Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

California Youngsters Show Off Archery Skills At 5th Annual State Tourney

The California National Archery in the Schools Program (CalNASP), hosted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), has concluded its fifth annual Virtual State Archery Tournament.

Young archers from around the state wrapped up the season with some impressive scores.

“We would like to congratulate all of the students who participated in this year’s Virtual State Archery Tournament, particularly the top boy and girl shooter,” said Lesa Johnston, CalNASP Coordinator. “This year’s results were proof of how hard these young people have worked throughout the school year.”


Wyatt Vaineharrison, a ninth grader at Gracious Trail Academy in San Diego County, came in as the top male shooter and top overall shooter in the state competition. He earned a score of 296 points out of a possible 300, which is the highest score of any student in the history of the state tournament. Wyatt received an honorable mention in last year’s tournament. He is also a dedicated Eagle Scout and loves wildlife and spending time outdoors.

Melissa Osorio, a tenth grader from Kearny High School in San Diego County, is the top female shooter. She earned a score of 286 out of a possible 300 and ranked second as overall shooter in the tournament. Melissa competed last year, but has pushed her scores up by 30 points, taking the number one spot over all the other girls in the tournament. When Melissa is not practicing archery, she enjoys spending time with her friends, playing tennis or taking in a movie.

Both shooters will receive a new Genesis Special Edition compound bow donated by the manufacturer.

Genesis bows were awarded to the winners. (photo by CDFW)

Genesis bows were awarded to the winners. (photo by CDFW)

The Virtual State Archery Tournament is designed to give students the opportunity to challenge their mastery of the sport in a supportive environment in which they can compete with other students statewide without traveling. Students compete at their own school, either in a gymnasium or an outdoor range, and their scores are posted in a national database that ranks not only the state scores, but national scores as well.

Honorable mentions to other students throughout the state go out to Skyler Rosenberg, who won third place overall state shooter and rank one in the Boys’ Middle School Division, Manly Arvizo , who tied at third place for overall state shooter and rank two in the Boys’ High School Division, Aislynn Haywood, second overall girl shooter and rank two in the Girls’ High School Division, and Elissa Spaeth, third place overall girl shooter and rank three in the Girls’ High School Division. Both boys attend Bullis Charter School in San Diego County, while the girls attend Sultana High School in Hesperia.

Archery is a sport that can be enjoyed by students of all abilities and sizes – it can be enjoyed outdoors and encourages students to lead a more active lifestyle. For more information about the CalNASP, please visit

Massive Collins Lake Bass; Tagged Trout Planted


David Bunting with a 6 1/2-pound Collins Lake rainbow 


Yesterday (Thursday),  we planted our first allotment of tagged trout, and will continue for the next six weeks. If you catch a trout with a tag on it, there is value to the tag which needs to be redeemed in the store. A red tag is $100 cash and the highest value, a blue tag is $10 off a T-shirt or ballcap, a green Tag is $5 off your day entry or camping fees, and a white tag gets you a FREE ICE CREAM!

California Department of Fish & Game also stocked the lake yesterday which makes our weekly total to roughly 2,000 pounds  of rainbows. The lake’s temperature is now 60 degrees at 5 feet down. That explains why a lot of bass were caught this week. One couple caught and released 50 trout in a two-day period. They were fishing across the face of the dam and up to the first point tossing plastic worms in and around the rocks.


Tom Ives caught and released a massive Collins Lake bass  believed to be around 10 pounds. 

More info: or 1-800-286-0576

San Fran Trio Sentenced $50,000 For Abalone Poaching

Three San Francisco men received thousands of dollars in fines and other penalties after pleading no contest to illegally poaching 59 abalone in November 2014. The daily bag limit for abalone is three.

Jinfu Wu, 43, Wei Q Wu, 27, and Jin He Li, 35, all of San Francisco, were each fined $20,000 (Wu and Li had $5,000 suspended) and sentenced to 36 months of probation and 240 hours of community service. The men also face permanent revocation of their fishing and hunting licenses and the loss of all seized fishing gear.


On Nov. 5, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers with the Special Operations Unit observed a suspicious van with one man inside parked on the side of the road near the town of Elk in Mendocino County. The officers began surveillance on the van and ultimately observed two divers in the water near the location where the vehicle was parked. The divers appeared to be taking gross overlimits of abalone.

(photo by CDFW)

(photo by CDFW)

As the officers watched, the suspects made multiple trips into the water and appeared to hide their illegally harvested abalone on the shore. Once they gathered their catch, they left the scene in the van.

Wildlife officers later contacted the suspects at their San Francisco residence and arrested all three for conspiracy to illegally harvest abalone and combined possession of a gross overlimit of abalone.

The CDFW Special Operations Unit is a team of undercover wildlife officers who specialize in investigation of persons suspected of selling California’s fish and wildlife on the black market. Abalone is a prized resource in California, seasons and limits are highly regulated to protect the resource. For complete information on abalone fishing and regulations, please


West Coast Waters Shifting To ‘Less Productive Conditions’ For Salmon, Other Species: Federal Researchers

Large-scale climate patterns that affect the Pacific Ocean indicate that waters off the West Coast have shifted toward warmer, less productive conditions that may affect marine species from seabirds to salmon, according to the 2015 State of the California Current Report delivered to the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

The report by NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Southwest Fisheries Science Center assesses productivity in the California Current from Washington south to California. The report examines environmental, biological and socio-economic indicators including commercial fisheries and community health.




“We are seeing unprecedented changes in the environment,” Toby Garfield, Director of the Environmental Research Division at the SWFSC, told the Council when presenting the report, citing unusually high coastal water and air temperatures over the last year. Climate and ecological indicators are “pointing toward lower primary productivity” off California, Oregon and Washington, he said.

That could translate into less food for salmon and other marine species, added Chris Harvey of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. High mortality of sea lion pups in Southern California and seabirds on the Oregon and Washington coasts in recent months may be early signs of the shift.

Among the highlights of the new State of the California Current Report:

  •       ·       Record-high sea surface temperatures combined with shifts in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, North Pacific Gyre Oscillation and weaker upwelling of deep, cold waters indicate declining productivity in the California Current.
  •       ·        After several productive years the biomass of tiny energy-rich organisms called copepods, which support the base of the West Coast food chain and provide important food for salmon, has declined significantly.
  •       ·       California sea lion pups and seabirds called Cassin’s auklets found dying and emaciated in large numbers in recent months may reflect the transition to less productive marine conditions.
  •       ·        Although commercial fishery landings have remained high in recent years, the fishing fleet has become more specialized in terms of targeting specific fisheries. That may expose the vessels to more fluctuations of catch and revenue if those fisheries decline.

“This year’s report is very useful,” said Council Chair Dorothy Lowman. “We’re looking forward to working with the science centers to find ways to integrate this information into management.”

Scientists produced the report as part of NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Program, which tracks conditions across coastal ecosystems to provide insight into environmental and human trends and support decisions on fisheries and other activities. The California Current Ecosystem is one of seven U.S. ecosystems monitored by the program.

“We’re seeing some major environmental shifts taking place that could affect the ecosystem for years to come,” said John Stein, Director of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. “We need to understand and consider their implications across the ecosystem, which includes communities and people.”

In recent years the California Current Ecosystem enjoyed highly productive conditions, with strong upwelling of deep waters from the north flush with energy-rich copepods that supported high salmon returns and high densities of juvenile rockfish, sanddabs and market squid. In 2014 waters off Southern California and in the Gulf of Alaska turned unusually warm, and these so-called warm “blobs” have since grown and merged to encompass most of the West Coast.

The coastal warming includes an influx of warmer southern and offshore waters with leaner subtropical copepods that contain far less energy and are often associated with low productivity and weaker salmon returns. Overall the warm conditions off the West Coast are as strong as anything in the historical record. The tropical El Niño recently declared by NOAA could extend the warm conditions and reduced productivity if it persists or intensifies through 2015.

“We are in some ways entering a situation we haven’t seen before,” said Cisco Werner, Director of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, Calif. “That makes it all the more important to look at how these conditions affect the entire ecosystem because different components and different species may be affected differently.”

For example, warmer conditions in the past often coincided with increases in sardines and warmer-water fish such as tuna and marlin and drops in anchovy and market squid. Salmon also fare poorly during warm conditions. Cooler conditions in contrast have often driven increases in anchovies, rockfish and squid. Anchovy and sardines have both remained at low levels in recent years, the report notes.

NOAA researchers will continue tracking how species respond to the shifting temperatures and conditions.

Salmon face the potential “double jeopardy” of low snowpack in the Northwest and rivers and streams shrunk by drought in California, plus reduced ocean productivity when juvenile salmon enter the ocean this year looking for food, Harvey said. However the impacts on salmon may not become apparent until a few years from now when the fish that enter the ocean this year would be expected to be caught in fisheries or return to the Columbia and other rivers as adults.

Hasselhoff As A Fish Cop?

Cue the Baywatch jokes here, but a bill introduced by a San Diego polictican would allow lifeguard to issue citations for illegal violations committed by fishermen in protected marine areas (all kidding aside, it’s not a bad idea).

Photo by dbking/Wikimedia

Photo by dbking/Wikimedia

Here’s Fox 5 in San Diego:

San Diego legislator introduced a bill Thursday that would authorize state Fish and Wildlife officers and lifeguards to issue tickets to people caught illegally fishing in Marine Protected Areas.

Offenses that occur in the protected areas — which encompass 16 percent of California’s shoreline, including parts of San Diego County — are misdemeanors, but overburdened prosecutors have not moved ahead on some cases, according to Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego.

AB 298 would lead to at least some punishment for violators, since tickets would result in fines, she said.

“Despite the best efforts of law enforcement, we’ve too often seen a lack of public resources lead to under-enforcement that encourages poachers to flaunt laws to protect the ocean environment,” Gonzalez said.

Lake Isabella Fishing Derby Coming Up March 28-30!

With the big Lake Isabella Fishing Derby coming up at the end of March, look for a preview in the current issue of California Sportsman, which is now on sale across the state.


Meanwhile, our friends at the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce, George Stahl and company, provided us with this press release with some information on the trout derby at the Kern County Lake near Bakersfield.

Despite the drought and a lower lake level, the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce is happy to announce that there will be a fishing derby this coming year. The 2015 Isabella Lake Fishing Derby will be held on March 28, 29 and 30!

According to the Chamber’s Fishing Derby Committee, some adjustments to the profile of the derby have been made, but they are confident that everyone who enters will have a great time. One of the changes this year, are a number of guaranteed winnings. According to the committee, the Chamber is looking forward to having the opportunity to give away some very good prize money. As always, Lake Isabella will have some of the largest trout in the area for the Derby and whether yours is a moneymaker or not, it will still prove to be a good diner size trout for you to enjoy.

This year’s big money prize trout will be worth a guaranteed $18,500! There will be 10 Longest Trout awards starting with the highest at $5,000 and descending to a $500 10th Longest Fish! The prizes will be structured in the following order; (1st Longest Trout) $5,000, (2nd) $4,000, (3rd) $3,000, (4th) $2,000, (5th) $1,000, (6th) $900, (7th) $800, (8th) $700, (9th) $600, & (10th) $500. That $5,000 catch will be worth $10,000 if it is caught by an angler wearing n official 2015 Derby T-shirt!


Measuring will be taking place during Derby hours at Derby Headquarters only, which will be at the Lake Isabella Moose Lodge located at 6732 Lake Isabella Blvd. Along with these prizes, there will be a possibility for anglers to win in the always popular, Bobber Bowl Sweepstakes. Several, huge one pound plus trout with an official 2015 Derby tag will be worth up to $100 each, generously sponsored by local merchants, organizations and individuals.

Also this year, any registered fisherman will be able to win a Vacation Voucher worth $6,000 if they have the winning ticket! Tickets for the Voucher are only $20 each or six for $100.

More prizes and drawings that will be available at Derby Headquarters during the three-day event will be announced as March approaches. This year the entry fees will be $30 per individual and $65 per family. The Derby will start at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Mar. 28 and continue until 4 p.m. on Monday March 30, and the winners will be announced shortly after that the close of the derby.

Thank you in advance to all of the anglers from across California and beyond who will be coming out to the Kern River Valley for the derby. We welcome you and your families, and warmly invite you to have a great family weekend. Updates on the Isabella Lake Fishing Derby news to follow in the coming months before March! We’d also like to thank all of our sponsors for their support! This derby would not be possible without your continued generosity.

For additional information or to join the rest of us in registering call (760) 379-5236, e-mail us at or friend us on the Lake Isabella Fishing Derby Facebook page for the latest posts.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!

Promising 2015 Chinook Season Ahead?

At the annual salmon informational meeting held in Santa Rosa, state and federal fishery scientists presented encouraging news for sport and commercial salmon anglers.

Forecasts suggest there are 652,000 adult Sacramento River fall Chinook salmon in the ocean this year, along with 423,800 adults from the Klamath River fall run. Fish from these runs comprise the vast majority of salmon taken in California’s ocean and inland fisheries.


James Phillips holding a Chinook salmonC


These forecasts, which were higher than last year, will be used over the next few months by fishery managers to set sport and commercial fishing season dates, commercial quotas, and size and bag limits.

“The forecasts are encouraging and suggest that California fisheries may see salmon seasons in 2015 that have increased opportunities over last year,” said Melodie Palmer-Zwahlen, a senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Chinook salmon that will be harvested in ocean fisheries in 2015 hatched 2-4 years ago and, as a result, have not been highly impacted by California’s drought. Starting next year, it is anticipated that future ocean salmon fishing opportunities may be impacted by the ongoing drought.

Photo by CDFW

Photo by CDFW

Season dates and other regulations will be developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and California Fish and Game Commission over the next few months. For more information on the salmon season setting process or general ocean salmon fishing information, please visit the Ocean Salmon Project website, or call the salmon fishing hotline at (707) 576-3429.

Lake Del Valle Update


Here’s a fishing update from Capt. Dan Hollis of Livermore’s Lake Del Valle:

Stephanie Brocklesby with a

Stephanie Brocklesby with a 10-pound, 9-ounce rainbow caught on a gold Kastmaster. (LAKE DEL VALLE)

Water temperature climbed up to 58 degrees this week, shutting down the bite.  That quick change in temp gave the trout lockjaw not wanting to feed except early morning and in the last few hours of the day went the lake cools down.  Congratulations to Mr.Justin Huff who caught his first fish on Saturday, it was a 6.4-pound trout on Powerbait from the west area; nice fish, Justin.  Another fisherman who’s dominating the trout scene is Robert Bryan; in the last three weeks he has caught three trout over 10 pounds, including his 12.5-pounder he got this week. 

     Bass are starting to build beds and are in full-swing prespawn patterns.  Although they are still biting Robo Worms and Senkos, we are starting to catch them on crankbaits and jerkbaits worked slow over the visible beds.  Mostly smallmouth are being caught because the water is still a little chilly.  When the water warms up the largemouth will become super active and start to actively feed on the shad schools when they raise to the surface and move into the warmer water.  Until then, try bouncing a football jig through the beds, sometimes that will produce a very large fish either smallmouth or largemouth even big cats have been known to grab a jig if given the opportunity, especially if your using scent enhancers such as pro-cure, smelly jelly or countless others.  if you are going to jig for fish I strongly recommend a crawdad plastic trailer and the scents you use make sure it is crawdad.  Crawdaddys have a very unique smell in the aquatic world, because their one of the only freshwater crustaceans here in Del Valle so fish can zero in on it and know exactly what it is!
     Striped bass showed no interest in any lures or cut bait this week.  I heard there was a boil in swallow bay early in the morning but none of them hit the Heddon Zara spook that was thrown into the boil.  It’s still very early to be seeing boils but, the warm weather can cause premature spring activity.  If this warm weather continues we may see a phenomenal summer striper bite.  That’s all for this week Good luck.

888-327-2757 Option 3 ext. 4524



Coast Guard Licensing Rule Could Affect Bristol Bay Guides

Photo courtesy of Eli Huffman/Jakes Nushagak Camp

Photo courtesy of Eli Huffman/Jakes Nushagak Camp

Our sales manager, Brian Lull, brought this item to my attention. Lull spends time every summer in Bristol Bay helping out the guides at Jake’s Nushagak Salmon Camp, so the following report is near and dear to his heart:

Here’s Dillingham radio station KDLG (audio is available on the website):

 USCG moving guides to full OUVP (“six pack”) licenses on Western Alaska rivers. Lodge owners say change is not feasible for their industry now.

The U.S. Coast Guard is in the process of implementing new regulations that sport fishing lodges in Bristol Bay say will harm their business this year. …

What the Coast Guard is proposing are modifications to the licenses used by guides, and the requirements to get those licenses. In the past, Hodson’s guides could operate on a “limited” OUVP, or Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel. The change, however, will now restrict a person with that license to guiding on only three waterways, and the operator must have 90 days experience on each of those waterways.

“Which in our business is impossible. You take Kulik Lake, I mean how do you get a boat up there, and what are you going to camp for 90 days just to get a license to operate that river?”

Nor, he says, is operating on only three waterways feasible for a sportfishing guide in Bristol Bay.

“For me, because we fly out and fish so many different waterways, it makes the guide unemployable. Because I can’t use them anywhere except a very limited area.”


The Bristol Bay folks whose livelihood is the fishing industry are already fighting battles up there. Hang in there, everyone!