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August 18, 2014    Headlines

Salmon Bite Picks Up
Rockfish and Lings on Marin Coast

Salmon fishing is all of the rage starting with great counts on Friday continuing throughout the weekend. Second Captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady out of Sausalito reported 22 salmon to 30-pounds for 14 anglers on Friday 8-15 with a spectacular humpback whale show with the whale breaching just outside of them. They went nature viewing over the weekend, but they will be back salmon fishing with open loads from Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of the current week. Captain Roger Thomas is back from a great 8-day long-range trip out of San Diego, and he is starting to take a waiting list for albacore. He said, “It seems good all the way around here right now.”
Pictured left Jim Copeland with a 37 pounder caught on the Hog Heaven this past week.

Captain Chris Smith of the Captain Hook went trolling for salmon up the Marin coast on Sunday 8-17 for near-limits with 9 salmon to 29-pounds with regular angler, Dan Wulff of Manteca, posting a limit. Wulff has become such a regular on the Captain Hook that he has achieved ‘Barnacle Status.’

The interest in salmon has been so high that all seven boats out of Emeryville Sport Fishing on Saturday went either salmon mooching or salmon trolling with all solid scores of a fish per rod to limits on the Sundance.
The Sausalito boats put in over a fish per rod on Sunday with 78 salmon to 28-pounds for 62 anglers.
Rockfishing remained tremendous with Captain James Smith on the California Dawn loading up with 21 limits of rockfish and 38 lings on Sunday after posting 23 limits of rockfish and near limits with 44 ling cod on Saturday. The Happy Hooker, also out of Berkeley, put in 29 limits of rockfish with a healthy vermilion count along with 12 ling cod to 15-pounds on Sunday after putting in 31 limits of rockfish and 6 lings to 13-pounds on Saturday.

The salmon bite remains good up the Marin Coast. Emeryville sent their entire fleet out on Friday 8-15 with 5 boats trolling, two mooching and one on a combo trip. The C Gull, Salmon Queen, Superfish, Sundance and Wet Spot were all trolling and reported a combined 73 salmon for 69 anglers with fish averaging 15 t 20 and going up to 30 pounds. The Huck Finn and Seeker were both mooching and had a combined 26 salmon to 22 pounds plus three thresher sharks for 39 anglers. The TigerFish started the day chasing rockfish and reported 30 limits of rockfish adding 10 lings. With time left in the day they switched to salmon and landed 13 to 17 pounds. Emeryville is sold out this weekend.
James on the Cal Dawn had a banner day up the Marin coast on Thursday with 19 anglers landing limits of lings to 17 pounds and limits of a mixed bag of colored rockfish. James says they are starting to see more females moving into the coastal waters and the fall "push" into the shallows is beginning to happen.
The salmon bite has been decent to great the past few days with the majority of the fish being BIG four year olds averaging 15 to 25 pounds. Second Captain Jared Davis on the Salty Lady out of Sausalito reported 11 salmon to a whopping 33-pounds for 21 anglers on Wednesday 8-13 with a number of fish lost in the process. They boated 8 limits to 22-pounds on Monday before the bite slowed a bit on Tuesday for 11 salmon to 22-pounds for 21 anglers. They are full through the weekend with plenty of room on open load salmon trips next week.
The C Gull II, New Huck Finn, New Salmon Queen, Super Fish, and Sundance out of Emeryville Sport Fishing put in over a fish per rod trolling on Wednesday with a combined 59 salmon to 28-pounds for 47 anglers. The Sundance came close to limits with 11 salmon for their 6 anglers.
The TigerFish out of Emeryville went on a combination trip, and they scored 17 limits of rockfish before making two mooching drifts for 7 salmon to 18-pounds. Emeryville has a variety of trips on the books over the weekend, but Saturday is completely filled.

Close to Home: Intervention needed to save salmon from drought
Many will remember the extra distance fish agencies went this past spring when they moved baby salmon in tanker trucks from the hatcheries down to the Delta and San Francisco Bay for release.
This was done because drought conditions made Central Valley rivers deadly to migrating baby salmon. It will be 2016 before we know whether it worked.
In the meantime, drought conditions persist, threatening adult salmon returning to spawn now through early fall. Salmon are encountering river temperatures in excess of 70 degrees, weakening them and the fertility of the eggs and milt they carry.
In salmon-dependent communities on the coast and along the Sacramento River and its tributaries, there’s deep concern for this parent generation of salmon. Salmon eggs incubating in river gravel die if river water temperatures exceed 56 degrees for more than three days. By October, when fall run salmon spawning usually peaks, most of the rivers and tributaries could be over 56 degrees. If we’re lucky, a small section of the far northern Sacramento River might be cool enough to support some spawning. But miles below it won’t be, meaning we could be facing the threat of no fish and no fishing in coming years.
This doesn’t have to be. There is something can be done. The Golden Gate Salmon Association has proposed to capture adult fall run salmon, take their eggs and milt and temporarily incubate the fertilized eggs at a hatchery. The fall run is the usually numerous run that supports the commercial and recreational salmon fishery off California and most of Oregon. As fall turns to winter, and Central Valley rivers cool, the eggs could then be injected back into river gravel. They’d hatch out months later and live as wild salmon.
The Coleman National Fish Hatchery, located on a cold-water tributary of the Sacramento River called Battle Creek, might be a place where the work could be done prior to re-injection into the river. Coleman can reportedly handle 30 million juvenile salmon but produces only about 12.5 million juvenile salmon annually, which should leave room to temporarily harbor millions of drought-threatened eggs.
Egg injection back into the river could likely be done during November when river temperatures have cooled to tolerable levels. This same action could be done on other Central Valley rivers with hatcheries including the Feather, American and Merced rivers.
Injection involves poking a hard plastic pipe into river gravel using water pressure from a portable pump, creating a cavity in the gravels, flushing out sediments and carefully pouring the fertilized eggs down the pipe into the riverbed where they’ll rest until they hatch.
Injecting fertilized salmon eggs into river gravel isn’t a new idea. It’s been done in Alaska, Oregon and elsewhere. This is probably the right year for California to join the list of states that have used this proven technology. This proposal doesn’t require more water, since there is none, but it would help save salmon jobs and keep coastal and inland river communities economically vital. That’s why the Golden Gate Salmon Association is calling for this extraordinary measure to sustain salmon, which is needed in this extraordinarily dry year.
John McManus is executive director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association.

Salmon Demise Likely Under Proposed Twin Tunnel Plan

GGSA comments on project’s clear threat to salmon

San Francisco -- Plans to build a massive new water diversion and conveyance structure in the Delta will spell the end of California’s salmon runs according to comments submitted today by the Golden Gate Salmon Association. The comments responded to a draft EIR/EIS describing the twin tunnel project. GGSA’s comments echo earlier findings from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service showing the project would greatly damage salmon runs in California’s Central Valley.

“There’s no doubt the current manmade system for diverting Sacramento River delta water south has badly harmed our native fisheries, including our salmon runs. However, it’s also clear that the state Department of Water Resources and water users south of the Delta have proposed this massive water diversion and twin tunnels that suits their needs and then tried unsuccessfully to manipulate the science to show it won’t wipe out salmon,” said GGSA executive director John McManus.

“The proposed massive water diversion and tunnel project would basically take too much upper Sacramento River basin water in many years, leaving too little cold water available to sustain salmon spawning,” said GGSA chairman Roger Thomas. Thomas is also the president of the Golden Gate Fishermen’s Association, a group representing charter boat operators. “We don’t have enough water for salmon as is in most years. Where are they going to get the extra water from?”

“The relative trickle of water left downstream of the diversion point near Sacramento would be too little to flush baby salmon to the bay and ocean or sustain the health of the Delta and bay,” said GGSA vice-chair Zeke Grader. Grader is also the executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, a group representing commercial salmon fishermen.

Other comments point to the likelihood that the three giant diversion intake screens used to supply the twin tunnels, will harm or kill salmon. Baby salmon will be sucked up against the screens, more than a third of a mile long each, since the river current isn’t strong enough at the planned site to safely sweep them by. The screens will operate at times of the year when the highest concentrations of baby salmon are passing by and will create conditions favorable to bigger fish that feed on juvenile salmon. More dangerous reverse currents will be created downstream of the diversion in side channels pulling baby salmon off course to their death in the interior Delta. These are just some of the ways the proposed project will harm salmon and other native species.

“As currently planned, the BDCP will wreak carnage on salmon. Wiping out salmon will kill jobs and harm the economy of our coastal and inland communities,” said McManus. “It’s hard to imagine a scenario where the current tunnel proposal could survive a court challenge since it blatantly violates laws intended to protect wildlife,” he concluded.

The Golden Gate Salmon Association ( is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fisherman, businesses, restaurants, an Indian tribe, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities that rely on salmon. GGSA’s mission is to protect and restore California’s largest salmon producing habitat comprised of the Central Valley river’s that feed the Bay-Delta ecosystem and the communities that rely on salmon as a long-term, sustainable, commercial, recreational and cultural resource.

Currently, California’s salmon industry is valued at $1.4 billion in economic activity annually and about half that much in economic activity and jobs again in Oregon. The industry employs tens of thousands of people from Santa Barbara to northern Oregon. This is a huge economic bloc made up of commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen (fresh and salt water), fish processors, marinas, coastal communities, equipment manufacturers, the hotel and food industry, tribes, and the salmon fishing industry at large.

The salmon action has been improving by the day and party boats saw scores of a fish and a half per rod to limits on Monday 7-28. The Emeryville Sportfishing Center had three boats out the Huck Finn, Salmon Queen and Sundance reported a collective 38 salmon to 28 pounds for 33 anglers. Roger Thomas on the Salty Lady in Sausalito was not out but passed along a Sausalito report that the RayAnne and Outer Limits had a combined 43 salmon to over 30 pounds for 30 anglers. Rogers says that the hotspot is changing daily but Duxbury, Rocky Point, Slide Ranch and the edge of the bar are all producing. The fish are BIG with most running 15 to 25 pounds with many in the 30 class in the mix. You just need to be in the right spot at the right time.
Roger has lots of space open through Thursday but is full this weekend and the Emeryville Sportfishing Center has room daily. The fish are in, why are you reading this report and not fishing?

The salmon bite is finally picking up and party boats are reporting scores of just under a fish per rod to a fish and a half. The even better news is that the Sonoma coast saw a push of huge fish today as well and these fish will moving into the waters off the Golden Gate in the coming weeks.
On Sunday 7-27 the Emeryville Sportfishing Center had two boats trolling and one mooching. The Salmon Queen and Sundance were trolling and reported a collective 19 salmon to 29 pounds for 14 anglers. Harry on the New Seeker was mooching and reported 6 salmon to 23 pounds for 15 anglers adding a big bonus, a 50 pound white seabass.
The Huck Finn, Superfish and C Gull were rockfishing and then a couple broke away for salmon after limiting on white meat. Their collective score was 61 limits of rockfish, 42 lings to 17 pounds and 13 salmon to 27 pounds.
Rockfishing remained fantastic with Captain James Smith on the California Dawn loading up with 27 limits of rockfish, 24 ling cod, and a salmon before returning to the bay for 17 striped bass. The Happy Hooker, also out of Berkeley, put in 25 limits of rockfish, 14 ling cod to 14-pounds, and a halibut with Larry Nelson of Oakland shaking off his disgrace at the hands of J.P. Gano with the jackpot ling, nudging out Dave Marquardt for the prize.
The salmon fleet was fishing all along the Marin Coast. The salmon currently off the Sonoma coast
(boats are reporting fish all in the 15 to 25 class on average with lots of 30+ in the mix) are hugging the beach and usually when they have this pattern they stay shallow. I would expect that this coming week and into August, Duxbury, Rocky Point, Slide Ranch and the edge of the North Bar will be the top producing areas for Golden Gate anglers. Many readers have been waiting on the side lines for the fish to show.  Now is the time to get off the bench and play!

Regulations for the MLPAs are now in effect from Pt Arena to Pigeon Point. Anglers need to know which areas are affected and the regulations and the boundaries of the different zones. Please use this link and be sure to print a map for these areas to carry with you.

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Party Boat Contacts:
The Emeryville Sportfishing Center is currently booking salmon and potluck trips begin in late April. They have a great promotion that when you take six trips your "lucky" seventh trip is free. This is good on any of their boats. Reservations can be made at 510 654-6040.

The California Dawn / Berkeley 510 773-5511  

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5-day plot - Wind Speed at 46026

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