October 20, 2016    Headlines

 Solid Rockfish Action
Salmon Bite Slows
Crab Season Opens Nov. 5th

While the salmon action remains slow the rockfish bite is off the hook. After tough weather over the weekend Rick on the New Sea Angler was back out on Thursday 10-20. Rick reported 16 limits of all quality rockfish adding 10 lings. Jeff on the Miss Anita reported limits of rockfish and lings earlier in the week.
On the crabbing front Rick says that the test pots that are being run for domoic acid tests are seeing good good numbers of crabs and the tested crabs are all fat and healthy.
Rick says they are nearly full for the opener and that if the weather is good he expects solid crab counts and more great rockfishing when the crab season opens on November 5th. Weekend loads will be full but anglers looking to get out on lighter trips should book during the week. Jeff on the Miss Anita is offering combos and who knows may be tossing in some afternoon crab only trips if they find quick limits on their morning combo trips.
We have not received a single salmon report in the past several days. A good place for private boaters to look at this time of year is off the Russian river where fish will stage waiting for the mouth to break open.

On Wednesday 10-12 Rick on the New Sea Angler reported 24 LIMITS of all quality rockfish adding 19 lings to 17 pounds. Rick said he was working a spot in just 120 feet off Pt Reyes. The catch was a mix of 40 to 50 vermilions, huge coopers and browns and just a few black or schoolfish in the mix. Sacks were running at 50 pounds and even long time regulars said it reminded them of fishing at Cordell Banks. Rick says it look like with the rain and wind in the forecast but is looking for a weather window to get out in the coming days The dungeness crab season opens in just over two weeks!

Jeff on the Miss Anita 707 245-1157 and Rick on the New Sea Angler 707 875-3344 are taking reservations for the crab opener on November 5th. Spots during the prime first weeks of the season are filling fast. Readers should make reservations soon if they want to get in on the peak (first three weeks) crab season.

On Sunday 10-9 Rick on the New Sea Angler was on a pelagic bird trip that turned into an incredible whale show. Just 8 to 10 miles west of Bodega Head Rick said they found just an incredible amount of life. The krill is stacked up like what we see in the Spring and the whales and exotics birds were everywhere. On the bird front they saw storm petrels and albatross and exotics like three tufted puffins. Rick has only seen a handful of tufted puffins in his career. On top of the birds they had one of the best whale watching trips he has experienced with humpies and blues feeding and breaching over a wide area.
On Saturday 1-8 Rick ran south to one of his favorite and least hit rockfishing spots. Fishing off Pt Ryes Rick said they had limits of the biggest average rockfish this season. Everyone was all smiles and even Rick was impressed by the quality of the rockfish. Rick's next open load trip is this Wednesday.
Jeff on the Miss Anita ran north and reported limits of both lings to 18 pounds and limits of rockfish fishing up north. On the salmon front it has been very quiet but Jeff said a friend boated two fish in the morning fishing right out front. Jeff has room daily this week for rockfish and lings.
Just a reminder to private boaters that Westside is closed as they rebuild the ramp and docks. It is scheduled to reopen November 4th just in time for the crab season.

The Westside Landing launch ramp has been closed since August 29th due to reconstruction, but it is expected to open on November 4th – one day prior to the Dungeness opener. The Spud Point Marina will be observing fall hours for October, as the fuel dock will only be open from 8:00 -4:00 p.m. The fuel dock will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 starting November 1st.

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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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 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.


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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