been pretty decent size. With continuous plants happening bi-weekly, Mt. Lassen has been very generous with plants up to 2000 pounds ranging from 1 to 8 pounds per fish! The trout are hitting anything from Mice Tails to PowerBait and even lures such as the broken-back Rapalas like the J-5. The trout have mainly been caught in more shallow waters than deep waters, so cast and retrieve rather than troll.  Striped bass have also been on the bite lately with shad grouping up in the shallows causing the stripers to feed early morning and late afternoons. Try shad-like lures such as crankbaits and jerkbaits in lighter-colored schemes. A lot of stripers have been caught in the Lower Narrows and in Swallow Bay. The smallmouth/largemouth are still nowhere to be seen. Try fishing deep with jigs or deep running crankbaits with a slower presentation. Catfish have still been doing well as usual with a lot of boaters having bites of chicken Livers, sardines, and even anchovies around deep structured areas such as the Narrows.

 Fish Plants:

 

10-21-13 500 pounds of Trout from Mt. Lassen.

 

10-31-13 2000 pounds of Trout from Mt. Lassen.

Ashley Lotscher & Chris Simpson

Ashley Lotscher and Chris Simpson with almost 10 pounds of striped bass, caught on curled-tail jigs in the Narrows area.

 

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Happy Halloween

Halloween-everyone

 

Thanks to our Western Shooting editor, Rachel Alexander, for posting this pic of the Media Index Publishing staff (most of us) enjoying an All Hallow’s Eve lunch in the office. If you must know, I am trying to hide in the lower right-hand corner since I barely wore something resembling a costume ( but I do enjoy wearing my court jester beanie I bought at a hockey game in Finland once or twice a year).

 

Happy Halloween: Here Are Some Skulls To Get You Ready

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A beetle-cleaned lingcod skull (TIM HOVEY)

I bought a small bag of candy last night, but I’m not expecting many kids to knock on the door of my apartment complex that is locked from the outside (maybe that’s a good thing in more ways than one). But as we inch a little closer to November and the next issue of California Sportsman, I had to share a little bit of Tim Hovey’s upcoming story on beetle-cleaned skulls for hunters wanting to keep a trophy from their experience. Tim runs his own business, Dermestid Inc. (dermestidbeetlecolonies.com; 661-263-9418) and shared with us the process of using colonies of beetles to clean animal skulls in preparation for drying them into mounts. So in honor of this creepy, crawly holiday, here’s a little bit from Tim’s story that’s available in the November magazine, along with a couple of photos of his work that capture the Halloween spirit:

 

IMG_2737

An alligator skull after being cleaned by Dermestid beetles. (TIM HOVEY)

 

DERMESTIDS COME IN two life forms: the ravenous and hungry larvae and the egg-laying adult beetle. The larvae are the workhorses of a beetle colony and are responsible for a majority of the skull cleaning. The larvae emerge from the egg in two or three days; they are ready to eat and go through roughly a month of growth and development before they wrap themselves up in preparation of changing into an adult beetle. A week after entering metamorphosis, the transformed larva emerges as an adult beetle and almost immediately begins to lay eggs on any food source available, starting the entire process over again.
Despite their almost unimaginable appetite, there is a certain amount of skull processing that is required prior to placing the head in with the colony for cleaning. Dermestid beetles will not eat the skin, fur or feathers of the animal, so the skull needs to be skinned first. After the skull is skinned, I’ll spend some time removing some of the muscle meat, tongue, eyes and brain. The beetles will eventually eat these parts, but if you remove them ahead of time, the skull cleaning process will go a lot quicker. The processed skull is then placed in front of a fan for a few hours to dry out the remainder of the meat. The beetles prefer a drier type of meat and will clean the skull faster and more completely when this step is added.

IMG_2741

Wild pig skulls; male on the left, female on the right. (TIM HOVEY)

 

To read Tim’s story, get a copy of California Sportsman, which should be available soon at many outlets like Safeway, Von’s, 7-11, Stater Brothers, Barnes and Noble and others. To subscribe and get a great fall deal at just $19.95 for a full year of your local fishing and hunting news, click here.

Staying Above The Doves

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Our hunting guru, Tim E. Hovey, provides our readers with an inside look at the upcoming second half of California’s dove season with a great how-to story appearing in our November California Sportsman.

Here’s a sneak preview of what Tim wrote:

The new hunters for this season were all pretty familiar to our hunting group. This year my regular hunting buddies brought their kids along for the opener. Not as observers, but as newly licensed, California hunters. We set them up near the decoys and in open areas where they could test their shooting skills. We let them take longer shots so they could see that chances for success increased dramatically if they waited for the birds to enter their effective range. Each kid, Andrew, Adrian and Alyssa, all shot birds during the opener, and each one had an amazing time. I was impressed with their attention to safety and I made a point of telling each one that I would hunt with them anytime.
On the last day of the September dove season, I took my daughter Alyssa out for a morning hunt. We arrived at a new spot before sunrise and got things ready. I found an open area nearby and set up the decoy spread. Using a few large tumbleweeds, I quickly constructed a makeshift blind around our shooting position. The pending sunrise was at our backs and I could not remember creating a better set up for hunting dove.
As soon as the sun broke the horizon, the birds began to fly. The week before, I had noticed that birds leaving the orchards cut through this open area on their way to feed. Now, almost in a flood, they were flying right over our position. Some broke from their flight to investigate the decoys. I watched one slow slightly on Alyssa’s side. She swung her shotgun, matching the bird’s path. She led it slightly and fired. The dove folded in flight and dropped to the ground. I don’t remember my first dove, but I will forever remember that bird.
Mourning dove are plentiful, challenging and fun to shoot. The effort and gear needed is minimal, and it’s an activity the entire family can enjoy. California offers two seasons, generous bag limits and plenty of opportunity. Despite their challenging speed and aerobatics, in the right areas, new hunters will have numerous opportunities to hone their shooting skills. If you’ve ever thought about giving it a try, please do. Hunting is an activity best experienced with good friends and family. Get a group together and start your own tradition. You won’t be sorry.

 

 

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