BODEGA BAY
 

 

 

April 20, 2014    Headlines

Salmon Hot & Cold and Warm

 

A few boats were able to venture out of Saturday 4-19 after three days of windy weather. Rick on the New Sea Angler fished off Tomales Point with 16 anglers landing 7 salmon to 21 pounds. They were trolling in 200 feet of water that has dropped to 49 degrees with the recent upwelling. I would expect that scores will climb higher and water tamps warm back above 50 degrees. They finished out the day pulling all their crab gear landing 91 dungeness crabs. The weather was OK with 15 knots of wind over a 6 to 8 foot and building swell. Here on Sunday morning swell heights are 14 to 15 feet and are expected to decrease on Monday.

The winds have ramped back up and has put a kabosh on venturing out for salmon. Here on Thursday 4-17 afternoon we are seeing NW winds of 25 knots over a 10 foot swell. Water temps have dropped to 49 degrees at the weather buoy and this will set the stage for good fishing next week as as the water browns up and hopefully we start seeing some krill showing up as well.
The forecast for Friday calls for breezy weather of 15 to 25 knots with winds dropping to the 10 to 20 range this weekend. The forecast looks great for next Monday and Tuesday with NW winds of 5 to 15 knots.
We will post up reports as soon as boats are back out.

The weather has turned windy and lumpy here on Tuesday 4-15 with 18 to 20 knots this morning increasing to 25 to 28  knots this afternoon. Swell heights have climbed from 8 feet this morning to 12 feet just over the past 6 hours. No boats out today and likely none tomorrow. Ma Nature is rearranging the deck chairs and there is no telling where the salmon may pop up next. Considering the good start to the season off Bodega bay I would expect more great fishing once the weather settles down. 

The good news: On Monday 4-14 both Rick on the New Sea Angler and Vince on the Miss Anita ran north. Rick dropped in off Ft Ross in 50 fathoms and immediately they put in a 10 pounder. Working through the area through the morning they shook off 6 shorties and after five hours of fishing still just had the one fish in the box. Rick finished off the afternoon pulling his crab gear sending home everyone with limits of crabs.
Vince stayed on the salmon and it paid off. After a very slow start things started to pop in the afternoon and he ended the day with 5 limits of salmon running from 6 to 15 pounds.
The bad news: The weather forecast calls for windy weather through at least Saturday. The good thing is that this will drop water temps and set the stage for more great fishing in the coming weeks.


 The weather was incredible this weekend with high overcast and calm seas. Campers at Doran and Westside enjoyed epic spring conditions with temps pushing to 70 degrees on Sunday 4-13. While anglers had high hopes of salmon for dinner many likely had chicken while a few enjoyed crab around the fire.
The salmon bite was VERY slow in the local waters again today. Most private boats reported goose eggs on salmon and up to two limits of crabs. Vince on the Miss Anita made the long trip down to the Soap Banks where party boats out the Golden Gate found fish per rod action late Saturday. Vince reported 1 salmon despite his best efforts. He said there was an incredible amount of feed along the shelf with lots of krill and humpback whales.  He was happy to land one as 90% of the boats that made the long 25 mile run came up empty. He ran through his short string of 12 pots in the afternoon taking 12 crabs to finish out a long day.  
 

Golden Gate Salmon Association Backed Science Convinces Feds to Truck Salmon During Drought
In a huge win for salmon, sport & commercial anglers and farmers the Golden Gate Salmon association announced Monday 3-10 that a study that they paid for has convinced the US Fish and Wildlife Service to truck ALL their baby fall run salmon from Coleman hatchery to San Pablo bay. In addition, this science looks to have 100% of all the state hatchery fish from the Feather, American and Mokelumne hatcheries also truck past the problems (pumps) in the Delta and expected low and warm river flows this spring.
Recent studies from 2007 to 2112 have shown that over 94% of Fall run salmon smolts released from Coleman never even make it too San Pablo Bay. In fact over 50% of Coleman released fish never survive the first 50 miles of their down stream migration. The Golden Gate Salmon Association paid for a study that clearly shows that trucking especially during the current drought is the ONLY WAY that we can ensure that there will be enough salmon to a have a salmon season in 2016. The Coleman hatchery was built to mitigate for spawning areas lost due to the building of Shasta dam. However with over 94% of the hatchery fish lost on their down stream migration the Feds were doing little to actually enhance the fishery.
 Without these measures we could see: No ocean sport or commercial salmon season in 2016 and possibly 2017, possible Central Valley river closures and the continued drop in numbers of returning fall run salmon in future years.
With these measures we could see a viable if not huge return of Fall run salmon three years from now. Longer term this could support the goal of a fall run of nearly 1 million fish returning the to the Central Valley rivers.
Please see the Golden Gate Salmon Association news release just below. I encourage all readers to support this incredible origination (read between the lines: get off your ass and write a check, attend a dinner or donate a trip on your party boat or ??? ) that has just done the impossible. Their science based approach to trucking salmon could be the biggest benefit to this fishery in decades and they deserve all of the credit for possibly saving a season when the fishery may have been closed.
Mike Aughney
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F
eds Agree with GGSA Call to Truck Millions of Hatchery Salmon
Contingency plans respond to extreme drought condition

California’s largest salmon hatchery may end up trucking its production this year to the Delta or San Francisco Bay for release due to the extreme drought conditions. Ordinarily the Coleman National Fish Hatchery releases its fish each year into the upper Sacramento River near Redding. From there the baby salmon migrate hundreds of miles downstream to the Delta and, under favorable conditions, on to San Francisco Bay and the Pacific.
Coleman is operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and raises approximately 12 million baby salmon annually to help mitigate the impacts of Shasta Dam and federal water operations in the Upper Sacramento River on native salmon stocks. After being presented with overwhelming evidence by the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA –
www.goldengatesalmon.org) , the USFWS has agreed to transport most, if not all, of its 12 million Coleman Hatchery juvenile salmon the bay or western delta unless expected drought conditions change markedly for the better.
The USFWS made the announcement at a meeting of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council in Sacramento. The Service acknowledged the arguments GGSA has methodically advanced since December that the continued drought presents a uniquely hostile situation that threatens the survivability of Central Valley Chinook salmon, including the hatchery salmon. GGSA maintains that low, clear, hot river conditions will likely wipe out the hatchery fish if they were dumped into the river.
“GGSA worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to move these fish rather than dump them into a drought stricken river where they’d most likely perish,” said John McManus, executive director of GGSA. “We’re grateful they heard us out and gave this issue the consideration it needs. What this means is we’ll likely have a much better salmon fishing season in 2016, when these fish reach adulthood, then we would have otherwise gotten. This could mean the difference between a shutdown of the fishery in 2016 and a decent year.”
California’s state-operated hatcheries truck much of their production annually for release in the Delta or Bay and the state took a leading role to truck even more this year due to drought impacts on Central Valley rivers. State and federally raised hatchery fish could make up most of 2016’s salmon harvest and spawning escapement.
USFWS’s plans are contingent on the amount and quality of the water in the Sacramento River when the fish are ready for release in April, May and June. The Service told the PFMC meeting it would take a significant "precipitation event" to reverse the plans to truck their fish. Drought conditions are expected to dominate in the Sacramento River and its tributaries in April, May and June.
“Transporting the baby salmon in tanker trucks and releasing them into the bay or western Delta will give them a fighting chance at reaching the ocean,” said GGSA treasurer Victor Gonella.
In addition to hostile river conditions, baby salmon this year are facing the added risk of being pulled to their deaths through the Delta Cross channel, a manmade canal built to divert water to huge pumps that send it to agriculture. Normally the Cross Channel Gates would be closed to allow salmon passage at this time of year but are now being opened when possible to dilute salt water accumulation in the interior Delta caused by the drought.
“Although the drought is creating extremely hostile conditions this year, many years are low water years and the Fish and Wildlife Service needs to transport salmon whenever low water conditions exist in the future,” said GGSA secretary Dick Pool.
A member of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council reports the Council will be drafting a letter to the USFWS requesting that it consider a similar approach in the future should drought conditions persist or again deteriorate to levels requiring action.
“As more and more fresh water is extracted from the Sacramento River and Delta for delivery to San Joaquin Valley agribusiness, the salmon’s migration corridor downstream and through the Bay-Delta estuary has become a deadly gauntlet,” said GGSA vice chairman Zeke Grader who is also the executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “Add drought and the Central Valley rivers and Delta become virtually impassable for salmon.”
GGSA was joined by member fishing groups in working to get the Coleman fish trucked. Members of Congress including Representatives Jared Huffman, Mike Thompson and John Garamendi, Anna Eshoo, Jackie Speier, George Miller and Mike Honda also supported the efforts.
Currently, California’s salmon industry is valued at $1.4 billion in economic activity annually and about half that much in economic activity 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 fishing men and women, recreational anglers (fresh and salt water), fish processors, marinas, coastal communities, fishing guides, equipment manufacturers, the hotel and food industry, tribes, and the salmon fishing industry at large.
The Golden Gate Salmon Association (www.goldengatesalmon.org) is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fishermen, a Native American tribe, businesses, restaurants, fishing guides, 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 rivers that feed the Bay-Delta ecosystem and the communities that rely on salmon.


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 Brand New House in Irish Beach with 2 bedrooms and a huge loft. Sleeps 6. Blue Water Ocean View to the Point Arena Light House and great local fishing. The house is located on a private court with access to the Members only Irish Beach.
 


 


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 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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