te or federal incidental take permits



Captain Steve Smith of the Bay Area "Smith" fishing clan has been fishing Alaska's Kenai Peninsula for 30 years. 800.567.1043


August 10, 2018    Headlines

Summer Blues / Water Grab Issues

Delta Report
By Dave Hurley
The stripers have moved into the San Joaquin River in numbers, and trolling action is heating up along with more and more trollers dusting off their gear.
Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, was out on Monday trolling on the San Joaquin River between Eddo’s Marina and the Antioch Bridge, and he said, “If you wanted action, today was the day since we released close to 20 keepers with the largest fish in the 5- to 6-pound range. We didn’t find any big fish, but I do know of two larger linesides at 15 and 17 pounds released on Monday.”
Captain Joey Gamez of Golden State Sport Fishing has been alternating between salmon fishing in the ocean and trolling for stripers on the San Joaquin. He took out a family of four children on Monday to troll Yozuri Crystal Minnows or P-Line Predators for stripers, and the children were treated to landed 41 keepers with the largest grade from 5 to 9 pounds. He said, “The biggest fish came on the shallow troll, but we found the best bite on the deep troll. Once the tide became too big, we even took the children bluegill fishing for an hour or so.”
Bill Crooks of Sacramento went out with his son-in-law, Bill Conyers, along with Ron Retzlaff on Monday, launching out of Brannon Island to troll the San Joaquin north of the Antioch Bridge. They found a small grade of abundant linesides for 10 keepers and 8 shakers, but Conyers caught and released a 15-pound striped. He said, “We caught most at depths from 12- to 14- feet, and we kept three limits from 19 inches to 5 pounds. The majority of the stripers were landed north of Antioch with a few on the way back to the launch ramp.”
Hot Sheet Subscriber Dave Houston of Livermore took out his regular fishing partner, Todd Kuhn, along with Todd’s father who is fighting the affects of cancer, and they trolled between the Antioch Bridge and the Santa Clara Shoals for 12 keepers in the 4- to 7-pound range along with 8 shakers. He said, “The Shoals had so much floating hyacinth that it was almost impossible to troll. Our fish came from just above the Antioch Bridge and through the river around Frank’s Tract.”
The second of the specialty frog tournaments was held out of Russo’s Marina this past weekend, and the combination of hot temperatures coupled with high winds on Sunday made for a tough frog bite. 206 boats participated in the original frog tournament, the Snag Proof Open with a payout of $24,200.00 with extra payouts at $8,800 for the 121 boats on the pro side along with a total of $8500 with extra payouts at $5520 for the 82 boats in the amateur division. The pro team of Matt Larson and Scot Holzchuh took first with a six-fish limit of 23.94 pounds while the amateur team of Bill and Clif Wentworth won with the exact same weight of 23.94 pounds.  Tournament director, Randy Pringle, said, “These were the lightest weights every as several factors contributed to this, including the amount of grass that has been killed in the Delta, the weather changing from hot to windy and cold on day two, and the fact that a similar tournament was held the week before. There were several participants who stated that the weeds were gone in their normal spots for frogs.” Pringle was going out to chase striped bass on the San Joaquin on Thursday with his signature ima Big Stick.

Since the opener, the Sacramento-Delta has been slow overall for Chinook salmon with the fish blasting up the river to the cooler waters above Woodson Bridge. The water temperatures remain hot in the 73-degree range throughout the Delta, but the numbers of salmon moving through have increased, leading to a few more salmon being taken in both Delta locations.
Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said Sunday 8-5, “There have been a few salmon taken every day out of Freeport by those jigging with Slammer Minnows or trolling with Slammer Spinners. The Clarksburg Flats have been the top locations, and an 18 pounder was also landed on a Brad’s Cut Plug. Striped bass are also picking up with blood worms, pile worms, or sardines coated with garlic spray in the main river and also in Liberty Island with live mudsuckers or extra-large minnows. Swimbaits are also working for stripers on the high tide along the rockwall in Liberty Island. Smallmouth bass are found along the rockpiles in Walnut Grove and in Steamboat and Miner Slough with plastics on the drop-shot, minnows, or crawdad patterned crankbaits.”
In the Old Sacramento River, Sylvia Vieira of Vieira’s Riverside Bait near Isleton said, “There has been nothing in the way of fish out in front of our resort, but there were four salmon landed on one boat in front of Dutra’s dredges on spinners with 4 to 5 ounces of lead to keep the lure near the bottom. The water must be slightly cooler there, but it is 74 degrees in our area.”
Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said, “Things are looking up with three salmon landed off of 1st Street on Saturday with another three on Sunday. A steelhead was also caught and released, and you must possess a Steelhead Report Card if you are to keep the species. The State Park has also been kicking out a few fish, and Vee-Zee spinners in green/green have been working best. Other than the few salmon showing up, striped bass from the shoreline is the other story around here with linesides to 24 inches taken on grass shrimp.”
Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, was in Liberty Island this week, and he said, “The water is very clear, even too clear right now, and we caught and released largemouth bass on squarebill crankbaits including six striped bass.”
Beau Coutroul of the Lake Camanche Recreation Company went bait fishing with frozen shad off of Decker Island with two friends for limits of barely-legal striped bass to 19 inches. He said, “We also released a number of undersized fish, and the stripers were running with the bait in the warm water.”
Mike Pipkins of Gotcha Bait in Antioch reported striped bass continue to come into the system, and live mudsuckers or frozen shad are working in around Sherman Island and in Broad Slough. He said, “It will pick up quickly as the fish continue to move in. The sturgeon bite has slowed down although there have been more anglers trying for the diamondbacks this week.”
Mike Pipkins of Gotcha Bait in Antioch said, “The sturgeon action from the Antioch Piers has slowed down, but the striped bass continue to move through the system. Mudsuckers or shad are working best for the stripers. Bluegill and red ear perch are thick in Holland Cut or the Clifton Court Forebay with wax worms. The weather has been far too hot for threadfin shad to be in the shop, but things will change around September 1st as fresh shad should be available.”
Luther Thompson of H and R Bait in Stockton said, “I went fishing this week and landed a 35-inch striped bass on a live bluegill from the shoreline off of Windmill Cove. We had to cast out into the middle of the channel, but it didn’t take more than a few seconds before the big striper swallowed the bluegill. Bass fishing is decent around the Tracy Oasis with crankbaits, and there are catfish in Bacon Island with sardines or filleted bluegill. Eight Mile Road and Bacon Island have been the best areas for bluegill. We still have no fresh shad in the shop as it has been very hot and muggy most days.”

Restore the Delta Submits Comments on Bay-Delta Plan Updates; SWRCB Prohibits Discussion of Plan Updates at WaterFix Hearing

SWRCB Prohibits Discussion of Plan Updates at WaterFix Hearing

STOCKTON, CA – Today, Restore the Delta submitted their comments regarding the proposed updates to the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan in a letter to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).

As outlined in their recent policy statement on the Water Quality Control Plan, Restore the Delta maintains that the Plan does not examine water quality impacts on the Delta’s environmental justice community, nor does it protect salinity standards for south Delta agriculture. In addition, the Plan fails to establish the 50-60 percent flow criteria needed for salmon population and habitat restoration in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries. Finally, the Plan does not guarantee that new inflows to the Delta will not be exported to south of Delta customers; nor does it guarantee that these through-Delta flows will be used for San Francisco Bay outflow.

The SWRCB will close their public comment period for Phase I of the Water Quality Control Plan by the end of today (July 27) and will deliberate the adoption of the proposed Phase I Plan amendments at its public meetings on August 21 and August 22.

As the Board begins their review and response period of these comments on the Plan, the Board will also resume the change petition hearing for the Delta tunnels project, also known as the “California WaterFix” on August 2.

However, the CA WaterFix hearing team claimed that, “The merits of the WaterFix project, however, are not related to the Board’s consideration of the proposed Bay-Delta Plan amendments and are not appropriate topics of discussion at the Board meeting,” in an email sent to the tunnels hearing service list on Wednesday, July 25, ultimately restricting the discussion of the Plan updates during this stage of the hearing.

Policy Analyst for Restore the Delta and author of the comment letter, Tim Stroshane said,

“Long-awaited updates to Plans like this one [Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan] should be completed before projects like the Governor’s ‘California WaterFix’ tunnels break ground, but the Governor would never let that happen. His tunnels, the proverbial elephant in the room, dictate the Plan and its updates. But the Board has not and will not allow any public comments on WaterFix related to the Plan because the Board cannot violate ex parte communications rules for the project’s water rights hearing; ironically, the WaterFix project will undo the Board’s ultimate plan to revive salmon populations. The Governor forced the Board into this predicament. If the Board has an endgame for this catch-22 world in the Delta, they won’t or can’t say what it is.”

Yesterday, Restore the Delta signed on to a comment letter written and submitted by The Bay Institute and Friends of the San Francisco Estuary on behalf of a coalition of 58 environmental, tribal, fishing, Delta, and business communities invested in healthy Central Valley Rivers and a thriving San Francisco Bay Estuary, including the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.


A week after visit to New Melones, Department of Interior blasts state water plan



July 28, 2018 10:26 AM

Updated July 28, 2018 12:03 PM

The Department of the Interior late Friday afternoon issued a blistering attack against the state’s proposed water grab, saying it would “cripple the Central Valley’s economy, farms and community.”
The comments came a week after Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke visited Don Pedroand New Melones reservoirs at the request of Congressman Jeff Denham, R-Turlock.
Earlier this month, the California State Water Resources Control Board issued a final proposal that would require 40 percent unimpeded flows from February to June on the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers, which are tributaries into the San Joaquin River that feeds the San Joaquin Delta. The move, in what it says is an effort to save the Delta’s failing ecosystem, angered farmers, politicians and many others throughout the Central Valley.
Opponents of the state’s plan pointed to what they say will be massive negative impacts on the valley’s economy, agriculture and land values, among other things.
The Interior’s comments Friday were part of an eight-page letter to board chairwoman Felicia Marcus, and stated the proposal appears “to directly interfere with the New Melones Project’s ability to store water. The Board amendments essentially elevate the Project’s fish and wildlife purposes over the Project’s irrigation and domestic purposes contrary to the prioritization scheme carefully established by Congress.”
It also pointed to the effects on New Melones’ water storage and the potential to diminish power generation, as well as issues surrounding the area’s recreational opportunities. Water from New Melones, which also provides water for the Central Valley Project, flows into the Stanislaus River.
Marcus, in an article she wrote for The Sacramento Bee defending the plan, said “Yes, leaving more water to flow into the Delta from both the San Joaquin and Sacramento watersheds will be challenging for water users, which is why the proposal sends more water but still less than what is optimal for fish and wildlife. Water users can adapt – by switching crops, becoming more efficient and storing more water in wet times. In contrast, species pushed to the brink of extinction have few options.”
Meanwhile, Denham recently added an amendment to keep federal agencies from depleting New Melones as part of the Interior’s appropriations bill. His amendment passed through Congress. 
“Under Sacramento’s plan, the Valley will suffer skyrocketing water and electricity rates,” Denham said in a statement released Saturday. “After a decade and millions of our money spent on a study that they required, the board ignored the science based proposal that would save our fish while preserving our water rights. We will not allow them to take our water and destroy our way of life.”
On the day of Zinke’s visit to Don Pedro and New Melones, Dennis Mills, a member of the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors, sent a letter to President Trump imploring his administration to step in. He, too, pointed to the impacts the plan would have on New Melones.
“Simply put,” he wrote, “this proposal places a higher value on fish than people!”
Friday’s letter to Marcus from the Interior Department came on the same day public comment on the issue closed. The department also asked that the Water Board postpone its scheduled Aug. 21-22 meetings in Sacramento, where it will consider adopting the plan.

On Aug. 20, a rally to “Stop The State Water Grab” will be held at noon on the north steps of the Capitol building in Sacramento. For more information or to RSVP, contact Assemblyman Adam Gray’s office at 209-726-5465.pyright @2014

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