New Captain Pete Sportfishing

(650) 726-6224

August 18, 2014    Headlines

Salmon Bite Off Marin Coast
Local Rockfish and Lings Best Bet

Half Moon Bay:
On Sunday 8-17 Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete reported private boaters are mooching for salmon just outside of the harbor for a mixed grade of fish. One boat set off of Boson’s whistle every time they landed a fish, and they put in 4 limits of salmon, limits of rockfish, and 6 ling cod outside of the harbor. The salmon are on the surface, and there is a mixed grade including a number of 24-inch fat jacks. The kayak fishermen are also getting in on the action since the salmon are so near the harbor. Salmon have also been taken below the harbor near Martin’s Beach. Baxter is leaving at 5:30 a.m. on Monday morning for a try for white sea bass at ‘gray light.’ He said “The key is going out early and finding the squid piles, and the sea bass should be around for a brief bite window.” The sea bass have been taken both above and below the harbor, and his son Braden was on a private boat with two big white sea bass this week. Halibut fishing has been good along the beaches from the Ritz Carlton to the top of Martin’s Beach.

Captain Dennis Baxter of the New Captain Pete reported limits of salmon on his last five consecutive trips with his daughter Jenna putting in her first-ever limit on Monday afternoon. He has been finding the salmon right out in front of the harbor between the jaws and the Green Buoy within 300 yards of the entrance. He said, “The action has been slower on Wednesday 8-13 afternoon with four fish in the box after posting quick limits several days in a row.” They are trolling because the king fish are thick, and they will suck up any mooched bait while the squid are thick to the south and will chomp a hole in the mooched baits. Baxter added, “If you can find a location without king fish or squid, you can mooch as we put in three limits mooching the other day.” The action was much better earlier in the day with Tom on the Sera Bella reporting 16 hookups. Baxter is running open load salmon trips on Thursday and Friday with light loads at the present time departing at 6:00 a.m. from the Pillar Point Harbor.

The tuna are beginning to show waaaaaaayyyyyyy offshore and Tom Joseph on the FishOn should be given extra credit for finding the first "confirmed" fish of the season. There have been many rumors over the past week or so of fish caught and "my buddy said" but we haven't been able to confirm a single one until today, Monday 8-12. Tom ran with two other boats out of Half Moon Bay. The others stopped on a break outside the Guide but Tom kept going and going like the Energizer Bunny. Tom said that the water temps at the Gum Drop were good but the water color was green and dirty and temps at 63 were too warm. He went through a "river" of cold water where temps dropped briefly to 54 degrees and then they hit another break where it jumped to 58 degrees and then a mile later to 60 degrees. It was there (37.35 and 124.25 or 105 miles from Half Moon Bay) they found the fish. They landed  six with a 35 pound average including two that went 42 and 44 pounds. Huge, make that incredibly big albacore for this early in the season. Tom said the two other boats worked outside the Gumdrop with one boat hooked 16 and landed 6 and the other landed 12. Tom burned 104 gallons of fuel and returned with just 12 gallons to spare. There has been some great reports of bluefin off southern Cal and albacore off Central Oregon and hopefully both meet in the middle off out coastal waters in the coming weeks. Tom will be running daily weather permitting through October. He is currently based out of Half Moon Bay but could return to Santa Cruz depending on where the best action is found. 408 348-4866


Putting some myths about California’s drought to rest
By Jay Lund, Jeffrey Mount and Ellen Hanak

As the effects of the drought worsen, two persistent water myths are complicating the search for solutions. One is that environmental regulation is causing California’s water scarcity. The other is that conservation alone can bring us into balance. Each myth has different advocates. But both hinder the development of effective policies to manage one of the state’s most important natural resources.

Let’s consider the first myth, that water shortages for farms are the result of too much water being left in streams for fish and wildlife. Claims are circulating that California’s farms have lost 4 million acre-feet annually because of environmental policies, and some have even suggested that the severe, long-term declines in groundwater levels in the San Joaquin Valley are a result of environmental cutbacks.

Since the early 1990s, efforts to improve environmental conditions have indeed reduced water supply reliability, particularly for San Joaquin Valley farmers who rely on exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. But blaming these efforts for today’s critical supply issues vastly overstates the role of environmental regulations.

By our calculations, restrictions on Delta exports, coupled with new restrictions on flows on the San Joaquin River, have cost San Joaquin Valley farmers no more than 1.5 million acre-feet per year in reduced water deliveries – a sizable amount, but far less than 4 million acre-feet. During the current drought emergency, environmental restrictions have been significantly relaxed to make more water available for farms and cities, with most of the remaining Delta outflows dedicated to keeping water in the Delta fresh enough for local farmers.

And while reduced surface water has likely accelerated groundwater overdraft in the Valley – especially since new Delta pumping restrictions in the late 2000s – the notion that environmental restrictions are the origin of overdraft is unfounded.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, farmers in the Valley have been mining groundwater at an average annual rate of 1.5 million acre-feet per year since long before Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act in 1972. Nothing seems to change this overall pattern, including construction of the State Water Project. Water demand in the San Joaquin Valley simply exceeds available supply. What’s more, the Valley’s water demands are likely increasing with the shift to permanent orchards and vineyards – now more than 40 percent of total irrigated farm acreage.

What about the second myth? Can conservation really create abundant “new”water? Of course, new technology and changing water use habits have yielded long-term declines in per capita water consumption in California, and this drought is likely to spur more reductions. New irrigation techniques and better crop varieties, along with rising commodity prices, have helped California’s agricultural industry steadily increase production and profits. Farmers have become more economically efficient in using their water.

Some claim that potential dramatic yields of more than 10 million acre-feet of new water – equivalent to 10 full Folsom Reservoirs – can be had from conservation measures that draw half from agricultural and half from urban users. But this is just not credible.

In fact, conservation does not always yield new water, because the water saved is often not wasted in the first place – it is already reused. This is especially true in agriculture.

Irrigation water that is not consumed by crops flows back into rivers or seeps into groundwater basins. Indeed, the single largest source of groundwater recharge in the Central Valley is irrigation. Studies from around the world consistently show that increased irrigation efficiency often does not decrease net water use. Indeed, these technologies often encourage farmers to plant more crops, worsening long-term declines in groundwater availability. The only way to generate reductions in water use on the scale imagined is to fallow several million acres of farmland.

In the urban environment, steady reductions in per capita water use since the early 1990s have allowed total urban use to remain steady at about 8.5 million acre-feet annually, despite the addition of 7 million new residents. Further savings – especially from more drought-tolerant landscapes – will be needed. But because about a third of urban water already gets reused – it also returns to rivers or groundwater basins – it’s simply not possible to achieve the level of new water that some have imagined.

The reality is that conservation is a valuable and necessary part of a portfolio of approaches to water supply management, but it will not produce vast quantities of new water for California.

As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Californians need to make continued progress in managing our scarce water resources to get through this drought – and future droughts – while protecting the state’s economy, society and environment. This requires a common understanding of the causes of water scarcity, and practical, reasoned solutions – not blame games and wishful thinking.

Jay Lund is director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis and an adjunct fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. Jeffrey Mount and Ellen Hanak are senior fellows at PPIC.

Regulations for the MLPAs are 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.

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