te or federal incidental take permits

 


DELTA

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

 

December 05, 2018    Headlines

Summer Blues / Water Grab Issues

Delta Report
By Dave Hurley
This past week brought back memories of ‘the Good Old Days,’ for striped bass anglers in the Sacramento-Delta as numerous double-digit striped bass were caught and released on a variety of techniques including topwater lures, swimbaits, spoons, trolling plugs, and bait fishing. By the weekend, the sturgeon appeared to have moved out of the main river into the shallows, and some incredible scores of slot-limit and oversized diamondbacks were reported. Salmon fishing has slowed to a crawl although the season is open until December 16.
J.D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing took his first striper trip of the year on Friday, and he said, “We found a bunch of fish near Sherman Island, and they were in big schools of a nice quality. We released linesides to 15 pounds on topwater in the morning before switching to swimbaits and finally spoons, and these weren’t little rats. The good water years of the past have contributed to a number of stripers in the 6- to 8-pound range. It is a matter of hunting and pecking, but when you find the schools, the bite is on.”
Captain Zach Medinas of Gatecrasher Fishing Adventures was out on Sunday, and he said, “The sturgeon have been harder to find in the main river, and it is my understanding that they have moved into the shallows. We released a few shakers along with a slot-limit fish on salmon roe, but the fish are definitely on the move. This week’s moderate tides will make it more difficult to anchor in deep water.”
Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, reported that a big group of stripers were on their way last week, and he was right on target. He said, “Stripers are showing up everywhere, and there have been a lot of big ones caught. Sherman Island has been the epicenter as they haven’t moved up into the north Delta as of yet. I was in Snodgrass Slough this week, and we were on a hot bite with umbrella rigs for an hour before the stripers moved out. No one really believes me, but I think the crappie chase out the stripers. I watched a sea lion move into the slough, and the crappie schooled together so tightly that they looked like a wall. I’ve seen them chase stripers out of Little Mandeville Island on the San Joaquin as we were on a good bite with Rat-L-Traps and soon we were only catching crappie. They school up so tightly that it is intimidating for the larger stripers.”
Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “The water is clear in the Deep Water Channel and drifting mudsuckers has been really effective for stripers. The water around Liberty Island is also clear, and mudsuckers are also working there. The main river is starting to change color, but it will take a few more storms to muddy it up.”
Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait and Tackle said, “Salmon fishing from the shorelines has all but stopped, but there are a number of smaller stripers taken on blood worms, pile worms, and bullheads. Grizzly Bay was the hot bite for sturgeon on Sunday. We are still going through as many bullheads as we can get into the shop, but the bait-stealing Dungeness crab are still in Suisun Bay. The fresh water inflow may push them back to the bay within the next few weeks.”
Johnny Tran touted the Delta Loop as the best location on the Sacramento-Delta for bluegill or red ear perch with jumbo red worms on a drop-shot rig.
Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley said, “There have been a lot of striped bass landed with bait fishermen working deep while plug casters are finding action on the surface. There was a reaction bite for largemouth bass during the American Bass Association Tournament, and it took over 18 pounds for first place.”
Mike Pipkins of Gotcha Bait in Antioch said, “There are all kinds of fish out there right now as fishing has been red hot. We have weighed in stripers over 30 pounds on live mudsuckers, splittail, or fresh shad, and there is a topwater bite in the mornings or evenings when the shad starts popping on the surface. One boat had four legal sturgeon in Broad Slough on Saturday, and on Friday, a fisherman out by himself hooked a sturgeon near Eddo’s that took him all the way back to the mouth of Three-Mile Slough on the incoming tide. He was targeting stripers with 14-pound test when he was surprised by the big oversized sturgeon. Panfishing is starting to slow down in the back sloughs due to colder water temperatures, and it isn’t a matter of water clarity but the temperature. Interest in fishing is high, and we went through 70 dozen live mudsuckers over the weekend.”
H and R Bait in Stockton reported the Tracy Marina has been the top location for big stripers with a 40-inch lineside landed on fresh shad. Most anglers are heading towards Antioch on the San Joaquin for a larger grade of striped bass. Bluegill and crappie are still caught in the regular locations of Whiskey Slough and Eight Mile Road. H and R receives between 30 and 35 pounds of fresh shad on Mondays and Wednesdays with over 100 pounds arriving on Friday morning.
Bryce Tedford of Bryce Tedford’s Fly Fishing Guide Service said, “Striper fishing in the Delta has been pretty good. Some rain and wind can create challenges but for the most part, the weather has been manageable. The season will likely wind down over the next month or so but for the time being it’s holding strong.  Most fish we have been finding are smaller “schoolies” but 3-5lb fish are mixed in & the occasional larger fish can be found as well! Water temperatures are 50-55 degrees in different spots within the Delta depending on where you fish. For Stripers subsurface, I continue to use 1/0-3/0 “Steve Adachi” style rattle Clouser flies in various color combinations.”


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.

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

BY BRIAN CLARK

bclark@modbee.com

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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