Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

Water Coolers To Save Drought-Stricken Salmon?

 

The hatchery just below Shasta Dam will need water coolers to help protect water-starved salmon. (CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES)

The hatchery just below Shasta Dam will need water coolers to help protect water-starved salmon. (CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES)

The California drought conditions and sizzling temperatures  have raised several concerns about the survival of hatchery salmon in the devastated Central Valley all the way north to Redding.

But extreme measures seem to be in the works as a desperate attempt to help fish survive sinking water levels. Artificial coolers are going to be utilized. 

From the Associated Press:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service workers installed the coolers at the Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery at the foot of northern California’s Shasta Dam this summer when water temperatures hit the mid-60s — too tepid for the half-million winter-run baby salmon growing there, said Scott Hamelberg, a federal hatchery manager. …

The big water coolers are a first for the federal hatchery, necessitated by warmer-than-normal water in California’s third year of drought.

At the American River hatchery east of Sacramento, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife also are installing giant coolers to bring down water temperatures for the hatchery’s young salmon and trout, hatchery manager Gary Novak said.

Certain endangered species of trout at that fishery “don’t really tolerate the heat too well,” Novak said.

Smaller coolers in tanks are cooling various other fish rescued by wildlife officials after California’s drought dried up their home stretch of rivers and streams entirely.

The fish refrigerators are the latest unusual measure taken by fish and wildlife managers to protect fish and California’s $1.4 billion commercial and recreational fishing industry while most of the state remains in the most severe category of drought. In June, state wildlife officials used tanker trucks to evacuate 2 million fish from hatcheries deemed dangerously warm.

CS Correspondent Haugen Joins Alaska Outdoors Television

CS correspondent Scott Haugen was added as a host on the Outdoor Channel for an Alaska-themed show. (SCOTT HAUGEN)

 

 

California Sportsman contributor Scott Haugen, who teams with his wife, Tiffany, for their monthly “From Field to Fire” column, will appear on the Outdoor Channel network as a host. Here’s the release:

Anchorage, Alaska – 59th Parallel
Productions Inc., a television entertainment company,
announced today the addition of Scott Haugen as host
to the Alaska Outdoors Television team joining its 8th season in production, airing weekly on the Outdoor Channel network. For nearly 20 years noted outdoor author and TV host, Scott Haugen has been a familiar name in the hunting and fishing world.

“There’s no place I know that’s as captivating and inspirational as Alaska,” shares Haugen. “The people, land and wildlife are so unique, and there are many great stories to unveil.”

Having lived for years in Alaska’s Arctic, and hunted and fished throughout the state, I’m elated to be part of the Alaska Outdoors team, and to return to the Outdoor Channel.”

When living in Alaska Haugen ran an extensive trapline, fished and hunted birds and big game. He also tracked down and killed a man-eating polar bear with his Winchester .30-06 when living in a village
bordering the Chukchi Sea, a story we look forward to sharing.

“Having a host with a solid reputation in
the outdoor industry, who has proven himself in the state for a quarter-century, adds great value to Alaska Outdoors TV,” offers Tim Delarm, Executive Producer of Alaska Outdoors TV.

Scott Haugen has hosted various shows for the Outdoor Channel’s original programming sector, including Adventures Abroad, Game Chasers and Salmon, Trout, Steelhead. Haugen has appeared on more than 400
TV episodes, penned over 1,700 magazine articles and written more than 15 books to include best-selling hunting and fishing books on Alaska, and is on the editorial staff of three Alaska-based magazines.

He continues to write over 100 magazine articles a year and deliver over 50 seminars, annually, making him a great addition to the team. Alaska Outdoors Television can be seen every week on the Outdoor Channel 3x weekly – Anchor slot Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

For more information on Alaska Outdoors Television visit the series websites at Twitter, Facebook and YouTube or www.alaskaoutdoorstelevision.com.

Congrats to Scott!

Marijuna Site Cleanup In Trinity County

As this suggests, busted marijuana farms face a lot of cleanup issues. (TIM E. HOVEY)

As this suggests, busted marijuana farms face a lot of cleanup issues. (TIM E. HOVEY)

Pot farms in California seem to be a threat to the state’s tenuous salmon populations, but the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is out to do its part to clean up some of the sites.

Here’s the CDFW’s release:

California wildlife officers will work with several allied agencies and scientific personnel to clean up six polluted illegal marijuana cultivation sites to protect three species threatened with extinction. The sites encompass habitat of the federally endangered Coho salmon, federally threatened northern spotted owl and the Pacific fisher, which was recently proposed for listing as federally threatened.

Scientific data conclusively proves how pollution from illegal marijuana cultivation has further degraded habitat quality for each species, and how bioaccumulating rodenticides, common to illegal cultivation sites, continue to acutely affect the northern spotted owl and the Pacific fisher. Consequently, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) applied for and received Section 6 federal funds earmarked to benefit such species to conduct cleanup operations after the sites were eradicated and secured.

Wildlife officers from CDFW, the California Air National Guard’s Counterdrug Task Force and the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office conducted the raids and eradication of each of the six sites in mid-summer, and marked them for return and environmental reclamation. The growers are alleged members of one or more international drug trafficking organizations. In addition to polluting the land and water and destroying habitat, they represent a serious threat to public safety.

Personnel from all agencies will work together to restore the sites to as pristine a condition as possible. They will remove the entire infrastructure of the grow site including rodenticides, fertilizers, pesticides, human waste and garbage and thousands of feet of irrigation tubing.

On Oct. 16, representatives of the media will be escorted into one of the grow sites. The general location will be in Trinity County off of Highway 299, midway between Whiskeytown and the coast. It is a 40 minute hike from the road. Those joining the tour should be in good physical condition, wear long pants and long sleeves with good hiking boots, wear gloves and have eye protection, wear a wide brim hat, carry plenty of water (most operational personnel will have 100 ounces or more CamelBak style water containers) and an energy bar type of snack. Photographers are advised to prepare for the extremely dusty conditions that result from working underneath a helicopter.

Klamath Chinook Quota Met

Anglers will have no reached its goal of adult fall-run king salmon caught on the Klamath River king.  (ALAN'S GUIDE SERVICE)

Anglers will have now reached the goal of 702 adult fall-run king salmon caught on the Klamath River. (ALAN’S GUIDE SERVICE)

By sundown, the Klamath River’s king salmon catch projection of 702 adult fall-run fish will have been reached.

Here’s the CDFW release:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) projects that Klamath River anglers will have met their upper Klamath River catch quota of 702 adult fall-run Chinook salmon above the Highway 96 bridge by sundown on Friday, Oct. 10.

Starting Saturday, Oct. 11, anglers may still fish but can no longer keep adult Chinook salmon over 22 inches. They may still keep a daily bag of three Chinook salmon under 22 inches in the Klamath River above the Hwy. 96 bridge at Weitchepec.

The fall-run Chinook salmon quotas on the Trinity River are 681 adult Chinook salmon from the confluence with the Klamath River up to Cedar flat and 681 adult Chinook from Cedar Flat up to the Old Lewiston Bridge. These sub-area quotas have not been met yet, and anglers may retain one adult Chinook salmon as part of their three fish daily bag limit.

CDFW reminds anglers that a salmon report card is required when fishing for Chinook salmon in anadromous portions of the Klamath basin.

Steelhead fishing remains open, with a daily bag of two hatchery steelhead or trout and possession limit of four hatchery steelhead or trout. Hatchery steelhead or trout are defined as fish showing a healed adipose fin clip (the adipose fin is absent). Anglers are also required to possess a steelhead report card when fishing for steelhead.

Anglers may keep track of the status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling 1 (800) 564-6479.

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 IrvineLake.net 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

(PHOTO BY USFWS)

(PHOTO BY USFWS)

 

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

Logo

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 (www.geocigs.com), 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.

Sources:

1)    http://www.nps.gov/fire/wildland-fire/learning-center/fire-in-depth/wildfire-causes.cfm#sthash.omlrCC1W.dpuf

2)    http://cynthiayeung.com/cigarette-butt-littering-infographic

Catch Collins Lake Catfish As Trout Season Nears

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

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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!

Doug-Clark

 

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

Aaron-Mendoza

 

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

Lucius-Phifer-10-lb.-4-oz.-
Chicken livers helped Charlie Lynn of Sacramento  in successfully landing a 7-pound cat by the dam. 

Charlie-Lynn

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

Evan-Wakefield

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

Lori-Tollner

 

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