Dave Jacobs 530 646-9110


September 02, 2018    Headlines
Salmon Picks Up

Sacramento River/Metropolitan Area:
Uncle Larry Barnes of Sacramento Pro Tackle reported improved salmon action with bunches of fish at Freeport, Miller Park, the Pioneer Bridge, and at the mouth of the American River. He said, “Silvertron spinners in various colors or Flat Fish are both working, and Brad’s Cut Plugs are also effective on 12-ounce sinkers with 30-pound test. I haven’t heard much from Garcia Bend, but I imagine that they are also coming through there.” Sacramento Pro still has a supply of quality tray sardines from Washington State.
Guide Dave Jacobs reports that the upper river is "full of fish". He is finding easy limits from Hamilton City and up river through the Canyon. Plugs early in the day and roe back bounced through the holes have both been productive. They are hooking and releasing lots of fish and with the one fish limit pressure has been light. Dave says he is hearing good things on the lower river and that a huge wad of fish was reported from Verona to Colusa this past week.

Feather River:

Mike Searcy of Johnson’s Bait and Tackle in Yuba City said Saturday 9-1, “Fishermen are just killing it at the Outlet for the past few days with a wide-open bite with either beads or spinners. There are salmon showing up from Live Oak to Gridley with a few more at Boyd’s Pump. The cooler weather has made a big change, and most fish downriver are either taking on Brad’s Killer Fish or spinners while boondoggling roe is also starting to work. On the Sacramento River, Tisdale is starting to perk up, and there is still consistent action upriver at Los Molinos and Woodson Bridge.”

GGSA echoes State fish experts’ warning on proposed Sac Valley Reservoir

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The proposed Sites Reservoir Project in the Sacramento Valley would take water from the Sacramento River.

In comments filed with the California Water Commission, GGSA is echoing warnings from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that far more water is needed in the Sacramento than levels the backers of the proposed Sites Reservoir are planning to divert at.  The reservoir, proposed for the western Sacramento Valley, plans to divert river water even at low flows when it’s needed by salmon.

The idea that water can be diverted from the Sacramento River during low flows doesn’t square with levels needed to keep salmon healthy according to state fish and wildlife officials.

Backers of the new giant reservoir say it will help heal the environment.   The southern California’s Metropolitan Water District say their investment in the reservoir would only makes sense if the Delta tunnels project to move it around the Delta is built, which many now consider doubtful.

After GGSA call state water agency finally agrees to pay for tagging hatchery fish


After hard advocacy by GGSA, the California Dept of Water Resources (DWR) agreed to pay to mark and tag Feather River Hatchery fall run baby salmon.  These fish have been adipose fin-clipped and tagged for over 15 years, providing an unbroken series of data on survival and straying.  Until now, DWR has never paid for this even though they are obligated to as part of required mitigation for operation of the Oroville dam.  The cost had been borne by the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife using emergency drought funds which are now dried up.  CDFW was unable to resolve the dispute with DWR until GGSA got involved and successfully made the case with higher ups in state and federal government that paying for tagging and clipping is part of DWR’s mitigation responsibility.

Outlook for 2018 season

The forecast of adult Sacramento River salmon in the ocean at about 230,000 is very close to what was predicted last year at this time.  Anglers will get an idea of what kind of season we’ll get in 2018 after the Pacific Fisheries Management Council meeting wraps up March 14. Fishing is expected to be restricted due to the relatively low number of Sacramento fall run and protected winter run forecast to be in the ocean now.  Klamath River salmon will be less of a concern in 2018 as their numbers are forecast to be considerably higher than last year.

Because fishery managers over predicted last year’s fall run returns, they have purposely “under predicted” this year’s.  Based on 24,400 two year “jacks” returning to spawn in 2017, about 230,000 adult three year old salmon are predicted to be in the ocean now.  If last year’s predictions had been right, this year’s prediction would likely be closer to 400,000 adult salmon in the ocean now. Federal fishery managers have signaled they would like to see more than the minimum target of 122,000 adult salmon return to spawn in 2018.  They are shooting for over 150,000 to make it back and spawn.

In past years where two year old returns numbered around 24,000, much higher forecasts of three year old adult salmon in the ocean the following spring were made and generally decent fishing seasons were the rule.  For instance, 20,000 two year old spawners in 2013 converted into a forecast of just under 635,000 adult salmon in the ocean in the spring of 2014.  Some fishermen are questioning why last year’s two year olds aren’t leading to a similar robust forecast for the 2018 fishing season.

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