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February 23, 2015    Headlines

Crab Pick
Waiting On April Salmon

Half Moon Bay:
The weather conditions were outstanding over the past weekend, and Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat out of Pillar Point Harbor reported good action for limits of Dungeness crab and some sand dabs for the B and B  Norcal Fishing Club on Saturday, February 21st. He said, “The trip started off with 25 yard visibility in the fog, but we ran towards the Separation Zone where during the week there were good concentrations of birds and bait during the week.” In addition to the sand dabs, a few sand sole and sand sharks were also landed.
On Sunday, Mattusch pulled six pots for two limits of Dungeness crab, stating, “The crabbing is slow with a number of females in the pots, but I pulled one pot that hadn’t been checked in awhile, and it was loaded with 10 legal crab.” Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat is the only party boat running the combination trips out of Pillar Point Harbor, and he is operating combination trips, crab-only trips, whale watching trips, and rockfish research trips for the next few months prior to the anticipated salmon opener in April.
Although it has not been officially confirmed, there is a possibility of the rockfish season opening below Pigeon Point in the Central Management Area on April 1st and above Pigeon Point in the San Francisco Management Area on April 15th. The official announcement will be confirmed after the series of meetings of the Pacific Fisheries Marine Council is completed within the month. Three ling cod in excess of 22 inches and 10 rockfish with a limit of 5 black rockfish will be in effect for the coming season.

Further up the coast in Pacifica, Sheryl Jimno of the Rusty Hook reported excellent surf perch fishing with prawns, anchovies, or squid as blood and pile worms continued to be next to impossible to obtain. Angler are able to  venture far up the coastline in search of surf perch during the coming 11th Annual Sand Crab Surf Perch Derby held out of Santa Cruz on Saturday, March 14th. Striper fishing has continued throughout the winter along the beaches from Ocean Beach south to Half Moon Bay with both lures and bait, leading Jimno to state, “The big fish have been coming in on a regular basis.” Crabbing from the pier is providing enough interest to keep fishermen out there, and sales of crab snares continued to keep the local manufacturer busy.

Half Moon Bay:
Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat took a research trip on Monday in search of late season gravid chilipepper rockfish at depths to 500 feet. They landed a few males, green spotted, green stripers, a short belly, and a single widow rockfish. The fish will be processed by the Santa Cruz NOAA.  Mattusch of the Huli Cat is the only party boat running combination trips, crab-only trips, whale watching trips, and rockfish research trips for the next few months prior to the anticipated salmon opener in April.  
The 11th Annual Sand Crab Surf Perch Derby will be held out of Santa Cruz on Saturday, March 14th, but anglers can venture far up the coastline in search of surf perch during the event.
The event is an annual fundraiser for the Monterey Bay Salmon and Steelhead Project. Information on the derby is available at http://theletsgofishingradioshow.com.

Looking ahead we will have news from the PFMC in February and March on what to expect from this coming salmon season. Last year the Golden Gate Salmon Association pushed hard and got the majority of the hatchery fish trucked past the hazards in the Delta. If those fish found good feeding conditions in their first few weeks we should see a very high survival rate. We will know come April if we are seeing lots of shakers along the coast. Those fish should be legal size by the late summer and hopefully be providing good action to coast anglers this fall. Time will tell and EVERY salmon angler on the Central and North Coast should be thankful for the work that GGSA has done to get the State and Feds to truck those fish.
At the Golden Gate Salmon Ass.  BOD meeting this past week we were receiving some very bleak news regarding out migrating salmon in the upper Sac the past few months. F&W has several screw traps in the upper river that allow them to count the number of juveniles out migrating from the upper river. Due to the drought the number of juvenile winter run salmon is crashing with the run being only about 25% of the past few years. This could have a BIG impact on how our ocean salmon seasons are set in 2016 and 2017.
GGSA is fighting hard to ensure that salmon populations rebuild but this drought is having a huge effect on wild or naturally produced fish. They are at the forefront of getting several large habitat improvement projects done throughout the Central Valley. The recently completed work at Painters riffle is just one of MANY examples of what this great organization has accomplished.
What they need most RIGHT NOW is YOUR support. I encourage readers to become a member of GGSA and go to their dinners and support their efforts. Visit their website and learn more about what they have done (in the three short years since they have formed) and what they are looking to accomplish in the coming years to protect salmon and this incredible fishery.
Golden Gate Salmon Association

March 13, 2015 

Ramekins Event Center, Sonoma

 The Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA) will host its 2nd Annual Sonoma dinner with special guest vintner and water conservation advocate Mike Benziger, Friday, March 13. The special event will be held at Ramekins Event Center, 450 W. Spain St. in Sonoma.  Doors open at 5:30pm. It will be a great night featuring hors d’oeuvres, Benziger Family wines, cocktails, dinner, silent and open auctions, and the chance to compare fish stories with all the folks we share the water with and raise funds for GGSA and its salmon restoration projects. GGSA will also update attendees on the current state of salmon affairs
“After last year’s success, it was an easy choice to honor Mike Benziger this year,” said
 Victor Gonella, founder and treasurer of GGSA, “Mike is well known in the region for his water conservation practices and bio-dynamic farming. Conserving and wise water policies are needed to keep the iconic salmon industry strong, along with California’s water dependent economy. As a farmer, Mike Benziger understands this. So, it is our great pleasure to honor him. Additionally, we are grateful to Darius and Sarah Anderson for supporting GGSA by providing the Ramekins location.
Mike Benziger is the managing general partner of the Benziger Family Winery and Imagery Estate Winery in Glen Ellen. Long known for his astute bio-dynamic farming principles and water reuse practices, Benziger is a leader in understanding the importance of water conservation and best practices as it applies to agriculture. In 2010, Mr. Benziger was the recipient of the prestigious National Resource Defense Council water steward award
Tickets are limited and are available by calling
 855-251-GGSA (4472) or by visiting www.goldengatesalmonassociation.com. Tickets are $125 per person, and will NOT be sold at the door. Table Sponsor packages are $1,200 and include reserved VIP seating for eight and $100 worth of raffle tickets.
The Golden Gate Salmon Association (www.goldengatesalmonassociation.org) is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fisherman, businesses, restaurants, tribes, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities that rely on salmon. GGSA’s mission is to protect and restore California’s largest salmon producing habitat comprised of the Central Valley river’s that feed the Bay-Delta ecosystem and the communities that rely on salmon as a long-term, sustainable, commercial, recreational and cultural resource.

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