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

 

November 22, 2017    Headlines

Fall Salmon and Stripers

Delta Report
By Dave Hurley

Salmon action has slowed to a crawl on Sunday 11-20 but striped bass and sturgeon are moving into prime time in the Sacramento-Delta. The coming rain should only make for a better and better bite for these species as the Sacramento River muddies up.
Alan Fong, manager of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento, said, “Normally by this time of year, the Sacramento River is muddy, and the north Delta is very clear and devoid of striped bass. My last trip to Liberty Island only produced one 10 pounder on a swimbait, and I went in at the optimum time at high tide. The water is gin clear, and the bass aren’t there. They might be zipping in and out, but they aren’t staying long. Most guys are looking at the calendar and figuring that the stripers should be here, but striped bass don’t look at the calendar. They come when the conditions are right. The best action has been around Decker Island and below, and there are a number of striped bass on the San Joaquin. Once the Sacramento River muddies up, the bite will be on.”
The sturgeon bite was slower during the week, but the bite broke out with the larger tides over the weekend. Second Captain Shawn Taylor of Barbarian Sport Fishing out of Martinez stuck it out at Roe/Ryer Island on Saturday, and they were rewarded with 5 limits of sturgeon for their clients. Captain John Badger of Barbarian Sport Fishing said, “We put in four keepers on Friday as well, and we have been limiting out every trip but Wednesday in the last week. They bit on both tides on Saturday, and salmon roe has been the hot bait. This coming week, the tides will be smaller, and I will be up in the deep water near Pittsburg.”
Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait and Tackle said, “The striped bass bite for big fish out of McAvoy’s remains outstanding with several big fish taken on live splittail or bullheads. We are selling out of bullheads on a regular basis. Sturgeon fishing is solid near Chain Island, and one of our customers put in two limits on consecutive days. When the fish are around Chain Island, they move in thick. The salmon bite has all but died as we haven’t had a fish reported in the past 10 days.”
What a difference a week makes as the striped bass have moved into the San Joaquin-Delta in larger numbers after relatively slow action the prior week. Crappie are found in the back sloughs of the south Delta with live minnows or minijigs, and large bluegill are the rule with large red worms on a drop-shot rig.
Captain Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures out of Bethel Harbor was soaking shad in False River with three generations of fishermen on Sunday, and they landed five striped bass to 18 pounds, releasing the big fish. After the tide slowed, they trolled near Marker 17 for another few fish before ending the day at 17A on the anchor with shad. He said, “We put in three limits of quality stripers, releasing the big fish along with several other keepers.”
Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley was out throwing Optimum’s Bad Bubba Shad swimbait on Sunday, and he reported a vastly improved bite with swimbaits as the water temperature has dropped into the high 60’s. For largemouth bass, he said, “The big is decent at the base of the weed lines with the Walk A Sack from Greg Gutierrez along with 6-inch KVD ripbaits, spinnerbaits, or prop baits such as the Devil Horse.”
Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse confirmed the quality grade of striped bass moving into the San Joaquin. He said, “There have been a number of double-digit fish landed in the past week, but once the water muds up on the Sacramento River, they will be moving over to the other side.
Captain Mike Gravert of Intimidator Sport Fisihing out of Korth’s Pirates Lair said, “This week the fish through us a curve ball and have all went deep at depths from 35 to 45 feet, leading to a number of undersized linesides that weren’t present a few week’s ago. False River has produced some fish, but its a day-to-day,hour-to-hour , and minute-to0minute bite battling the weed mats that come on and off the tracts during the tides. On Sunday, Piper Slough was good to us on the outgoing tide, but it is still a hunt and peck bite.”
Luther Thompson of H and R Bait in Stockton reported striped bass to 36inches have been landed off of Bacon Island Road with live bluegill, but the majority of bluegill have been too large for bait. He said, “The bluegill are up to 12 inches in length, and the first and second bridges off of Eight Mile Road or Whiskey Slough are the top areas for panfish. Crappie are also holding in these areas with live minnows. We have fresh shad in the shop now.”


Fish out of (normal) water: Rare sturgeon seen in Stanislaus River

Alex Breitler
  

A prehistoric fish that looks like it dropped straight out of the dinosaur age has found its way back to the San Joaquin River watershed. Biologists have confirmed the presence of a green sturgeon — a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act — in the Stanislaus River near Knights Ferry.
That’s a long way from where you would expect to find one. Green sturgeon are known to migrate and spawn in the Sacramento and Feather rivers, but this is the first time one of the bony, pointy-nosed bottom-dwellers has been confirmed in the more polluted and heavily diverted San Joaquin River region upstream of Stockton.
Fishermen have long reported catching sturgeon in the San Joaquin area, but it was unclear if they were confusing the green sturgeon with their more common cousin, 
the white sturgeon. “We’ve never seen a green sturgeon (in that area), and it’s not like we don’t try. This is really exciting,” said Laura Heironimus, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Lodi.
Kyle Horvath, a fish technician for a firm that consults on river ecosystems, was doing some personal fishing of his own when, standing on the bank of the Stanislaus in early October, he saw what he believed to be a green sturgeon. He estimated the fish at 4 feet to 6 feet long.
Horvath called his boss that night and was given permission to dive the river with a GoPro camera. The images he returned with seemed to confirm his report.
But officials wanted to be sure. So Horvath dove a second time, towed from a kayak against the strong current. This time the fish couldn’t be found, but Horvath took water samples that were later confirmed to contain DNA from a green sturgeon.
“There has been anecdotal evidence for years,” said Joe Merz, president of the Cramer firm. “Of course these rivers had sturgeon in them back in the day.”
But you just didn’t find them in the San Joaquin system. Or so everyone said, despite a place called “Sturgeon’s Bend” and old fishermen’s stories like the one about how a team of horses supposedly once hauled a monster sturgeon from the stream. What does the recent sighting mean for the species? It’s hard to say. So far there is only one known fish; experts said there is no evidence that the fish was able to spawn.
It does raise hopes, however, that amid 
all of the bleak news about endangered species in the Central Valley, that some species have the potential to rebound and return to places they haven’t been spotted in generations.
Joe Heublein, a federal biologist who coordinates a multi-agency green sturgeon recovery team, noted that sturgeon were seen in the Yolo Bypass for the first time in 2011. “The fact that there are adults in some areas that have never been reported in the past is a good sign,” Heublein said.
This was also a very wet year, with flows on the San Joaquin higher than they’d been in decades. So it’s quite possible that the sturgeon, migrating into the Delta from San Francisco Bay, simply made a right turn up the San Joaquin instead of a left turn up the Sacramento.
“The Stan has cold, relatively high quality water below New Melones (Lake) so is a reasonable place for a green sturgeon to be,” Peter Moyle, a U.C. Davis expert on native fish, said in an email. If he or she hasn’t already, the fish will likely soon begin heading downstream, back toward the bay and the ocean. It’s a trip the fish might make every four years or so over its life span of up to 80 years. (Unlike salmon, sturgeon don’t die after they spawn.)
It’s possible that the sighting may lead to more resources for biologists to carefully study the area, Heironimus said. It also highlights advances in technology with the DNA identification. And maybe most importantly, it teaches the public about one of the region’s most distinctive yet little-known fish.
“It’s cool, and it’s right in our backyard,” she said.
If you go: 
Learn more about the Stanislaus River’s latest resident, and other fish and wildlife, at the Stanislaus River Salmon Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the Knights Ferry Recreation Area east of Oakdale.
Contact reporter Alex Breitler at (209) 546-8295 or 
abreitler@recordnet.com. Follow him at recordnet.com/breitlerblog and on Twitter @alexbreitler.


“Millions of Californians on hook for water plan”
Read at our website.

Today, The Associated Press published a story confirming rumors of “expanded funding demands” for the Delta Tunnels proposal. New documents obtained by the Associated Press reveal that dozens of local agencies representing millions of Californians may be required to pay for the tunnels, even though they have not been asked to participate in the project, nor would they receive the “supply reliability” benefits promised to CA WaterFix participants. This follows years of assurances from the Brown Administration that only local water agencies actively participating in the tunnels would be the paying for them.
A telling quote from Santa Clara Valley Water District board director Richard Santos reveals that State Water Project contractors have been pressured into participating in the tunnels project.

Ellen Knickmeyer and Scott Smith write, 
“Asked if California intended to cut off state water deliveries to those districts that refuse to help pay for the tunnels, Lien-Mager said only ‘opting out would not affect their existing contracts, but their actual water supplies from the SWP could become less reliable in the future.’
That message has begun trickling out as water agencies around the state decide whether to raise rates to pay for the tunnels.
‘That’s what we’re being informed — our contract ends if we don’t participate,’ said Richard Santos, a board member of the Santa Clara Valley water district, which supplies water to Silicon Valley.
If it plays out that way, Santos said, he will fight. ‘If they say they’ll cut off our allocations if we don’t participate, then let the courts take it on,’ he said.”
 
To read the entire story, click here.


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