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October 24, 2016    Headlines

 Salmon Bite Picks Up
Rockfish Limits
Crab Season Opens November 5th


Salmon action slowed down considerably during both Saturday and Sunday with the Sausalito boats combining both days for a total of 12 salmon to 27 pounds for 42 fishermen on Sunday 10-23.  The winds ramped up on Saturday to 15 knots, but Sunday’s weather was flat calm up the Marin coastline. However, Monday’s weather is forcing the cancellation of all trips from the Golden Gate party boats out of Sausalito and Emeryville.
Rockfishing remains a solid option, and Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker went to the Farallon Islands with 25 fishermen for limits of rockfish and 12 ling cod. He said, “We had a large group of children on the boat today, and the big rockfish bit, even on the high spots. There was zero drift in the flat calm conditions, but the rockfish bit wide open. Saturday was a much different story, and we stayed along the Marin coastline in the rough conditions with a big swell, settling for limits of rockfish and 9 ling cod.”
Out of Emeryville Sport Fishing, the New Huck Finn, Tigerfish, and Sea Wolf found great ling cod fishing at the Farallons with a combined 728 rockfish along with 101 lings to 15 pounds for 77 fishermen on Sunday.


Just when you think the ocean salmon action was over, the bite rebounds with a vengeance the past two days along the Marin coastline from Duxbury to Double Point. On Tuesday 10-18 Captain Michael Rescino on the Lovely Martha put his passengers onto 11 limits of salmon to 25 pounds, and he is heading out with an open load on Thursday as well as all next week. The New RayAnn out of Sausalito was also out on Tuesday with 20 salmon to 26 pounds for 14 anglers with the majority of the salmon ranging from 15 to 26 pounds. They were also trolling at Duxbury, and the wind came up to 20 knots from the northwest in the afternoon. There are large swells conditions on the North bar, and private boaters need to have the right boat and experience to make their way out of the Gate with the hazardous bar conditions.  The conditions will decrease later in the week.
Captain Roger Thomas of the Salty Lady will be running open load salmon trips on Monday and Tuesday, October 24th and 25th. The ocean salmon season closes at sundown on October 30th.

Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker has room for the first few weeks of the sport Dungeness crab season, and the combination trips are going for $130.00/angler with crab-only trips on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for $90.00. The 10-crab limit has been a big incentive for fishermen to head out on a party boat. Where else can you get several hours on the water and return with a sack of crabs and rockfish far higher in value than the price of a the catch?

All boats were tied up to the docks over the weekend (Saturday 10-15 and Sunday 10-16) with the rough weather outside the Gate, but Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker was able to take a charter out into the bay on Friday for striped bass at Red Rock and the Brothers. He said, “We made a few passes at the Brothers for stripers to 8 pounds, but the fish scattered very quickly just like they had in the Delta earlier in the week. There were stripers boiling all around on the surface at Red Rock, but they were all ‘Mini Me’s’ “ In other words – undersized bass. Keith Fraser of Loch Lomond Bait and Tackle in San Rafael reported no boats launched out of their harbor on Sunday 10-16, but the wind wasn’t too bad.


GGSA has been busy working to bring you more salmon. Here's a thumbnail sketch of what we've been working on lately.

GGSA Efforts Lead to Creation of State Salmon Stakeholders Group
A group of salmon stakeholders led by GGSA held a high level meeting with California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) brass on June 3 to push for input over future releases of hatchery fish.The Salmon Hatchery Release Stakeholders Group will work to develop common sense, in-river release strategies that minimize losses to predation. It will also provide input on decisions affecting bay and coastal net pen releases of hatchery fish. This group will convene again in early November.

 GGSA meets former Interior Secretary to talk twin tunnels
In mid-July, GGSA Executive Director John McManus met with former Clinton White House Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to discuss Governor Brown's twin tunnel project. Babbitt has been brought in by Governor Brown to get his twin peripheral canal/tunnels project back on track. 
McManus shared GGSA's view with Babbitt that current state efforts to determine how much water must flow through the Delta to keep it and salmon alive first need to be concluded. Only then can an informed decision be made as to how much excess water, if any, might be available for export. McManus also told Babbitt that salmon fishermen are skeptical of the state's claims that they can be trusted to restrict flows into the proposed massive tunnels.

Federal Salmon Restoration Fund Selects GGSA Salmon Recovery Projects
Managers of a federal salmon restoration fund have selected several GGSA salmon rebuilding projects for implementation. One is GGSA's call to dim night lights on the rivers during smolt migration. The lit areas are known predator hot spots where baby salmon halt their migration under the lit areas, making them easy targets for predators. A second GGSA project adopted by the managers calls for testing of in-river structures which would allow baby salmon to catch a break from high-velocity flows. These structures would resemble tree root wads, and would provide shelter to baby salmon from larger predators. Yet another project, calling for the removal of deep predator-filled scour holes under levee breaches, is slated for work.

GGSA Safeguards 2016 Spawning Flows
GGSA has been working to make sure Sacramento River salmon (winter and fall run) get the cold water needed to spawn this year (unlike the last two years). We are now cautiously optimistic the threat to winter and fall run spawners this year is under control after GGSA spent most of May and June working with federal water and fish officials to ensure the needs of salmon were taken into account.

Action continues against federal bills that authorizes more Delta diversions
GGSA can't catch a break from this year's battle to stop bad federal bills that would hand over what little salmon water exists to water users south of the Delta. We won't know the outcome until Congress wraps up for the year after the elections. Even then, we're likely to only get a temporary break before we have to face similar threats again in the next Congress. 

GGSA Leads Effort to Get Bond Money Directed to Salmon Restoration
In the state legislature, there's a move afoot to put a bond on the November ballot that would make money available mostly for urban parks, climate change adaptation projects, wildlife habitat and possibly salmon habitat restoration. GGSA is working to get fall run salmon habitat restoration projects qualified for some of the bond money. The bond measure has passed the state Assembly and is now at the Senate. If it is approved there, it will go before the voters throughout the state on the November ballot. Stay tuned.

GGSA Board Member Marc Gorelnik Picked to Serve on Pacific Fisheries Management Council
GGSA board member and founder of the Coastside Fishing Club Half Moon Bay net pen project, Marc Gorelnik, has been named to be a member of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council. Marc will replace Dan Wolford who served for nine years on this federally sanctioned body that sets seasons and manages our ocean fisheries off California, Oregon and Washington. Congrats to Marc!

GGSA Investigates Salmon Rearing Area Restoration Projects
In addition to enduring the hardships of low river flows and numerous predators bent on eating them, Central Valley baby salmon often don't have the strength and size needed to survive. Many of the natural rearing areas along the river edges where they'd eat and put on weight have been destroyed by dikes, levees, rip rapped banks and the like, although plenty of them could be restored fairly easily.
On the Feather River, GGSA is studying a former floodplain in the Oroville Wildlife Area near the Thermalito Outlet and another at the confluence of the Bear and Feather rivers.  
In the Sacramento, an area near the convergence of Battle Creek and the Sacramento River shows great promise for fish from both the Sacramento River and Battle Creek. 

GGSA works to Strengthen Oroville Dam Biop for Salmon
GGSA is working to get the National Marine Fisheries Service to add tougher requirements that will restore much of the Feather River below Oroville Dam to a strong salmon-friendly river. The NMFS requirements are being finalized as part of the relicensing of Oroville Dam, a once-every-50-years opportunity to improve conditions for salmon.

GGSA Organizes Chefs and Restaurants for Salmon
GGSA has been working with a group of top Bay Area chefs organizing in support of salmon and against Congressional efforts to shift more Delta water south. You'll hear more about this soon. 

Although under gunned, GGSA is fighting back.  You can help us by donating to GGSA - Donate HERE!

John McManus
Executive Director
Golden Gate Salmon Association


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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