415 674-3474

October 31, 2014    Headlines

Salmon Bite Remains Steady
Rockfish and Lings on Marin Coast

Although there are still a few salmon to be had, crab combination trips will dominate the party boat scene through the weekend. The New Huck Finn out of Emeryville Sport Fishing went to the Farallons on Wednesday 10-29 for 21 limits of rockfish and 21 limits of ling cod to 17-pounds. Emeryville actually has a few spots opened up on a crab combination trip on Sunday.
Captain Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker was loading crab gear on the boat on Thursday afternoon, and he said, “We will be going out over the weekend, but Saturday will be big boat weather.” He is filled for both Saturday and Sunday, but there will be open load trips on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the following week with plenty of room.

There are still salmon out there as the season is within two weeks of closing with one Sausalito boat returning with 12 big salmon ranging from 16 to 31-pounds for 8 fishermen off of the Marin coast on Tuesday 10-28. The Tiger Fish out of Emeryville also went trolling along the Marin coastline for 7 salmon to 24-pounds for 10 anglers. The Emeryville boats are sold out on their crab combination trips for the first three weekends of the season, but they are taking salmon trolling trips on Thursday and Friday with rockfish trips from Wednesday through Saturday. We are seeing nice conditions with 10 knots of winds at most of the Bay Area weather buoys over a lazy 4 foot swell.
EVERYONE however is looking forward to this Saturday's November 1st crab opener. This is by far the most anticipated opener of the year. While ports like Monterey may see more interest on the salmon opener there is no other fishery that brings 100s of private boaters out and fills party boats to capacity in every harbor than the Dungeness crab opener.
Private boaters will turn out by the 100s in the ports of Bodega Bay, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz and Moss Landing. Party boats from these ports and the Golden Gate, six packs in Eureka are also booked for the opener with room the following few weeks.
We expect the crabbing to be "average" out of most Bay Area ports with limit action found by knowledgeable anglers. Average being 8 to 12 crabs per pot for party boats on a one day soak and private boaters fishing "good bottom". Private boaters can expect long launch lines at Bodega, Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay with a bit less pressure for those making the run out the Golden Gate and Moss Landing and Eureka.
For the Sonoma coast the forecast calls for lumpy weather of an 8 to 10 foot swell with 10 to 20 knots of NW wind on Saturday 11-1.  Be safe, respect other angler's gear (don't be a thief) and enjoy these first few weeks of the season.  The commercial season is scheduled to open on November 15th.   

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Jerry Brown Reveals True Intent of Proposition One

Sacramento, CA - After months of misrepresenting the true purpose of Proposition 1, Governor Jerry Brown inadvertently undermined his own message at a recent Stanford water conference. He claimed the measure would provide components missing from the State Water Project “enacted by my father.” These components, Brown ominously intoned, would “deal with the Delta.”
Jerry Brown had attempted to “deal with the Delta” once before. That was during his first tenure as governor in the 1980s, when he tried to push through the Peripheral Canal, a fiscally irresponsible and environmentally destructive trans-Delta water conveyance scheme that was soundly rejected by voters.
Opponents of Proposition 1 noted that the State Water Project constructed by Governor Pat Brown is nothing to boast about. “It has depleted North State Rivers, degraded the richest estuary on the west coast of the continental United States, encouraged unsustainable corporate agriculture on the toxic soils of the western San Joaquin Valley and provided zero water security for southern California ratepayers,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta and field director for No on Proposition 1. “In concert with the federal Central Valley Project, the State Water Project has brought the Delta to the precipice of ecological collapse. Meanwhile, the State Water Resources Control Board has handed out water rights that promise five times more water than is available in California. Now, the Governor is championing a proposition for dams that will provide minimal water storage at astronomical expense, and destroy what is left of our salmon fisheries. These aren’t legacies he should point to with pride.”
Barrigan-Parrilla noted that Proposition 1 is closely allied to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, a Brown scheme that is a reprise of the Peripheral Canal. The BDCP would authorize the construction of two gigantic trans-Delta tunnels that would devastate the Delta, cost $70 billion or more, and benefit corporate San Joaquin Valley farmers at the expense of citizen ratepayers.
Brown appeared at the Stanford conference – inappropriately titled New Directions for U.S. Water Policy -- with representatives of Paramount Farms, a corporation that cultivates 165,000 acres of orchards in the San Joaquin Valley. Stewart Resnick, a close Brown confidant and Democratic Party fund-raiser, owns Paramount Farms. Resnick has made hundreds of millions of dollars exporting nut crops to China. He has used his wealth to great advantage, influencing state water policy through generous political contributions, including to Brown’s campaigns.“Brown’s master plan for California water is simple,” says Barrigan-Parrilla. “First, it’s about taking care of special corporate interests like Paramount Farms. Then it’s about sticking taxpayers with the bill. It benefits the governor’s cronies, but it certainly does nothing to secure the water security of average Californians.”
Barrigan-Parrilla noted that voters must recognize the linkage between Proposition 1 and the BDCP, and reject both. “Voters should not be fooled.  Proponents of Prop 1 may say the water bond is separate from building the twin Delta tunnels, which will devastate fisheries, family farms, and the five county Delta region.  But the Governor does not see them as separate,” she observed. “Gov. Brown’s poor choices in water leadership through three terms have not protected Californians during this drought, and they will only assure future water crises. Prop. 1 mainly offers more infrastructure projects that will be bone dry during future droughts.”

The fog was very thick on Sunday 10-19, and it didn’t clear until late in the morning. Rockfishing picked up after the passing of the big swell, and Captain Chris Smith took the California Dawn up the Marin coast for 20 limits of both rockfish and ling cod by 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Captain James Smith said, “Saturday was a different story as we had to scratch for 22 limits of rockfish and 14 ling cod, but the swell backed off, and the fish were back on the bite.” They are filled for the first three weekends of the crab combination seasons, but there is plenty of room during the week.
Papa Jim Smith of the Happy Hooker went out with a load of 18 anglers on Saturday for limits of rockfish and 13 ling cod to 12-pounds, also along the Marin coastline. Smith is starting to fill up on the weekends for crab combinations, and the opening day is filled.
The New Huck Finn out of Emeryville Sport Fishing went to the Farallon Islands on Sunday for 17 limits of rockfish and 23 lings to 23-pounds on a charter, and they ended the day with a salmon on the troll on the way back home. The Islands are starting to get more attention for the first time this season, and the Sea Wolf out of Emeryville returned with 25 limits of vermilions, coppers and yellowtails, a 10-pound cabezon, a wolf eel, and 41 lingcod to 16 pounds.
Salmon fishing improved on Sunday with the diminished swell, and the Lovely Martha out of San Francisco returned with 17 salmon to 34-pounds for 26 anglers.
The Tiger Fish out of Emeryville returned with 7 salmon to 24-pounds for 7 anglers, also along the Marin coastline.  The Sausalito fleet combined for 17 salmon to 37-pounds for 37 anglers on Sunday on two boats after posting 32 salmon to 24-pounds for 40 anglers on Sunday.  Private boaters are reported plenty of bird life in the shipping channels with some boats returning with limits using Pro Troll E-lures.

Out of Emeryville Sport Fishing, Craig Stone said, “We will have the New Huck Finn, New Seeker, New Salmon Queen, and Sea Wolf running crab combination trips, and all boats are already filled for the opening three weekends of the season starting on November 1st.”
From Berkeley the Cal Dawn and the Happy Hooker have very limited space the fist week of the crab season and more spots open weekdays the second wee. Weekend spots on all boats are booking well in advance.


USAFishing Readers
You're probably aware that we are looking at a desperate situation for spawning fall run king salmon in the Sacramento Valley this year. River temperatures are too hot to support successful spawning. Instead of the needed 56 degree water, temperatures throughout the spawning zone are bumping up against a minimum of 58 degrees, and rising. No relief is in sight until probably December, but by then, spawning will be done. That's why GGSA has taken the initiative to push for emergency intervention to keep our salmon fishery alive. Doing nothing likely means we could be shutdown in 2017 with very few salmon in the ocean.
Check out the attached article. As of this morning, neither the state nor federal fish agencies have committed to intervening to save the fall run salmon but we're hoping to get a positive response from them by the end of this week.
All of this reminds us that we can no longer presume our salmon fishery will always be there for us. The water pie isn't big enough for all the varied interests that want a piece anymore. On top of that the river and tribs have been damaged by development. Add drought and we have disaster. Salmon interests have to work harder than ever before to keep the salmon fishery vital and GGSA is doing this work. That's why you saw GGSA successfully advocate that juvenile hatchery salmon be trucked to safe release sites last spring when low river conditions meant few if any would survive the downstream migration. GGSA is at it again and doing our best to represent the interests of our member organizations which all want healthy salmon runs.
Open the attached pdf to see the graphic that accompanied the story below in today's Redding Record Searchlight.
GGSA needs your help and support to keep this work going. Come to one of the dinners, sign up online at to become a member or consider increasing your level of support to Heritage member. Or just send in a donation. We're working to insure we've got abundant stocks of salmon in the ocean and returning to our rivers next year and in the years to come. Thanks.

John McManus
Executive Director
Golden Gate Salmon Association

Navigating the drought
Redding Record Searchlight (CA)
- Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Author: Damon Arthur 530-225-8226

The statewide drought has federal and state officials considering a process never before tried in California to save fall-run salmon eggs from being killed by warm water in the Sacramento River.
The process to save Chinook salmon eggs, called egg injection, may be needed if water temperatures in the river increase next month, said Kevin Shaffer, a fisheries branch program manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“It’s something we haven’t done in California. We’ve talked about it for a long time,” Shaffer said.
But with the drought leaving the Sacramento River and streams across the state at all-time low levels, state and federal officials, as well as fishing groups have been meeting to talk about doing it as early as next month. “This is something that is so unique because of how bad the conditions are,” Shaffer said.
Shaffer said whether they do egg injection depends on water temperatures in the river. Officials would need to decide by later this month or early October whether to do egg injection, he said.
John McManus with the Golden Gate Salmon Association said if the water temperature in the river gets too warm, the salmon eggs die, reducing the numbers of salmon returning to the river to spawn in the future. “Drought is threatening to destroy an entire year class of the Central Valley wild fall-run salmon,” said McManus said in a statement. “If we let that happen, the ocean will be empty of salmon in a few years. In addition, we stand to lose valuable genetics evolved over thousands of years. This is preventable if we act now.”
Tod Jones, who owns the Redd Zone in Astoria, Oregon, said he developed the egg injection process in the early 1980s and used it in southeast Alaska. He said officials could use eggs from Coleman National Fish Hatchery, where they would be fertilized and stored until they develop enough to put into the gravel on the Sacramento River.
The eggs would be placed in the river gravel when the water level is higher and the temperatures are cooler.
The temperature control device on the back of Shasta Dam is supposed to force water releases into the river from the lower and cooler parts of the lake. But the lake level is getting so low that the device “is on the verge” of being ineffective, said Brian Person, area manager for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the dam.
While the lake is very low, it has not reached the record low level set in 1977, Person said. That year, the lake was 234 feet from the dam crest, he said. As of Monday, the dam was 162 feet from the crest.
McManus said the drought has been particularly hard on the Chinook salmon over the past year. Each year hundreds of thousands of salmon return from the ocean to spawn in the river and at Coleman National Fish Hatchery.
The association said the salmon are important part of California’s economy, supporting hundreds of jobs and contributing about $1.4 billion to the state’s economy annually.
“Without human intervention, the drought, which has been greatly exacerbated by human mismanagement of scarce water supplies, threatens to annihilate salmon eggs laid by this year’s adult salmon,” association Chairman Roger Thomas said. “We need to act now to avoid a salmon catastrophe which could lead no salmon fishing in the future.”
An estimated 20 to 40 percent of the eggs in the Sacramento River were killed in fall 2013 when the river level dropped, leaving the salmon nests above water level.
And last winter and spring, officials trucked millions of baby salmon to the San Joaquin Delta rather than let them swim on their own. The river level was so low they were concerned that too many of the young fish would be killed by predators.

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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