GOLDEN GATE



SALTY LADY SPORTFISHING
Sausalito

415 674-3474

April 23, 2014    Headlines

Salmon Still More Miss Than Hit

Captain Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady out of Sausalito reported Tuesday 3-22, “Ocean conditions have been slightly less than ideal which is likely a factor in slim salmon reports. The Salty Lady will be going back into the water tomorrow after our repower. Took awhile, but with our new engines we will be adding to these reports soon. Call Capt. Roger Thomas for information and reservations. (415)760-9362.”

There have been reports of stripers rushing the Marin County beaches, and this information was forwarded to us from a Birder’s Digest. The sardines have been reported to be in the 9 to 10-inch range which is a very good sign of life along the coastline.

For several days, there have been large schools of sardines close to shore at least in Bolinas Bay, Bolinas Lagoon, and Drakes Bay. Jeff Miller mentioned the hundreds of BONAPARTE'S GULLS attracted by them near the Fish Docks in Drakes Bay a few days ago.
In recent days, there have been at least dozens of California sea lions, CASPIAN TERNS, and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, large numbers (many hundreds) of BROWN PELICANS and WESTERN GULLS), and at least one adult and one juvenile BALD EAGLE drawn to the action, creating large feeding flocks in Bolinas Bay and, today, in Bolinas Lagoon.
At low tide in Bolinas Lagoon today, Brown Pelicans swarmed the shallow channels, awkwardly using their bills and pouches as dip nets. The pelicans were so thick that the cormorants had trouble maneuvering among them. More dead or still-flopping sardines were on the mud flats than the gulls and terns could eat, though they kept trying. And the sardines I saw were so large (10"-12"?) that even the gulls were having trouble getting outside of them. Or else the gulls were just too full to get another fish down. Periodically, an eagle would swoop in and pluck a fish from the surface and fly off to a perch to eat it.
A great show. An hour later, water covered the flats, and the action was over.
This is an unusual event. In the past 40+ years, I've seen masses of bait fish trapped in the Lagoon maybe once every 10 years at most. I don't think I've ever seen it in Spring -- only July or August. And, for the time, the current event is sardines. The past events have been anchovies.


Most party boats canceled their trips on Saturday 4-19. A combination of breezy weather and fishing holding well offshore many boats either canceled or switched over to chasing halibut and stripers in the Central and North bays. Emeryville Sportfishing had two boats in the bay the Huck Finn and Tigerfish who combined for 20 halibut to 18 pounds and 5 stripers to 8 pounds for 25 anglers.
The recent winds have dropped water temps to 52 degrees outside the Golden Gate. As calm seas return the stage is set for boats to head out and once again locate the salmon. So far the best action since the season opener has been found out by the Islands and this offshore trend looks to continue for the near future. Emeryville Sportfishing has room all this week for both bay and salmon trips.
In other news Roger Thomas on the Salty Lady will be back on the water this week after a complete repowering project that took a bit more time than estimated.


Salmon fishing was slow early in the week after a bit of action was found over the weekend by party boats fishing out at the Soap banks. Emeryville did not have any salmon boats out on Wednesday or Thursday 4-17 due in part to the 15 to 20 knot winds and 10 foot seas along the coast. They are scheduling both bay halibut trips daily and salmon trips Friday and through the weekend. We will have a more complete report once the seas settle down this weekend or early next week.
The Tigerfish ran a halibut trip on Wednesday 4-16 and reported 10 halibut and two stripers to 12 pounds fishing on the Berkeley flats. 

Court puts hold on long term deals for delta water


Golden Gate Salmon Association Backed Science Convinces Feds to Truck Salmon During Drought
In a huge win for salmon, sport & commercial anglers and farmers the Golden Gate Salmon association announced Monday 3-10 that a study that they paid for has convinced the US Fish and Wildlife Service to truck ALL their baby fall run salmon from Coleman hatchery to San Pablo bay. In addition, this science looks to have 100% of all the state hatchery fish from the Feather, American and Mokelumne hatcheries also truck past the problems (pumps) in the Delta and expected low and warm river flows this spring.
Recent studies from 2007 to 2112 have shown that over 94% of Fall run salmon smolts released from Coleman never even make it too San Pablo Bay. In fact over 50% of Coleman released fish never survive the first 50 miles of their down stream migration. The Golden Gate Salmon Association paid for a study that clearly shows that trucking especially during the current drought is the ONLY WAY that we can ensure that there will be enough salmon to a have a salmon season in 2016. The Coleman hatchery was built to mitigate for spawning areas lost due to the building of Shasta dam. However with over 94% of the hatchery fish lost on their down stream migration the Feds were doing little to actually enhance the fishery.
 Without these measures we could see: No ocean sport or commercial salmon season in 2016 and possibly 2017, possible Central Valley river closures and the continued drop in numbers of returning fall run salmon in future years.
With these measures we could see a viable if not huge return of Fall run salmon three years from now. Longer term this could support the goal of a fall run of nearly 1 million fish returning the to the Central Valley rivers.
Please see the Golden Gate Salmon Association news release just below. I encourage all readers to support this incredible origination (read between the lines: get off your ass and write a check, attend a dinner or donate a trip on your party boat or ??? ) that has just done the impossible. Their science based approach to trucking salmon could be the biggest benefit to this fishery in decades and they deserve all of the credit for possibly saving a season when the fishery may have been closed.
Mike Aughney

------------------------------
F
eds Agree with GGSA Call to Truck Millions of Hatchery Salmon
Contingency plans respond to extreme drought condition

California’s largest salmon hatchery may end up trucking its production this year to the Delta or San Francisco Bay for release due to the extreme drought conditions. Ordinarily the Coleman National Fish Hatchery releases its fish each year into the upper Sacramento River near Redding. From there the baby salmon migrate hundreds of miles downstream to the Delta and, under favorable conditions, on to San Francisco Bay and the Pacific.
Coleman is operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and raises approximately 12 million baby salmon annually to help mitigate the impacts of Shasta Dam and federal water operations in the Upper Sacramento River on native salmon stocks. After being presented with overwhelming evidence by the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA –
www.goldengatesalmon.org) , the USFWS has agreed to transport most, if not all, of its 12 million Coleman Hatchery juvenile salmon the bay or western delta unless expected drought conditions change markedly for the better.
The USFWS made the announcement at a meeting of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council in Sacramento. The Service acknowledged the arguments GGSA has methodically advanced since December that the continued drought presents a uniquely hostile situation that threatens the survivability of Central Valley Chinook salmon, including the hatchery salmon. GGSA maintains that low, clear, hot river conditions will likely wipe out the hatchery fish if they were dumped into the river.
“GGSA worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to move these fish rather than dump them into a drought stricken river where they’d most likely perish,” said John McManus, executive director of GGSA. “We’re grateful they heard us out and gave this issue the consideration it needs. What this means is we’ll likely have a much better salmon fishing season in 2016, when these fish reach adulthood, then we would have otherwise gotten. This could mean the difference between a shutdown of the fishery in 2016 and a decent year.”
California’s state-operated hatcheries truck much of their production annually for release in the Delta or Bay and the state took a leading role to truck even more this year due to drought impacts on Central Valley rivers. State and federally raised hatchery fish could make up most of 2016’s salmon harvest and spawning escapement.
USFWS’s plans are contingent on the amount and quality of the water in the Sacramento River when the fish are ready for release in April, May and June. The Service told the PFMC meeting it would take a significant "precipitation event" to reverse the plans to truck their fish. Drought conditions are expected to dominate in the Sacramento River and its tributaries in April, May and June.
“Transporting the baby salmon in tanker trucks and releasing them into the bay or western Delta will give them a fighting chance at reaching the ocean,” said GGSA treasurer Victor Gonella.
In addition to hostile river conditions, baby salmon this year are facing the added risk of being pulled to their deaths through the Delta Cross channel, a manmade canal built to divert water to huge pumps that send it to agriculture. Normally the Cross Channel Gates would be closed to allow salmon passage at this time of year but are now being opened when possible to dilute salt water accumulation in the interior Delta caused by the drought.
“Although the drought is creating extremely hostile conditions this year, many years are low water years and the Fish and Wildlife Service needs to transport salmon whenever low water conditions exist in the future,” said GGSA secretary Dick Pool.
A member of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council reports the Council will be drafting a letter to the USFWS requesting that it consider a similar approach in the future should drought conditions persist or again deteriorate to levels requiring action.
“As more and more fresh water is extracted from the Sacramento River and Delta for delivery to San Joaquin Valley agribusiness, the salmon’s migration corridor downstream and through the Bay-Delta estuary has become a deadly gauntlet,” said GGSA vice chairman Zeke Grader who is also the executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “Add drought and the Central Valley rivers and Delta become virtually impassable for salmon.”
GGSA was joined by member fishing groups in working to get the Coleman fish trucked. Members of Congress including Representatives Jared Huffman, Mike Thompson and John Garamendi, Anna Eshoo, Jackie Speier, George Miller and Mike Honda also supported the efforts.
Currently, California’s salmon industry is valued at $1.4 billion in economic activity annually and about half that much in economic activity 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 fishing men and women, recreational anglers (fresh and salt water), fish processors, marinas, coastal communities, fishing guides, equipment manufacturers, the hotel and food industry, tribes, and the salmon fishing industry at large.
The Golden Gate Salmon Association (www.goldengatesalmon.org) is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fishermen, a Native American tribe, businesses, restaurants, fishing guides, environmentalists, 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 rivers that feed the Bay-Delta ecosystem and the communities that rely on salmon.


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 fishsite@aol.com and we will gladly post your group's information on our reports pages.

California Waterfowl Dinners and Youth Events Calendar

Golden Gate Salmon Association

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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

5-day plot - Wave Height at 46026

 

 

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