Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

American River, Nimbus Hatchery Fish In Peril

Fish jumping up fish ladder

 Photo courtesy of CDFW 

Temperatures are bound to start regularly hitting the triple digits around the Sacramento Valley. But combined with the drought it’s a dangerous situation for fish in area hatcheries. In the American River and Nimbus Hatchery, rainbow trout, steelhead Chinook salmon are being removed for fear a lack of cold water could be fatal to their surivival, reports the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Here’s the full release:

With extreme drought conditions reducing the cold water supply available, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are moving the last rainbow trout out of the American River Hatchery to avoid future losses of young fish to rising water temperatures. CDFW biologists predict that by mid-summer the temperature of the water entering the hatchery will exceed tolerable temperatures for the growing fish, causing extensive — if not total — loss of all fish in the hatcheries. The Fall Run Chinook salmon and steelhead from Nimbus Hatchery have all been released into State waterways.

“We are taking proactive actions to avoid catastrophic fish losses,” said Dr. William Cox, CDFW State Hatchery Program Manager. “It is an unavoidable change, and we need to look for unique opportunities to avert major losses. We will track all changes involved in the evacuation and evaluate how fish react to being released early. Ultimately we could develop new release strategies based on what we learn.”

American River Hatchery operations focus on taking rainbow trout eggs, while Nimbus Hatchery takes both salmon and steelhead eggs. Both hatcheries raise fish to release size. This will be the first time all stocks of fish at both hatcheries have been evacuated. By the end of this week all fish from both hatcheries will be released with nearly 430,000 fingerling steelhead from Nimbus Hatchery released into the American River, six months ahead of the normal February release time.

The remaining 20 state-managed hatcheries are expected to make it through the summer months and into the winter season without having to evacuate fish.

Normally CDFW would call on the Bureau of Reclamation to draft water from what is known as the “Deep Water Pool,” in the depths of Folsom Lake. The transfer of cold late water helps to keep hatchery waters acceptably cool. However, this year, the length and intensity of the drought is so extensive that little, if any water, in the lake is expected to be cool enough to utilize during sizzling summer months. CDFW predicts water temperatures will exceed 78 degrees in the hatcheries – far too warm for the young trout and salmon to survive.

Throughout the fall and winter CDFW workers mark hundreds of thousands of steelhead trout at Nimbus Hatchery. Unique markings will enable biologists to evaluate what happens to the fish throughout their life cycle and how the drought conditions will ultimately affect each type of fish.

Fall and winter rains, if received in sufficient amounts, will cool water temperatures enough to allow both hatcheries to come back online and resume operations.

Governor Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent and prevent water waste – visit  SaveOurH2O.org to find out how everyone can do their part, and visit  Drought.CA.Gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought.

 

 

 

 

Caples Lake Update

 

5lb mack handpainted Kastmaster

From our friends at Caples Lake Resort:

A 5-pound, 27-inch Mackinaw was caught  on June 13 by Paul Katosh from Kirkwood Ca.,

trolling at the Woods Creek inlet with a hand painted 1/8-ounce  Kastmaster.

Caples Lake is full; what a pleasant surprise in this drought year.

The Department of Fish and Game is scheduled to plant catchable trout  at Caples, Silver and  Woods Lakes this week and next.

Our marina is open 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for rentals of our 12- and 14-foot Gregor fishing boats with 8-HP, 4-stroke Honda motors, canoes, and kayaks.

Our Store is open 7:30 to 5:30 with bait, beverages, snacks, and fishing licenses.

Our nine cabins and six lodge rooms are available.

The Caples, Woods, Kirkwood and Silver lake campgrounds are all open.

For info and rates go to capleslakeresort.com.

Dave Foley

Large Yellowtail Could Be A Record

Bob Hoose with his record yellowtail.

Bob Hoose with his possible record yellowtail.

 

From our correspondent, Steve Carson:

Congratulations go out to Penn's Bob Hoose, who caught this pending IGFA line-class record 45.6-pound yellowtail on just 
12-pound test Dacron line on a Penn Fathom FTH12 reel, during 
the Tuna Club tournament last weekend off Oceanside.

Lake Almanor Derby Preview

Photo by Kevin Smith

Photo by Kevin Smith

 

California Sportsman is one of the sponsors for this month’s Lake Almanor Team Trout and Salmon Derby, scheduled for June 14 at the popular Plumas County lake.

Our Luke Kelly chatted with the event’s organizer, Gary Coe of Kokanee Power, and filed this report:

 

By Luke Kelly

CHESTER—Kokanee Power and the Almanor Fishing Association are hosting a team trout and salmon derby on Saturday, June 14 on Lake Almanor. The lake, located in Plumas County in northeastern California, offers exceptional opportunities to catch brown and rainbow trout, not to mention sizeable king salmon.

The Lake Almanor Team Trout and Salmon derby will give anglers the opportunity to test their fishing prowess against fellow fishermen, as well as the chance to walk away with a hefty chunk of change. The first place team wins $600, and the payouts go all the way down to 15th place.

The derby costs $45 for a Kokanee Power (kokaneepower.com) member and $55 for a nonmember. The derby is open to all ages, and teams get to weigh in a total of three fish (rainbows, browns, or kings). Teams are made up of one or more anglers, with a limit of one boat per team. There are also three side pots: “Blind Bogey” (the heaviest limit plus the lightest limit, divided by two), and pots for the biggest king and the biggest trout caught, each of which are $20 per team. There is a junior division for those anglers under the age of 16.

Derby chairman Gary Coe of Kokanee Power expects a good turnout this year at the lake. “This is our third annual derby. We’ve had close to 100 participants the last two years, and the fishing’s been great,” says Coe.

Photo by Kevin Smith

Photo by Kevin Smith

As far as conditions on Lake Almanor go, Coe says that they favorable thus far. “From what I understand, the fishing on Almanor is better than it’s been in years,” he explains. “The fish are heavier, feistier, and I think it has to do with the winter we’ve had. The fish are just eating like pigs. I understand they’re catching 20-inch rainbows up there.”

Although a variety of tactics have been producing on Lake Almanor this spring, Coe says that trolling is promoted during the event. “We prefer that people troll,” he says. “We really push for following all of the California state rules and regulations. Most people troll for the kings. You’ll see people trolling flashers and dodgers and worms, and you see people using various kinds of bait—hard-sticking it.”

 

 

Coe speculates a variety of baits will be used in the tournament, which is fine, just so long as they are legal.

Participants, aside from counting on a great fishing experience, can take pride in knowing that the entry fee goes to a worthy cause. Kokanee Power is a nonprofit, dedicated to the “to the enhancement of California and Oregon inland Kokanee, trout and salmon fisheries.” The proceeds from the Almanor derby will go to raising up to 15,000 fish to be released into the lake’s waters.

“All of the funding that comes from the event goes directly to the cost of fish growth in Almanor,” says Coe. “We (raise and) turn loose nice catchable 12-, 14-, and 16-inch rainbow trout into the lake for people to catch. So we help out the fishery.”
Registration is due a week before the derby. Check-in will be at Almanor Campground (Almanor Drive west off of Highway 89.) The derby starts at 5:30 a.m. sharp, and fish must be weighed in by 2 p.m. “A great big lunch,” as Coe puts it, is included in the entry fee, provided by the Almanor Fishing Association (almanorfishingassociation.com).

In putting on the derby, Coe says that he and his organization hope to promote both healthy fisheries and to share the joys of fishing with others. “We’re just a bunch of fisherman and we want to make sure that our fisheries are here for our kids and grandkids.”

 

Trout Plant At Caples Lake

Photo by Caples Lake Resort

Photo by Caples Lake Resort

 

Our friends at Caples Lake Resort  made a plant of rainbow trout fingerlings this week. Here’s the report:

60,000 rainbow fingerlings planted on 6/2/2014,

and California Department of Fish and Game intends to plant heavily in June.

Caples Lake is only 3 feet from full and rising 4 inches every day,

thanks to the EID keeping outflow to the minimum fish release.

Fishing should pick up as the temperatures warm up.

Caples lake Resort is open for lodging, its marina and store.

Look at our lodging special this June 6 weekend:

one night free with two nights booked!

John at www.capleslakeresort.com

Clear Lake, Berryessa Among Nation’s Best

Clear Lake 7 (1)

Clear Lake was named among the nation’s best fishing and boating destinations for families. (BRIAN LULL)

 

Apologies for not getting this out sooner, but two of Northern California’s two premiere Bay Area getaway lakes, Berryessa and Clear Lake, were among America’s top 100 fishing and boating lakes for families. The website takemefishing.org published the list. Lake Berryessa’s Pleasure Cove Resort, which is just a short drive from Vacaville and about two hours from San Francisco, can play the “We’re Number One” game after finishing atop the poll. Clear Lake State Park ranked 17th in the poll.

Here’s what the criteria was for making the list, per the Take Me Fishing website:

  • Family-friendly location: Within an hour’s drive of a major city or town, so they are easily accessible
  • Have a public body of water that is known for having plenty of common fish species such as bass, crappie, bluegill and trout. Often times these public places are stocked with fish for all.
  • Part of a park that also offers amenities families need like parking, restrooms, playgrounds, picnic areas, or campgrounds
  • Has plenty of places to cast a line, like a fishing pier or has boat ramps to allow you to reach other areas on your boat
  • Is recommended by other anglers! Anglers from around the U.S. cast their vote and thought these parks offered some of the best fishing spots

Good for Clear Lake, a place that I spent many a summer at as a kid but has fallen on some hard economic times over the years.

The Lake County News reported on the results, which had plenty of California flavor to it:

California also notched seven other places on the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) inaugural Take Me Fishing Top 100 list of best places to fish in U.S. state parks and recreation areas, including Lake Chabot Regional Park in Castro Valley (7), Lake Del Valle State Recreation Area in Livermore (11), Moonlight State Beach in Encinitas (13), Clear Lake State Park in Kelseyville (17), Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey (28), Echo Park in Los Angeles (33) and Millerton Lake State Recreation Area in Friant (75).

The entire list can be viewed at http://takemefishing.org/community/americas-top-family-fishing-and-boating-spots/ .

“The inclusion of eight California sites in the Take Me Fishing Top 100 list is a welcome recognition of the array of alluring recreational opportunities that exist in our state for anglers and boaters,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham.

 

 

 

Memorial Day Remembrances

I’m sure I’ve said it before during one of my blog posts, but I’m a history geek. I almost jumped out of my chair last night when I was channel surfing and saw the History Channel’s promo for its three-part event, The World Wars.  My Dad is 82 now, a Navy veteran of the Korean War, and I’ve been trying to convince him to get on a plane and check out Normandy and other war sites in France. But while Memorial Day is all about the coming off summer, baseball game and cookouts, it’s also one of those holidays where you have to take time out to reflect on those brave soldiers who have been lost, from Bunker Hill to Afghanistan, it’s important to reflect a little while you’re enjoying the holiday weekend.

I grew up in San Bruno, just south of San Francisco, and moved back there for a few years before relocating again to take on the editor’s position with California Sportsman’s parent company, Media Inc. publishing. The Golden Gate National Cemetery is located right alongside the street where I’d walk my dog every day, and each day we’d slow down a bit and I’d peek over the tombstones of those who fell in various conflicts. I know what these men and women have sacrificed for us. So I just wanted to post some of pictures of stops I’ve made over the years, and I just hope you all take a moment to say thanks on this holiday.

Shiloh National Battlefield

Shiloh (Tenn.) National Battlefield

 

54th Massachusetts mural, Smithsonian National Gallery

54th Massachusetts mural, Smithsonian National Gallery

World War II Memorial, Washington D.C. World War II Memorial, Washington D.C.

Arlington National Cemetery; Washington D.C.

Arlington National Cemetery; Washington D.C.

 

 

Gettysburg

Gettysburg

Philadelphia

Philadelphia

More Shiloh: The Peach Orchard

More Shiloh: The Peach Orchard

Little Round Top, Gettysburg

Little Round Top, Gettysburg

 

 

 

 

More Mysterious Dead Sea Critters

After the strange deaths of fish and sea creatures in Marina Del Rey  this week, on the Northern California coast, a baby humpback whale washed ashore off Half Moon Bay near San Francisco.

NBC Bay Area with the report and a Twitter photo courtesy of @carolsuestories:

 

 

View image on Twitter

A dead whale is floating in ocean in front of our RV in Pillar Point Half Moon Bay, CA http://goo.gl/v9wxfU 

What’s Happening In Marina Del Rey

In my days living in Southern California, my few beach experiences were mostly in the Malibu area (probably because my sportswriting gig took  me to nearby Pepperdine University took me there frequently. But driving south through a cavalcade of coastal communities you eventually run into Marina Del Rey, one of the nicer of those cities. But something strange is going in the harbor adjacent to Marina Del Rey. Fish are turning up dead. 

From the Associated Press

California Fish and Wildlife workers continued to remove the dead anchovies and stingrays that created a silvery blanket on the water’s surface and a pungent smell that set off a feeding frenzy among harbor seals, pelicans and seagulls. An octopus was also found among the dead sea life.

The incident is likely the result of a confluence of factors, said Dana Roeber Murray, a marine and coastal scientist with the environmental group Heal the Bay.

“They’re not unheard of,” she said. “I would not tie it to a big indicator that bad things are happening in our environment. It’s more like a multitude of circumstances happening at once.”

Anchovies travel in large schools and may have been pushed into the shallower, semi-enclosed waters of the marina by extreme tides caused by a recent full moon.

With so many fish in the water during last week’s heat wave, it’s also possible there was a low amount of dissolved oxygen and increased temperatures that hurt their chances of survival, Murray said.

Strange story, indeed.

 

The Coming Of Spring At Caples Lake

Update: Here’s Caples’ first plant of the season: California Department of Fish and Wildlife planted 22,745 German brown 3-inch fingerlings.

IMG_2242

PHOTO COURTESY OF CAPLES LAKE RESORT

 

At 7,806 feet above sea level in the Sierras, spring starts a little later at Caples Lake than other mountain fisheries. But the resort area near Kirkwood off Highway 88 was happy to report the lake has fully thawed and will be open for business this week.

Here’s the report and photo from Caples Lake Resort:

CAPLES LAKE RESORT

CAPLES LAKE RESORT

HAPPY Caples Lake Thaw as of 5/12/2014 J

Caples lake thawed on 5/9/2014!

We are delaying our opening to this Friday May 16 for lodging, store and marina to reseal and re-stripe our paving and parking.

We have docks and boats in the water –see picture. The store will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with bait, tackle, beverages and snacks, and will be ready for boat rentals and launching on our ramp.

Fishing licenses are not available at this time. The water is at 54 feet lake level-8 feet down from full, and rising-but on our concrete ramp. The Silver Lake boat launch is open.

The Caples lake EID public boat launch is planned to be open on May 16.

The Caples Lake, and Silver Lake campgrounds are planned to be open Memorial weekend.

Check our phone message on (209) 258-8888 for updates.

Have a great spring 

John and Dave at

www.capleslakeresort.com