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March 29, 2015    Headlines

Crab Counts Dropping Off
Supporting Salmon!

Mother Nature is setting her dinner table ahead of this Saturday's salmon opener on April 4th. After a month of mostly lightwinds the fans have been turned on and water temps are dropping. We should see colder water temps in the days head which is Good NEWS!.
He are Sunday 3-29 we are seeing 13 knots of NW wind and water temps of 53.5 degrees at the SF buoy. Water temps were 56.5 degrees last Tuesday and will continue to drop all this week. These NW winds will upwell cold nutrient rich waters along the continental shelf. As these cold waters rise to the surface plankton develops (usually within a week) and in turn we see that brown water that is the beginning of the entire food chain. Soon krill start to grow and then everything from anchovies to salmon to whales converge to feast at Ma Nature's table.
The current forecast calls for NW winds of 15 to 25 knots through Tuesday, increasing to 25 to 35+ late Tuesday into Wednesday and dropping slightly on Thursday and Friday.
IF the weather allows we expect the salmon fleet to be spread out from the Islands to the Deep Reef along the 50 fathom curve. Resent reports coming from Jared Davis on the Salty Lady is that there has been some heavy concentrations of anchovies off of Mussel Rock to the SF Pilot station in 20 to 30 fathoms but that report is a couple of weeks old.
Our sponsors the Emeryville Sportfishing Center has eight boats available and the Salty Lady in Sausalito both have room for the salmon opener.
Jim Smith on the Happy Hooker and James on the Cal Dawn are currently targeting halibut and bass in the bays but will be offering rockfish, salmon and potluck trips in the weeks ahead.    
The rockfish season opens April 15th.
The biggest changes for rockfish are that the ling limit has been raised to three fish. The rockfish bag limit remains at 10 of which only 5 may be blacks.  Time to bone up on your fish ID skills as wardens will be enforcing these new limits.

Recreational Ocean Salmon Season to Open South of Horse Mountain on April 4
California's recreational salmon season will open in ocean waters on Saturday, April 4, 2015, from Horse Mountain (40 05' 00" N. latitude) south to the U.S.-Mexico border.The daily bag limit is two Chinook salmon per day and no more than two daily bag limits may be possessed when on land. On a vessel in ocean waters, no person shall possess or bring ashore more than one daily bag limit.

Between Horse Mountain and Point Arena (38 57' 30" N. latitude), the minimum size limit is 20 inches total length. For areas south of Point Arena, the minimum size limit is 24 inches total length.

For anglers fishing north of Point Conception (34 27' 00" N. latitude), no more than two single-point, single-shank barbless hooks shall be used, and no more than one rod shall be used per angler when fishing for salmon or fishing from a boat with salmon on board. In addition, barbless circle hooks are required when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling.

Additional ocean salmon fishing regulations for the 2015 fishing season will be decided next month by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) during its April 11-16 meeting in Rohnert Park, and by the Fish and Game Commission at its April 17 teleconference. Final sport regulations will be published in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) 2015 Supplemental Fishing Regulations booklet, which will be posted online in May.

 hree alternatives are currently being considered for California's 2015 commercial and recreational ocean salmon regulations, including season dates, size limits, bag limits and quotas. The public is encouraged to comment on any of the proposed alternatives, which can be found at the PFMC website.

CDFW reminds anglers that retention of coho salmon is prohibited in all ocean fisheries. For complete ocean salmon regulations in effect during April, please visit CDFW's ocean salmon web page or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429. 

2014 Salmon Returns Released
Initial numbers looks cautiously hopeful for 2015 season.

 San Francisco  --  The Pacific Fisheries Management Council reports that about 212,000 adult salmon returned to spawn in the Sacramento River and its tributaries in 2014.  About 10,000 adults returned to the San Joaquin, Mokelumne, Consumnes and other Central Valley rivers.
The 2014 adult salmon return, or escapement, exceeds the minimum goal set by fishery managers of 122,000 to 180,000 fish. 
In addition, another 25,359 two year olds, commonly called jacks also returned to the Sacramento basin.  These sub-adults (think teen agers) are capable of spawning (like teenagers).  Only a relatively small percentage of jacks come in from the ocean, with the rest staying out at sea one more year. The number of returning jacks is multiplied to calculate the expected number of three year old adult fish out in the ocean.  The 2014 jack count is about 25 percent higher than the 2013 jack count.  Although the multiplier that’s applied changes slightly from year to year, a layman’s analysis suggests there could be about 25 percent more three year olds are in the ocean now than the 600,000 estimated at this time last year. This suggests there could be close to 800,000 adult salmon forecast for 2015.
The official 2015 forecast will be announced by state officials at a meeting February 26 in Santa Rosa.   This number will be used by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council to propose times and areas where ocean salmon fishing will be allowed off the California coast.  The Council will finalize setting the 2015 season by April.  As of now, the sport salmon season is set to open on Saturday April 4 off the California coast south of Horse Mountain, near Shelter Cove in southern Humboldt County.
Things look relatively good on the Klamath River.  There, fishery managers were shooting for a minimum escapement of 40,700 natural adult spawners.  Instead they ended up with more than twice that at 95,330. Another 31,000 adult salmon returned to the hatchery. 
Although we now know that federally protected winter run largely failed to reproduce in the wild in 2014 due to elevated river temperatures, fishing restrictions to further protect them likely won’t kick in until next year when they’re big enough to bite a bait. 

A lot more information will be available at the February 26 informational meeting in Santa Rosa. 
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.
John McManus
Executive Director
Golden Gate Salmon Association

Salmon Tease
While we are all waiting on the salmon opener, here is a great video from this past summer posted up by Pautzke Bait fishing with Gary Blasi. Gary with Full Throttle sportfishing has been brining all of his tray bait with the Pautzke's Fire Brine. In the video Gary shares a few secrets on how he brines his baits and rigs his terminal gear.
Warning: this video will cause salmon fever. Salmon fishing out of Eureka with Gary Blasi

Alaska Vacation
For readers looking for an Alaska adventure we still have a few weeks available at our Kenai peninsula vacation cabin in 2015
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 trips. With our centrally based location your options are unlimited.
For all our guest's we include a three hour tutorial (at our Sebastopol home) covering tackle, tactics, and everything between. We can also hook you up with our network of 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 $1500 per week (Sunday to Sunday). Additional info and pictures can be found here.
If you have any questions please give us a call at 707 479-0992

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.

Upcoming Events:
USAFishing proudly supports the many fishery and wildlife organizations that benefit anglers and hunters throughout Northern California. Does your organization have an upcoming event? Contact us at and we will gladly post your group's information on our reports pages.

Golden Gate Salmon Association

Golden Gate Fishermen's Association

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

5-day plot - Wave Height at 46026



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