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April 15, 2018    Headlines

Salmon to Open June 17th
Invest In YOUR Salmon Future

The rockfish season got off to a great start on Sunday 4-15. The Emeryville Sport Center had three boats chasing bottom dwellers along the Marin coast and the Farallon Islands. The Sea Wolf reported 28 limits of rockfish and 9 lings to 12 pounds. The New Huck Finn checked in with 30 full limits of rockfish and two lings while the Tigerfish reported 35 limits of rockfish and 4 lings. The winds were light at 10 knots but the swell heights were a bit lumpy at 10 to 11 feet. The ESC has room daily this week for both offshore rockfish and bay live bait halibut and striper trips.

The PFMC released the final west coast salmon seasons on Tuesday April 19th. For Bay Area anglers the season begins on June 17th and closes October 31st. The minimum size will be 20 inches for the entire season. This is about a 40% deduction in "time" compared to the past few years. I for one, (who usually has a more pessimistic view) think this season could surprise to the upside. The reason is the large number of two year old fish we saw last season and that more fish continue to be trucked verses being released direct from the hatcheries. Add in big water flows over the 2016 / 2017 winter Imp optimistic about the 2019 season as well.
Until the season opens our party boat sponsors will be offering live bait potluck trips. The rockfish season begins this Sunday April 15th and will be another option until the salmon season begins. Readers will want to make reservations sooner rather than later. With the deduced time on the water boats will fill quickly. The Salty Lady is currently running live bait potluck trips from Sausalito Monday through Friday and whale watching out of Half Moon Bay on the weekends. The Emeryville Sport Center is offering live bait as well as rockfishing trips on their 8 boats. The Soleman out of SF Fisherman's wharf is offering live bait trips in the bay.

GGSA echoes State fish experts’ warning on proposed Sac Valley Reservoir


F:\GGSA\Dams\Sites\Sites graphic.jpg

The proposed Sites Reservoir Project in the Sacramento Valley would take water from the Sacramento River.

In comments filed with the California Water Commission, GGSA is echoing warnings from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that far more water is needed in the Sacramento than levels the backers of the proposed Sites Reservoir are planning to divert at.  The reservoir, proposed for the western Sacramento Valley, plans to divert river water even at low flows when it’s needed by salmon.

The idea that water can be diverted from the Sacramento River during low flows doesn’t square with levels needed to keep salmon healthy according to state fish and wildlife officials.

Backers of the new giant reservoir say it will help heal the environment.   The southern California’s Metropolitan Water District say their investment in the reservoir would only makes sense if the Delta tunnels project to move it around the Delta is built, which many now consider doubtful.

After GGSA call state water agency finally agrees to pay for tagging hatchery fish

After hard advocacy by GGSA, the California Dept of Water Resources (DWR) agreed to pay to mark and tag Feather River Hatchery fall run baby salmon.  These fish have been adipose fin-clipped and tagged for over 15 years, providing an unbroken series of data on survival and straying.  Until now, DWR has never paid for this even though they are obligated to as part of required mitigation forperation of the Oroville dam.  The cost had been borne by the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife using emergency drought funds which are now dried up.  CDFW was unable to resolve the dispute with DWR until GGSA got involved and successfully made the case with higher ups in state and federal government that paying for tagging and clipping is part of DWR’s mitigation responsibility.

Salmon Options for 2018.
My apologies for the delay on getting the salmon options for the coming season posted. This writer had rotator cuff surgery and any time at the keyboard is extremely limited.
As I said last week it looked like we would see a shortened season off the Bay Area coast and after a closure last year a summer opener on the North Coast.
The PFMC will be running these options through the models and we should know by early next month what the final season will be.
These look like three more likely options at this point but NO final decisions have been made yet :

Alternative one – achieve 151,000 Sacramento adult escapees

CA Klamath – open 6/1 and close 9/3, with a 20 inch size limit

Fort Bragg – open 6/11 and close 10/31, with a 20 inch size limit

San Francisco – open 6/11 and close 10/31, with a 20 inch size limit

Monterey – open 4/7 and close 6/22, with a 24 inch size limit


Alternative two – achieve 165,000 Sacramento adult escapees

CA Klamath – open 6/1 and close 9/3, with a 20 inch size limit

Fort Bragg – open 7/1 and close 10/31, with a 20 inch size limit

San Francisco – open 7/7 and close 10/31, with a 20 inch size limit

Monterey – open 4/7 and close 6/15, with a 24 inch size limit


Alternative Three – achieve 180,000 Sacramento adult escapees

CA Klamath – open 6/16 and close 9/3, with a 20 inch size limit

Fort Bragg – open 7/21 and close 10/31, with a 20 inch size limit

San Francisco – open 7/21 and close 10/31, with a 20 inch size limit



Department of Water Resources asks State Water Board to deny motions by Delta Tunnels opponents

By Dan Bacher

On January 19, the California Department of Water Resources responded to the motions by Delta Tunnels opponents that charge DWR and State Water Resources Control Board staff with "unlawful exparte communications” and call for a 90-day stay in the California WaterFix hearing.
DWR requests the State Board Hearing Officers to deny the pending motions to stay or continue the Part 2 hearings that were scheduled to begin on January 18.
The Department of Water Resources submitted its “Consolidated Opposition to Save the California Delta Alliance et al. and County of Sacramento et al” to State Water Board Hearing Officers Doduc and Marcus 
DWR claims that these communications were not illegal and the hearing should go forward as planned. The water board Thursday delayed the hearing until February 2
“None of the alleged communications by Petitioners cited by protestants constitute a substantive issue or controversial matter of practice and procedure within the scope of the proceeding, in violation of Government Code Sections 11430.10 et seq,” wrote James “Tripp” Mizell, the Office of Chief Counsel for DWR, argued today.
“Instead, the alleged communications by Petitioners fall into one or more of the following categories: (1) communications between DWR staff and State Water Resources Control Board (“WaterBoard”) staff prior to the issuance of the October 30, 2015 Notice of Public Hearing andPrehearing Conference; (2) communications with Water Board staff on non-substantive or non-controversial procedural issues within the scope of the proceeding; and (3) communications with Water Board staff on issues related to the California WaterFixEnvironmental Impact Report through its role as a CEQA Responsible Agency,” wrote Mizell.
After reading DWR’s response to the motions, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, said, “their response is a non denial, denial. They said the motions should be dismissed because they didn’t do anything wrong, but yet they don’t present any evidence to support their claim.” 
The Delta Tunnels project, also called the California Water Fix, is Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two massive tunnels under the Delta to divert Sacramento River water to agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California Water agencies.
If built, the project would likely hasten the extinction of Sacramento River winter and spring-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other species. The WaterFix would also imperil the salmon steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers, where the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa Valley Tribes have fished for thousands of years.
Read DWR’s response here on Maven’s Notebook website: 
DWR Consolidated Opposition to Motions re Ex Parte
For more information, go to:…

Alaska Vacation
For readers looking for an Alaska adventure we still have dates open in June and August at our Kenai peninsula vacation cabin in 2018
Our fully equipped, coastal home sits on three wilderness acres on the "middle Kenai peninsula". 
Being centrally located we are within 30 minutes of five rivers including the Kenai, Kasilof and Anchor and just 20 minutes north of the saltwater tractor launches in Ninilchik and Deep Creek.
Most of our guests do a combination of fishing on their own and a day or three of guided river, fly-out or saltwater trips between  self guided trips. With our centrally base location your options are unlimited.
For all our guest's we include a three hour tutorial (at our Sebastopol home) covering tackle, tactics, best locations. We can also hook you up with some of the best guide, charter and fly-out contacts in the area.

The three bedroom/ 2 bath cabin comfortably sleeps 6 and weekly rates are just $1600 per week (Sunday to Sunday). Additional info and pictures can be found
If you have any questions please give us a call at 707 479-0992

“Millions of Californians on hook for water plan”
Read at our website.

Today, The Associated Press published a story confirming rumors of “expanded funding demands” for the Delta Tunnels proposal. New documents obtained by the Associated Press reveal that dozens of local agencies representing millions of Californians may be required to pay for the tunnels, even though they have not been asked to participate in the project, nor would they receive the “supply reliability” benefits promised to CA WaterFix participants. This follows years of assurances from the Brown Administration that only local water agencies actively participating in the tunnels would be the paying for them.
A telling quote from Santa Clara Valley Water District board director Richard Santos reveals that State Water Project contractors have been pressured into participating in the tunnels project.

Ellen Knickmeyer and Scott Smith write, 
“Asked if California intended to cut off state water deliveries to those districts that refuse to help pay for the tunnels, Lien-Mager said only ‘opting out would not affect their existing contracts, but their actual water supplies from the SWP could become less reliable in the future.’
That message has begun trickling out as water agencies around the state decide whether to raise rates to pay for the tunnels.
‘That’s what we’re being informed — our contract ends if we don’t participate,’ said Richard Santos, a board member of the Santa Clara Valley water district, which supplies water to Silicon Valley.
If it plays out that way, Santos said, he will fight. ‘If they say they’ll cut off our allocations if we don’t participate, then let the courts take it on,’ he said.”
To read the entire story, click here.

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