Captain Tom Joseph 408 348-4866

New Captain Pete Sportfishing

(650) 726-6224

October 21, 2016    Headlines

  Salmon Pick
 Easy Rockfish and Good Ling Counts

 Half Moon Bay
Captain Tom Joseph was out after bluefin on Thursday 10-20. Fishing off Santa Cruz from 12 to 18 miles out he was marking scattered bluefin in singles and pairs outside the outer Canyon edges. Working his usual setup of two down riggers with stacked leaders at 50 to 150 feet with slow trolled mackerel or sardines on long leaders. Tom said the water looked great with scattered surface bait and single and small groups of bluefin marking on the meter over a wide area. They had one hookup and Marvin Chow from Prunedale landed a first on Tom's boat a 75 pound Opah. Tom said the bite was fast and hard like a bluefin but after he saw color knew they were into something special. The forecast calls for good weather on Sunday and Tom will be running again for BF. He needs another couple of anglers to join the one on the books to be able to make the trip out of Santa Cruz

Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete was going to spend a little time trolling between the buoys with his son, Braden, on Thursday afternoon. He said, “The salmon action both in the harbor and outside of the harbor has been slow, but this can change any day. The interest inside the harbor has waned within the past week. The best area for big salmon has been up north at Mussel Rock.” Baxter is running rockfish trips until the commercial Dungeness crab opener, leaving Captain Tom Mattusch on the Huli Cat as the only large boat running crab/rockfish combination trips starting November 5th

Rockfish remain the top story out of Pillar Point in advance of the upcoming Dungeness crab season opening on November 5th. The recreational crab opener out of Half Moon Bay has become one of the highlights of the entire year with private boaters arriving from throughout northern California to camp, congregate, and prepare for some massive crab boils.
The salmon bite outside of the harbor has slowed considerably over the past two weeks with few boats trolling between the buoys, but the harbor is loaded with shore fishermen tossing Mad River pink worms on a floatie or tossing heavy spinners.
Second captain Michael Cabanas of the Huli Cat has been conducting rockfish/ling cod trips south of the harbor, and in addition to consistent limits of rockfish and a healthy ling cod count, a surprise bonus halibut makes a showing on occasion. During the past week on the Huli Cat, John Yang of San Mateo dropped down a swimbait on the first stop of the day, and he was rewarded with a 22-pound halibut. The Huli Cat is taking Dungeness crab/rockfish combination trips starting with the crab opener on November 5th. They are filled for the opening weekend, but there is room during the weekdays and on subsequent weekends.
A few boats are still optimistically making the long run in search of albacore, but so far, the longfins have yet to make a showing. One private boat ran out to the Guide Seamount and trolled southwest of the seamount for a good bird show from a flock working the surface, but there were no albacore hooked despite seeing at least one jumper. High winds hit the coast on Friday 10-14 and the outlook calls for wet and windy weather through the weekend.
The recreational rock crab season is currently closed north of Pigeon Point in San Mateo County due to high levels of domoic acid.

Editorial to Following Story
The California Department Fish and Wildlife hatchery on the Feather river is planning on releasing their final stock of 1 million into the Feather river instead of trucking them around the river and Delta pumps to the Suisun Bay.
The Federal hatchery on Battle creek released 4 plus million salmon fry this past week and will dumping an additional 1.9 million fall run fish into Battle Creek this coming Friday.
The Golden Gate Salmon Association is opposed to these releases due to the current lower flows and clear water. With high numbers of spawning stripers and low / clear flows most of these fish will never make it as far as Sacramento. Past studies have shown that 94% of hatchery salmon released on the upper Sac never make it to San Pablo bay in these conditions.
GGSA is asking both the Feds and the State to either truck the salmon from the Feather river and release a "pulse" flow for 3 to 5 days to speed the Battle Creek salmon down river and to color the flows. This would allow out migrating baby salmon to quickly travel down river and predation losses would be much lower in the turbid flows.
Under similar circumstances in 1985 USFW and Coleman worked with water contractors to add pulse flows to Sac river while curtailing water diversions for a few days as the salmon swan past. The result was that in 1988 we saw one of the best sport and commercial seasons on record and huge returns of spawning salmon to the Central Valley rivers. Its amazing what can happen when both fishery managers and water contractors work together.
Somehow this lesson has not been passed on to current fishery and water (mis) managers.
The following is GGSA's press release from today opposing in-river releases until more natural spring like conditions are met and to have the Feather river fish trucked around the predators and Delta water diversions.
Mike Aughney

State Decision to Dump Salmon Opposed by Salmon Fishermen
Reversal of highly successful trucking program means fewer salmon will survive

San Francisco -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is abandoning a highly successful program that greatly increases salmon survival and is instead dumping valuable Feather River hatchery baby fall run salmon into a predator laden waterway starting Monday, April 25.  Most will die. The Golden Gate Salmon Association opposes the move and calls on CDFW to instead restore transport of these baby salmon via tanker trucks to safe release sites downstream of the danger zone.  Releasing baby salmon at safe sites in the western Delta and Bay greatly increases their survival and has kept the ocean fishery for both sport and commercial fishermen alive.  This practice has proven especially critical during the drought.  Without it, there almost certainly would not have been enough salmon to continue fishing.
In 2015, Feather River hatchery fish made up 76 percent of the hatchery fish taken by commercial salmon fishermen and 63 percent of those taken by sport fishermen.  

“Just last month at a salmon information meeting CDFW presented evidence that trucked Feather River fish were the major contributor to salmon caught by sport and commercial fishermen in the 2015 ocean fishing season,” said GGSA chairman Roger Thomas.  Thomas is also president of the Golden Gate Fishermen’s Association which represents charter boat owners and he holds a seat on the Salmon Stamp Committee.  “We can’t understand why they now want to take these fish away from us when we need them badly to stay in business.” 
“The Feather River provides the greatest single contribution of hatchery fish to ocean fisheries even though it is not the largest hatchery operation. The reason is that these fish are trucked past man-made hazards that decimate fish released upstream. Abandoning trucking, even in part, will hurt fishermen, related businesses, and consumers,” said GGSA board member Marc Gorelnik.  Gorelnik is also chairman of the Coastside Fishing Club.  
“If the state insists on dumping these fish into very dangerous waters where they’ll be lost,  then the state should also release water from Lake Oroville to speed these baby salmon down the Feather River past the danger zone so at least some survive,” said GGSA board member Mike Aughney.  Aughney is also the owner of USAfishing.com website. “Before the dams were built, high snow melt runoff would keep the rivers turbid and rapid in the spring. These are conditions baby salmon need to safely move from the Central Valley to the Bay and ocean.  Now with the dams, the rivers have less natural flow and sediment mixing and predation of baby salmon is much higher. There is plenty of water and snow now to allow for three or four days of water releases needed to help these baby salmon survive.”
In recent weeks fishing guides have documented high concentrations of predatory fish in the Feather and Sacramento rivers.  CDFW is reversing its proactive trucking practice because of theoretical concerns related to hatchery born salmon degrading the genetic purity of Central Valley fall run salmon and concern that trucked fish will lack the knowledge to keep them from straying into neighboring streams when they return from the ocean in two years.
Salmon fishermen puzzle over the stated attempt to establish a genetic distinction between Central Valley fall run salmon bred in hatcheries and other Central Valley fall run salmon that largely share identical genetics.  Hatcheries have functioned in the Central Valley for over 100 years and in that time hatchery born salmon have returned as adults and recolonized virtually every Central Valley stream and river that will still support salmon. 
“Study after study demonstrates there’s no such thing as a master race of Central Valley fall run salmon.  All Central Valley fall run salmon show interbreeding with hatchery stocks going back over 100 years,” said GGSA board member Dick Pool.
Once one of California’s greatest salmon producing rivers, the Feather was largely destroyed by construction of the Oroville dam.   State engineers refused to put a fish ladder on the dam when it was built, thus denying the salmon access to hundreds of miles of their historic spawning habitat now lost above the dam.  Adding insult to injury, they diverted most of the Feather River downstream of the dam into a man-made, shallow pond called the Thermalito Afterbay.  Here the water warms to temperatures lethal to salmon spawning and then flows back into the river.  This largely destroys another 15 to 20 miles of otherwise good salmon habitat downstream and forces returning adult salmon to veer into the colder Yuba River to spawn. 
The state should first fix the thermal pollution destroying the Feather River caused by the Thermalito Afterbay.  Then maybe we can talk about how to address the straying of Feather River fish into colder nearby rivers,” said GGSA executive director John McManus.
“We call on CDFW to truck the rest of this year’s Feather River fall run and resume a dialogue with key stakeholders on the future of trucking and hatchery management actions,” said GGSA founder Victor Gonella.  “Our future is being decided by theorists who are out of touch with the families that rely on these salmon to make a living.”
Earlier this year fishermen watched as state officials dumped federally protected hatchery spring run salmon into the Feather River upstream of a known predator hot spot rather than truck them a few miles further downstream to a point below the predator concentration. Most were probably lost.
“There’s disagreement over whose fish these are,” said GGSA board member Tim Sloane.  Sloane is also executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, a group representing commercial fishermen.  “The state is simply a custodian for these salmon, which belong to all Californians, but whose numbers are dwindling because dams and other development are blocking their historic habitat.  If the state chooses to act in a way that reduces the salmon we need to make a living, we think it only fair to be invited to partake in this decision that is so fundamental to our economic survival.”
The Golden Gate Salmon Association (www.goldengatesalmon.org ) is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fisherman, businesses, restaurants, a native tribe, 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 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.

In a normal year, California’s salmon industry produces about $1.4 billion in economic activity 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.


Upcoming Events:
USAFishing 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.

Golden Gate Salmon Association Events Calendar

Party Boat Contacts:

New Captain Pete Sportfishing with captain Dennis Baxter is now taking reservations for charters (650) 726-6224

Great Links: 
Fishermen, check out DF&Gs easy-to-use California Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations Map. Simply click the marine location where you plan to fish, and you will access a list of Sport Fishing Regulations for that area.

Caught Fish? Looking for timely informative updates? Check out a FREE trial to the Northern California Hotsheet California's fastest growing fishing newsletter. The Hotsheet is emailed three to four evenings per week direct to your desktop. No hunting the web for information or waiting on an outdated magazine to arrive in the mail. These in-depth reports keep you on top of what is happening TODAY so you can catch more fish tomorrow! Just $3.50 per month when you subscribe for one year. You can receive a free week's trial copy by e-mailing a request to hurleyjacks@aol.com




www usafishing

USAfishing.com Copyright © 2005 All rights reserved