September 29, 2016    Headlines

 Solid Rockfish Action
Good Fall Salmon Action

On Thursday 9-29 the weather was flat and foggy and fishing pressure was very light. Rick on the New Sea Angler had a vary light load of diehard bottom anglers on board. They were looking to target quality rockfish and lings so Rick ran south to Point Reyes. They scored easy limits of all bottom fish mostly coppers, reds, browns and vermilions adding 22 lings to 16 pounds. On the salmon front Rick said he was talking and listening in on the local regulars and private boats. There were scatter fish landed from Carmet to Salmon Creek and down to Bird and Elephant Rock. Overall scores were running from 1 to 3 fish per boat with fish to 25+ pounds reported.
Both Rick on the New Sea Angler and Jeff on the Miss Anita are taking reservations for the crab opener on November 5th. These trips will be rockfish / ling / crab combos and it looks like we will see a strong crab opener.

After being tied up with a maintenance issue Jeff on the Miss Anita was back out on Wednesday 9-28. Jeff ran north and put his clients into limits of big blacks, blues, 2 cabs and limits of lings to 14 pounds. With time to spare he broke out the trolling gear and worked south. Jeff said when he ran north in the morning he did not see much "sign". In the afternoon he found lots with bird life, brown water and good bait marks. They trolled from Goat Rock to Salmon Creek and landed the biggest salmon so far this season a fish that tipped the scale at 36 pounds. Jeff said that the ocean conditions looked great and he will be targeting both salmon and rockfish on trips this week.

Rick on the New Sea Angler checked in on Tuesday 9-27. Rick ran south to Pt Reyes and reported solid rockfish and ling action. His 20 anglers landed limits of all quality reds, coppers and browns adding 36 lings to 17 pounds. Rick did not salmon fish today or on Monday but said that private boaters are seeing 0 to 3 fish per boat with the best action being in 120 feet from the River to Carmet.
Private boater reports emailed into us are ranging from 1 to 5 hookups and 0 to 3 fish per boat. Jim D from Cloverdale worked ALL DAY Sunday on a solo trip and lost  a BIG fish, his only hookup of the day.
Dale K. reported two salmon to 10 pounds out of four hooked on Monday fishing off Ten Mile beach in 50 to 80 feet of water. They added 5 rockfish and one ling working reef off Elephant rock but no halibut which they were targeting.

The weather laid down over the weekend and lots of anglers were out off Bodega Bay trying to beat the heat and but some fish in the box. Rick on the New Sea Angler reported solid rockfish action over the weekend. On Saturday 9-24 Rick ran south to Point Reyes and reported 20 limits of mostly big reds, coppers and browns adding 10 lings to 16 pounds. ON Sunday's 9-25 trip Rick also ran south to Point Reyes and again had 18 limits of BIG quality rockfish adding 16 lings to 17 pounds. Rick says that they are seeing cold and clear waters along the beach due to the high winds we saw and middle of the past week. Today he was seeing both browning water and there are big schools of anchovies all over the local waters. Rick will be running salmon / rockfish combos this week.
Jeff on the Miss Anita was off this weekend but will be back out on Tuesday. 

The winds have ramped up the past two days and all boats have canceled their trips. Here on Thursday 9-22 we are seeing west to NW winds of 25 knots over a 6 to 7 foot swell. The forecast calls for better conditions over the weekend. Rick on the New Sea Angler has very light loads scheduled this weekend and next week. He plans on targeting both salmon and rockfish over the next few days. Jeff on Miss Anita canceled the past two days and due to the weather forecast Friday.
We will post reports as boats get back out. It's very unusual to see high winds this time of year. The "bright side" is that these winds are keeping the local water temps well below seasonal average and cooler temps are just what our salmon and crab fisheries need.

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Nearly all the fish currently on the coast are there thanks to the Golden Gate Salmon Association. If not for their efforts to push both state and federal hatchery managers to truck fish over the past three years of drought we would have likely NOT had a season this year or next. I encourage readers to support this great organization and their efforts to return our salmon fishery to it's past glory. You can visit their website and see all that they are doing to make that a reality.

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.

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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 the information on our reports pages.

California Waterfowl Dinners and Youth Events Calendar

Golden Gate Salmon Association Events Calendar

 Party Boat Contacts:
The Bodega Bay Sportfishing  Center is currently booking trips on the New Sea Angler. They also book the six pack Sandy Ann, Profishn't and during the summer the Predator. Reservations can be made at 707 875-3344.

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5-day plot - Wind Speed at 46013

5-day plot - Wave Height at 46013

Marine Weather
With the Point Arena, San Francisco and Bodega Bay buoys all out of service it's been tough to judge conditions. There are some land based weather stations, wave rider and even webcams that readers can use to assess current conditions.  The Point Reyes wind observations or wave conditions at the San Francisco wave rider buoy are good tools for Golden Gate anglers.  For Bodega Bay anglers you can use both the Point Reyes wind observations and the Bodega Bay Marine lab web cam at Horseshoe Cove and conditions at the Point Arena light house. For Monterey based anglers looking for conditions inside Monterey bay can use the Monterey Bay Aquarium buoy.




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