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


January 11, 2019    Headlines

Summer Blues / Water Grab Issues

Delta Report
By Dave Hurley

Sturgeon fishing has been up and down over the past few weeks with the colder water temperatures, but those in the know are finding success. Windy rainy weather has also kept anglers off the water.

Captain Steve Talmadge of Flash Fishing was optimistic about the coming weeks for sturgeon fishing as he said, “It looks like the bite is starting up again as we had a keeper and 2 shakers on Saturday in 49-degree water, and as always during cold water, eel is the best bet with all fish taken on eel. The stomach on the keeper sturgeon was empty so I think that they are starting to feed again. On Saturday, we released two shakers, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife warden checked our boat, and he said that he had checked 40 boats without a sturgeon landed. We have been working around the Mothball Fleet towards the Horseshoe, but the area around the Benicia/Martinez Bridge to Buoy 2 and in the Carquinez Straits is inundated with bait-stealing Dungeness crab, particularly on the flood tide.”

Captain Talmadge is the organizer of the 13thannual Diamond Classic Catch & Release Sturgeon Derby, and last year’s event resulted in 460 adult and 152 youth participants. Talmadge said, “The adult program is a hit so I apply most of my energy towards the kid’s program. I would like to see 200 kids this year. The kids enter for free and we have a volunteer crew working the Martinez pier for kids that can’t get on a boat. I have 35 rod and reel outfits on the pier for any kid that would like to enter. Last year the first-place youth was from the pier, and all monies collected from the adult entries go back to the fishermen. What makes this happen for the kids and the cost is support from sponsors and donations. My goal is every kid gets some sort of gift whether they catch a fish or not.”
The derby entry fee is $25.00 for adults with 100% payback in cash prizes from 1st through 7th place. Information is available at www:diamondclassic.org with the official registration location of Martinez Bait.  As in the past, there will be a pre-derby seminar at La Tapatia Restaurant on Main Street in Martinez from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, January 25.”
In the Pittsburg area, Captain Bill Clapp of Bill’s Sport Fishing took Joe Kaiser, Daniel Schooneur Sr., Daniel Schooneur Jr., and their grandfather Ben of Stockton for a striper trip drifting live mudsuckers. Clapp said, “It was a slow day with only 5 shakers until the tide change at 2:30 p.m. when the stripers finally decided to bite. Everything came by drifting mudsuckers in the 48- to 50-degree water in Honker Bay. We had tried shad earlier in the day without results except for undersized stripers.”
In the north Delta, Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento went into the Mokelumne River early in the week in search of striped bass, and after finding nothing doing, he switched to crappie fishing for over 100 hand-sized slabs on Fin-S-Fish small swimbaits at depths from18 to 24 feet. He said, “The water temperature was 48 degrees, but we were able to get them to bite.”
The cold temperatures and windy conditions have limited fishermen from the banks, and fresh shad is over in Delta bait shops until the spring.

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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