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Another Crab Season Delay


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

The Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced a final 15-day delay for the northern California commercial Dungeness crab season. Crab condition improved from the last round of pre-season quality testing conducted on Dec. 19. However, crab had not reached the minimum meat recovery criteria as established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee testing protocol.

The delay affects Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 (Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties). The season in these districts is now scheduled to open on 12:01 a.m. Jan. 15, 2018, to be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Jan. 12, 2018. This is the last delay the Director can issue due to Dungeness crab quality testing.

No vessel may take or land crab within Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 during the closure period.  In addition, any vessel that lands crab from ocean waters outside of Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 is prohibited from participating in the crab fishery in Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9, or any other delayed opening areas in Oregon or Washington, for 30 days following the opening of those areas as outline in California’s Fair Start Provision (Fish and Game Code, section 8279.1).

The director’s memo can be found here.

The updated Frequently Asked Questions for the current 2017-18 season addresses questions regarding the Fair Start provision.

Testing results for domoic acid are posted by the California Department of Public Health.

For more information on health advisories related to fisheries, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Health-Advisories.

For more information about Dungeness crab fisheries in California, please visit


Legendary S.F. Bay Area Fishing Skipper Passes Away

Capt. Roger Thomas photos courtesy of Salty Lady Sportfishing.



The following press release is courtesy of the Golden Gate Salmon  Association: 

 It’s with great sadness that the Golden Gate Salmon Association announces the passing of Captain Roger Thomas from pancreatic cancer. Thomas passed Tuesday morning with his lifelong friend and partner Captain Jacky Douglas at his side.

Roger Thomas was captain of the charter boat Salty Lady, a member of the California Outdoor Hall of Fame, and a lifelong advocate to keep west coast salmon fisheries alive and sustainable. Everyone knew him to be an honorable and remarkable man, a friend, mentor and colleague. In a recognition he received from the US Congress in May, he was found to be “one of the most decent and hard-working human beings one can know”.

Born in Gilroy, California, he started fishing at an early age for striped bass from the beaches along Monterey Bay and later for salmon from a small boat launched at the Monterey Pier. He was hooked on salmon fishing and became a regular customer on charter boats out of San Francisco. He worked as a deckhand on a charter boat and later got his own captain’s license in 1968.

He represented the charter boat fleet boats from Fort Bragg to Monterey as President of the Golden Gate Fishermen’s Association from 1973 until this year.  He was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Salmon Association, a coalition of commercial and recreational fishermen and others that works to protect and restore Central Valley salmon habitat. For 14 years, he served on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council which, among other duties, sets the ocean salmon seasons. Roger was a member of the Bay Delta Advisory board, the Winter Run-Captive Broodstock Committee, the Central Valley Fisheries Coalition, the Marine Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Commerce, the Coastal Resources Foundation, the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the National Sea Grant Review Panel and the Marine Resources Committee.

Victor Gonella, founder of GGSA, remembers Roger Thomas as a man that touched his life deeply.  “From his fishing expertise to his constant grace under pressure in adverse conditions while fighting for salmon, Roger was always a true gentleman.  Both at the state and federal level, including his many trips to Washington DC, he represented California salmon interests.  For over 40 years Roger made a major difference in maintaining our California salmon stocks and the sustainable harvest they allow.  Roger was a true salmon hero.”

In addition to salmon fishing out of Sausalito and Half Moon Bay, Roger ran whale watching and nature trips that introduced thousands of children and adults to the magic of marine life. He spent more than 10,000 days on the ocean where he shared his deep knowledge and appreciation of the natural world. He was one of the last to see San Joaquin Spring run chinook salmon before they went extinct after construction of the Friant Dam.

Roger was a familiar face in Congress where he represented the interests of the charter boat fleet and the health of west coast salmon stocks for decades.

Commercial salmon fisherman Chris Lawson said, “When I first met Roger, I was a kid working on my uncle’s party boat.  Once I started commercial fishing, anytime there was a crisis in the industry, he was always there campaigning.  He was a champion of the fisheries, always there hammering for the fisheries, for everyone. He’s going to be missed.”

“Roger could have stayed home but instead whenever he wasn’t fishing he was traveling and working on behalf of the rest of us who fish salmon,” said GGSA executive director John McManus.  “He was a great inspiration to me and many others.”

In the 1980s, he was appointed by then Vice President George Bush to the National Sea Grant Review Panel. In this role he traveled to ports around the country and helped decide which projects were worthy and would be funded.

Roger was instrumental in helping pass the 1992 Central Valley Improvement Act, a key law to protect salmon and the Bay Delta. When salmon populations collapsed in 2008 and 2009, Roger worked closely with Congress to successfully provide disaster relief to salmon fishermen.

Roger Thomas’ tireless work earned him the respect and adoration of countless people up and down the west coast and across the country. He will be sorely missed.

GGSA secretary Dick Pool, who partnered with Roger on salmon issues for over 30 years, said, “Roger was an iconic leader in the management and enhancement of West Coast salmon and other marine fish.  He spent a lifetime working to improve the conditions for the fish and for fishermen.  His work and legacy will last for many decades into the future.”

What To Get Her For Christmas?

Photo by Anthony Yang.

The following appears in the December issue of California Sportsman: 

By Amy C. Witt 

You’re probably thinking you’ve exhausted all options. Between anniversaries, Valentines, birthdays, achievements, celebrations and … wow, that’s a lot of gifts! 

But kiss those what-to-give worries goodbye, because we will help you think of something she will love but might not buy for herself, a gift that will remind her of you every time she uses or gazes at it. 

Remember that it doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy to be the perfect gift. Relax, sit back and read on. Here’s your ultimate holiday gift idea checklist and a spending guide to help you survive the season. 

Andreas Kalani makes customized California-made hunting and fishing knives. (AK CUSTOM KNIVES)



Get a customized skinning knife, filet knife or set of chef knives from California-based Andreas Kalani, who specializes in handmade American blades, knives and accessories. Info: andreaskalani.com or (949) 682-8282.


Customize a special and unique gun sling, scabbard, holster, belt, or anything else of your liking for your special someone. This company’s run by a Central Valley-based woman whose leatherwork has graced musicians and professional cowboys all over the U.S. Info: (559) 706-9205 or Instagram (@buckinbuckarette). 

Eva Shockey has inspired plenty of girls and young women to embrace the outdoors. Shockey’s fine book about how she became a passionate hunter would make for a great motivational tool. (SHOCKEY ENTERPRISES)


High quality and handmade in the U.S., they feature customized duck and goose calls at reasonable prices. Info: haddenhailers.com or (270) 734-9337.


Not only are they great and universal fashion statements but also have multiple uses in the great outdoors! These wild rags and scarves have been handpicked, designed, sewn and packaged by the owner, who runs her own business in Bakersfield. Info: buckwildrags.com.


It’s a ready-to-use, easy-to-clean blanket to take with you into the field. It has a functional roll-up design and convenient carrying handle, consists of pure virgin wool, and is made in America. Info: pendleton-usa.com. 


Let her film all her trophies and journeys with a GoPro. Also, purchase the Sportsman Mount to hold the camera on shotgun barrels, fishing rods, nets, in front of the boat, the treestand, or the stabilizer of a bow. Info: gopro.com.


Get a subscription and each month the newest collection of outdoor, hunting and fishing items will be sent to your loved one’s door. Info: thesportsmansbox.com.


With a 400-pound capacity, heavy-duty nylon straps, aircraft aluminum carabiners and stuff sack, it’s not only convenient but meant for adventure. Info: flagnorfail.com.


Huntress Eva Shockey-Brent, an accomplished sportswoman, speaks on hunting stereotypes and conservation in her new book, Taking Aim: Daring to Be Different, Happier, and Healthier in the Great Outdoors. Info: evashockey.com or available on Amazon.


Women’s White Ledge Timberland Mid Waterproof hiking boots are reliable and comfortable for everyday wear. Info: timberland.comCS

Editor’s note: For more on Porterville-based Amy Witt, check out Californiadreamin.com and follow on Instagram (@Californiadreamin).

Check out these products for your hunting or companion dog this holiday season. 


Dogtra, the innovator of the world’s finest dog training products and e-collar systems, is proud to introduce the newest addition to the best-selling ARC e-collar remote training system, ARC Handsfree. Perfect for hunting dogs, the ARC Handsfree e-collar provides owners the freedom to multitask, while maintaining discrete control during field operation. The flexible ARC Handsfree Remote Controller allows you to apply stimulation using only fingertip control, providing more versatility with your hands at any given time. It’s designed for all dog breeds with medium to mild temperaments. Info:  dogtra.com 


Rain filtering through the trees, wind whipping over the mountains, snow falling wet and heavy – none of these should stop your adventure. The North Country Coat is made from a durable Ripstop and 1200-denier material that stands up tough on the trail and effortlessly sheds water, wind and snow. Inside, it’s lined with a soft fleece to keep your furry friend warm and comfortable through any conditions. Let the weather do its worst, because your pooch will be sporting the best. Info: kurgo.com CS

Get A Holiday Gift Certificate From The Ojai Angler

Photo by the Ojai Angler


The following press release is courtesy of the Ojai Angler:

As we gather to celebrate the holidays with friends and family we’d like to take a moment to say Thank you for your continued loyalty. We appreciate everyone that has reached out to us during the Thomas Fire. We are grateful to the firefighters and first responders that have fought so hard to protect our Ojai Valley and Lake Casitas. Today the Lake was open for the first time in 2 weeks. We have had blue sky’s the last 2 days and fresh air is back! Only the right hand side of lake was chard but lots of the big oak trees are still standing mighty and will florish with rain. Caught some bass, saw deer, birds and wildlife is all beautiful at the Lake and the Ojai Valley. Pictures On our Instagram page ojaiangler and Facebook Ojai Angler.

We are offering a GREAT, FUN, UNIQUE GIFT!

You can use them for yourself or for anyone on your Holiday list who loves the sport of fishing, OR for that someone that would enjoy learning and experiencing something new!


Limited offer 8 Half days and Full days.

* Half day fishing trip special, $275.00 for two people on the Bass Boat (Reg. $325.00)

* Full day fishing trip special, $350.00 two people on the Bass Boat (Reg. $425.00)

* 15% OFF PONTOON BOAT 4 or more Anglers!

This Gift Certificate is valid any time at Lake Casitas for the year 2018!


Best Wishes!!

Guide Marc and Amy Mitrany
TALK – TEXT 805-701-2835


Humboldt Steelhead Days Ready For Another Run

Eric Stockwell, of Loleta Eric’s Guide Service, caught and released this wild steelhead in the Eel River last year during Humboldt Steelhead Days. (Photo courtesy of Humboldt Steelhead Days)

The following press release is courtesy of Humboldt Steelhead Days:

Humboldt Steelhead Days is more than just a fishing contest – it’s a winter celebration of all things steelhead. The ever-evolving event is entering its fifth year and will continue to host an array of watershed-related activities throughout Humboldt County. The goal of Humboldt Steelhead Days (HSD) is to inspire community awareness, promote river restoration and the recovery of Humboldt’s iconic wild winter steelhead populations.

Humboldt’s only annual signature wintertime event, HSD looks to build on its popularity with both local and out-of-area anglers. During January and February, there are more steelhead in our North Coast rivers than anywhere else in California.

“I’m looking forward to the fifth annual HSD competition,” said HSD angler and Arcata resident Charlie Holthaus. “Last year’s rainy weather made for tough conditions, with muddy water persisting nearly the entire season. This year the outlook is promising: The Trinity River has been fishing good already and the Mad River hatchery released plenty of young steelhead three years ago. There will be steelhead to catch in both rivers this winter. All we need is clear skys and favorable water conditions.”

Access to Humboldt County was virtually cut off last year when U.S. Highway 101 and Route 299 closed multiple times due to extreme rainstorms between October and March. But high-river flows, mudslides and road construction could not keep 110 registered anglers from fishing in HSD’s fishing contest. While many of the HSD anglers were locals from Humboldt, some braved the weather and came from as far away as Southern California and Michigan.

“Fishing winter Steelhead on the North Coast is exciting and exhilarating no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. Steelhead are beautiful, hard hitting fish. Get out there and hit it,” said HSD fisherman Tim Call.

This year, the Humboldt Steelhead Days will run from Saturday, Jan. 13, to Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. Licensed anglers can participate in the contest by registering online on www.humboldtsteelheaddays.com. Once registered, anglers will be eligible to win several prize packages. Anglers who catch the three biggest hatchery steelhead on either the Mad and Trinity rivers will be notified prior to the Steelhead Awards Ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Mad River Brewing Co. Tap Room. Prize packages will include a Douglas steelhead spinning rod donated by rod builder and designer Fred Contaoi; guided river trips donated by River’s Edge Fishing; gear from Pacific Outfitters and Sport & Cycle; gift certificates from Lube Central and 3G’s Hay & Feed, and much more.

Anglers can also attend a Steelhead Expo on Jan. 20 with clinics and seminars brought to you in part by the City of Blue Lake, several Pints for Non Profits brewery mixers, and a showing of the documentary film “A River’s Last Chance: A Story of Salmon, Timber, Weed and Wine along California’s Mighty Eel River,” by former Humboldt State University student and the director of storytelling for Pacific Rivers, Shane Anderson slated for Feb. 10 at the Lost Coast Brewing Company and sponsored by Coast Central Credit Union.

HSD will also feature a Wood Creek restoration tour on Saturday, Jan. 28 by the Northcoast Regional Land Trust organization. Humboldt Steelhead Days participants will learn about the coho salmon life history, the significance of estuarine habitat, fish monitoring technology, contextual historical regional land uses and project successes and challenges.  Tour attendees will also have the opportunity to actively participate in the restoration project through a vegetation based stewardship activity.

In addition to showcasing angling opportunities on some of Humboldt’s most pristine steelhead rivers, HSD is also a major fundraising event for the non-profit group Mad River Alliance (MRA) and their programs. MRA is a community-driven group of volunteers working to protect clean water and the ecological integrity of the Mad River watershed for the benefit of its human and natural communities. MRA hosts several river clean ups along the Mad River each year. The group also holds diving education classes, river rafting and kayak safety courses for youth groups, and monitors the river by collecting temperature data.

Michelle Fuller, the outgoing president of MRA’s Board of Directors, said, “Humboldt Steelhead Days has become one of Mad River Alliance’s most fun and well-known events. We are thrilled to see so many people connecting with this important seasonal phenomenon, and coming out to support our watershed!”

MRA director Dave Feral founded HSD four years ago and the event’s original mission was to celebrate the return of the winter steelhead to the Mad River. HSD has evolved over the last four years to also build community awareness and fund continued restoration and recovery activities on North Coast rivers and streams.

“Mad River Alliance’s goals are to promote wintertime steelhead angling in Humboldt County and continue working toward restoring our wild fish populations,” Feral said. “The Mad River watershed supports at least 37 fish species utilizing the river for some part of their life history. For salmon and steelhead, the annual return and spawning is an integral part of Humboldt’s cultural identity and way of life. Each year, wild fish return to their native streams, spawn and continue the cycle of life. Seeing these amazing creatures return from their miles-long journey will appeal to anyone who loves the natural world.”

HSD angler, Sean Jansen said, “Chasing steelhead on the North Coast is an absolute privilege. However it takes equal parts obsession as well as patience. Obsession in studying weather patterns, river flows, water clarity, and tidal patterns. And patience for waiting for all to align. Upon the anticipation of the arrival of these fish, the true reward comes from the immense beauty they swim through.”

This year, HSD organizers decided against including the Eel River as part of the fishing contest in favor of hatchery fish located in the Mad and Trinity rivers.

“We didn’t want to put any added pressure on wild fish for year five,” said Tracy Mac, HSD’s fishing coordinator. “We want to remind anglers to keep their fish in the water until they can determine if an adipose fin is absent.”

HSD angler and guide Eric Stockwell, of Loleta Eric’s Guide Service, pointed out that the release is a true test of an angler’s skills.

“As an angler develops the skills, knowledge, tooling and timing needed to pursue and catch wild steelhead, he or she may not know that the ultimate test of sportsmanship will lie in the moment of handling and release,” Stockwell said. “Focus on this pursuit long enough and you will know it.”

Anglers can fish on the Mad and Trinity rivers from Jan. 13 to Feb. 16 with the requirement that they send in a photo of their hatchery fish catch to event organizers or post them on social media using the hashtags #humboldtsteelheaddays or #HSD.

HSD would like to thank the generous donations and support from Mad River Brewing Company, Green Diamond Resource Company, Pacific Watershed Associates, Alves Roofing, Mill Yard, Stillwater Sciences, Royal Gold, Coast Central Credit Union, City of Blue Lake, 3Gs Hay & Grain, Lube Central, North Fork Studios, Lost Coast Brewery, KHSU, Fishing the North Coast, Mack Graphics, Lost Coast Communications, Pacific Outfitters, Sport & Cycle, RMI Outdoors, Mad River Tackle, Douglas Outdoors, North Fork Studios, North Coast Journal, Mad River Radio, KIEM News Ch. 3, Blue Lake Rancheria, Miller Farms and many more who make HSD possible. 2018 HSD Poster Link: Click Here.

If you would like to sponsor this event or donate a gift certificate or auction prize …
Contact HSD Founder:
Dave Feral at Mad River Alliance
PO Box 1252, Blue Lake, CA 95525
(707) 382-6162

Youth Holiday Waterfowl Hunt On Dec. 27

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

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering a special apprentice youth waterfowl hunt at the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area in Solano County on Wednesday, Dec. 27 – a rare, midweek hunt for young hunters during their holiday break from school.

The 12 blinds in the Crescent Unit of the wildlife area will be closed and available only to junior hunting license holders (17 and younger) and their adult chaperones. An adult chaperone (18 or older) is required to accompany and supervise junior apprentice hunters. The adult may hunt with the junior hunter and must possess the required 2017-18 California hunting license, the California Duck Validation, Federal Duck Stamp and the free Harvest Information Program (HIP) validation. Junior license holders 16 and older must have a Federal Duck Stamp and the free HIP validation to hunt waterfowl.

All available blinds can accommodate two people – the junior license holder and his or her adult chaperone. Nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required for waterfowl hunting. A minimum of 12 duck decoys are required at all blind sites and chest waders are highly recommended.

To receive a reservation, please call the Grizzly Island headquarters at (707) 425-3828. Applicants will need to provide the following information:

  • Junior licensed hunter’s name
  • Junior hunting license number
  • E-mail address
  • Phone number
  • Name of chaperone

Reservations will be issued to applicants who call on a first-come, first-served basis and others will be placed on a waiting list. There will be 12 reservations issued for the Dec. 27 hunt date.

The Grizzly Island Wildlife Area will also accept junior hunters on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the hunt to use the free roam areas and to fill any no-shows from the reservations. As a reminder, all chaperones who wish to hunt must have either a Type A One-Day Pass, Type A Two-Day Pass or Type A Season Pass, and these must be purchased prior to arriving at the check station through either a License Agent or online at www.wildlife.ca.gov(allow two weeks’ mailing time if ordering online).

West Family Unit

CDFW would also like to encourage use of the West Family Unit, which is a spaced blind unit open during the waterfowl season reserved exclusively for junior license holders. Hunt days are Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the open season. An adult chaperone is required. Five double blinds, including one mobility-impaired blind, and one three-person blind are available. The unit is north of Benicia on Goodyear Road. From Highway 680 take the Marshview Road exit and turn right onto Goodyear Road from the off-ramp and the well-marked hunt area will be on the left.

Post-Season Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days

The Grizzly Island Wildlife Area also will be open to junior hunting license holders and their non-hunting adult chaperones on Saturday and Sunday Feb. 3 and 4 during the state’s Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days. Junior hunting license holders can apply for reservations online through CDFW’s Automated License Data System (ALDS). Grizzly Island will also accept junior hunters on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the hunts.





Smith River Gets Boost From State Of Oregon

User BigT67 /

For Northern California anglers who live in or around the Crescent City area, the nearby Smith River is a popular salmon fishery.  The North Fork Smith flows across the border in Oregon, and that state’s Oregon Water Resource Commission has done a solid for the Smith River watershed.

Here’s Cal Trout with more on the plan’s impact to the Smith:

We are excited to share the good news: the pristine flows of the Smith River have earned further protection, as determined recently by the Oregon Water Resources Commission (WRC) to reserve the surface waters of the North Fork Smith River for the specific purpose and support of instream fish, wildlife, recreation, and domestic human consumption, and withdraws them from any further appropriations (i.e., diversions, captures, impounding from its natural course or channel). The Commission also limited groundwater development in the basin. In simple terms, this means that the pure waters of the North Fork Smith River, flowing 28 miles from Southern Oregon into California, are safeguarded into the future.

This added layer of protection for the North Fork of the Smith River is a win for the environment and for us. The Smith River is one of the premier “salmon strongholds” along the Pacific Coast; the North Fork serves as a refuge for threatened Coho Salmon and is an incredible producer of winter steelhead and Cutthroat Trout. It also is a major contributor of clean water to the Smith River downstream, which provides drinking water to much of Del Norte County.

Over the last few years, CalTrout has teamed up with other organizations, notably the Smith River Alliance, working hard to earn protections for the Smith River basin. It’s amazing to share these successes with our partners!



NorCal Commercial Crab Season Delayed

Photo by CDFW

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

The director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced an additional 15-day delay for the upcoming commercial Dungeness crab season, based on the results of another round of pre-season quality testing conducted on Dec. 5. The tests continued to show that Dungeness crab are not yet ready for harvesting.

The delay affects Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 (Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties). The season in these districts is now scheduled to open on 12:01 a.m. Dec. 31, 2017, to be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2017.

Crab quality tests are conducted regularly to ensure that crab are filled out enough prior to harvesting. Tests follow guidelines established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee, which is overseen by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Additional testing will be scheduled to occur by Dec. 22. If quality remains low, an additional delay until Jan. 15, 2018 will be issued by the director. This date is the latest the season can be delayed due to quality testing.

No vessel may take or land crab within Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 during the closure period.  In addition, any vessel that lands crab from ocean waters outside of Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 is prohibited from participating in the crab fishery in Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9, or any other delayed opening areas in Oregon or Washington, for 30 days following the opening of those areas as outline in California’s Fair Start Provision (Fish and Game Code, section 8279.1).

The director’s memo can be found here.

The updated Frequently Asked Questions for the current 2017-18 season addresses questions regarding the Fair Start provision.

For more information on health advisories related to fisheries, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Health-Advisories.

For more information about Dungeness crab fisheries in California, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/crab.


California To Close Recreational Abalone Fishery Next Year

CDFW photo

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

The California Fish and Game Commission yesterday voted to close the 2018 northern California recreational abalone fishery due to ongoing environmental conditions that have significantly impacted the abalone resource. The closure affects next year’s recreational abalone season, which was scheduled to open on April 1, 2018.

The Commission’s 4-0 decision (Commissioner Jacque Hostler-Carmesin was absent) upholds the policies of the Abalone Recovery and Management Plan, which was adopted by the Commission in December 2005. Over the past several years, the Commission has taken several actions to reduce take and shorten the season to protect abalone from the unprecedented environmental conditions.

The Commission directed the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to work with stakeholders to deliver a new fishery management plan that includes guidance on navigating these unprecedented conditions. The Commission also directed CDFW to consider how the new fishery management plan can inform the potential reopening of some fishing opportunity for the 2019 season.

More information about California’s recreational abalone fisheriescan be found on the CDFW website.

Rice Farmers Team Up With Conservationists To Help Fish

Photo by Cal Trout 

Really good report from KCRA TV’s Vicki Gonzalez about Central California rice farmers are working with conservationists to combat the area’s endangered fish.

“There was once 2 million salmon that came back to the valley. What allowed that abundance is the incredible productivity of these wetlands,” Jacob Katz, with Cal Trout, said. “Now, we have about 5 percent of historical wetlands; which means we have a small percentage of the food that was once produced. Why are we surprised that we have only 5 percent of salmon and other native fish?”

Rice farmers are now working with UC Davis Watershed Sciences and Cal Trout, a conservation nonprofit, to restore native fish populations cut off from their food supply.

“We turned fields that we feed people (from) in the summertime, and then we flood them for habitat for birds, and now we are also using those fields to grow (food) for fish,” Roger Cornwell, with River Garden Farms in Yolo County, said.

During the wet season, the Sacramento River historically would swell and spill over into the floodplain, and fish would spill over as well. The natural occurrence is now largely blocked off due to levees.

“It’s a really simple thing: Sunlight makes algae. Algae makes bugs. Bugs make fish,” Katz said. “The fish would then drain back to the river with the receding floodwaters and you had this system that essentially created a big bug buffet out on the floodplain.”

There’s also a good video to with Gonzalez’s report.