April 25, 2017    Headlines

 Salmon Hit and Miss
Rockfish Opens

Bodega Salmon
On Tuesday-25 the salmon showed and the bite was good for a handful of anglers fishing off Ten Mile Beach. Rick on the New Sea Angler reported 10 salmon to 22 pounds for 10 anglers adding a bonus of 100 crabs. They were trolling in 200 feet of water off the upper end of Ten Mile off the Towers. The salmon were the same grade seen by the Golden Gate fleet last Saturday with most running 12 to 15 pounds and four from 17 to 22 pounds landed. They lost several others. The weather was great with 5 to 8 knots of breeze over a 6 foot swell. The forecast calls for breezy conditions to return but this will only set the stage for more good action in the weeks ahead.

 The rockfish are biting all along the coast but with the hard current you have to search them out. Once found the action has been good and limits for most are the rule. On Saturday 4-22 Rick on the New Sea Angler reported 34 limits of rockfish adding 10 lings to 11 pounds. Rick ran north to Timber Cove and said that the local reefs are holding lots of fish.
Jeff on the Miss Anita reported limits of rockfish for 6 clients and crew (8) adding 6 limits of lings and 45 crabs. Jeff said the weather was flat calm early but NW winds were building in the afternoon.

The weather is dead clam off Bodega bay here early Saturday 4-22 morning. We have 0 knots with a gust of 2 as of 5:30AM with just a 3 foot swell.
On Friday Rick on the New Sea Angler ran south. Fishing off Point Reyes Rick said the bite started off good but the current then started to run hard. Rick's 24 anglers boated 212 rockfish adding 14 lings to 17 pounds. The big fish was caught by Jack Christenson of Fresno. On the way home they pulled a few pots for 111 crabs or just over four each. What a great bonus! Jeff Anita ran north to Ft Ross. He too said the fast current was making for a very quick drift. He reported 6 limits of rockfish, 4 lings and 59 crabs or one shy of limits. Both Rick and Jeff have room in the coming week.
We are hoping to get a few salmon reports and hopefully some of you readers will chime in. ( over the weekend.

The weather has laid out the past two days and the rockfish are chomping. On Wednesday 4-19 Rick on the New Sea Angler ran south to Pt Reyes for 11 limits of all quality browns, reds and coppers adding three lings. He left enough time in the day to pull the crab pots adding 11 limits of crabs to nearly three pounds. They had great weather with 5 knots of breeze over a 5 to 7 foot swell. Both Rick and Jeff on the Miss Anita have room for rockfish / salmon / crab combos. The trips will be a captain's choice depending  weather and what is biting best.
The PFMC passed the final sport and Option 1 was adopted. Option 1 calls for a season of April 1-30 with a 24" min. size limit. The season then closes for two weeks and reopens May 15th through October 31 with a 20" minimum size.

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Note to readers:
After a year plus of meetings and rejections the Golden Gate Salmon Association has finally received approval to begin a new salmon net pen project in Bodega Bay. I'm proud to be on the Board of Directors of this organization who are working hard to recover our salmon runs. The Bodega Bay salmon net pens hold promise to bring more salmon to the back decks of both sport and commercial anglers. GGSA has more net pen projects in the works and I encourage readers of USAFishing to support all that GGSA is doing.
Our salmon runs can not recover without the support of sport and commercial anglers and the advocacy of conservation groups like GGSA.

Experimental Salmon Release Scheduled for Bodega Bay

Baby salmon spell hope after recent down years
Petaluma, CA. – The Golden Gate Salmon Association is pleased to announce 250,000 baby salmon are scheduled to be released in Bodega Bay in late May.  The release will be part of an experiment designed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to learn how well the fish survive, where they go in the ocean, where they return to as adults, and how big a contribution they ultimately make to the ocean and inland salmon fishery.  This is the first time baby hatchery salmon have ever been released in Bodega Bay.
“GGSA worked tirelessly to win support for this project which we first identified over 12 months ago”, said GGSA founder Victor Gonella. “It will not only yield valuable biologic information, but also a harvest of hope for a strapped community.”
After being transported from the hatchery where they were born and reared for several months, the fish will be offloaded from tanker trucks into a floating net pen at Spud Point Marina. They’ll be held up to a few hours to allow them to reorient from the truck ride and then released to the ocean on the outgoing tide.  Survival of fish released in this way is expected to be much higher than for similar fish released at Central Valley hatcheries. 
GGSA couldn’t have put the pieces together to make this happen without generous assistance from a number of groups and individuals.  Among these, the Commercial Salmon Stamp Committee including Bodega Bay fisherman Stan Carpenter.  “We hope this leads to more fish for everyone in the future,” said Carpenter.
Most of all GGSA is grateful for the continued cooperation of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) who overcame multiple hurdles and months of work to finally get this project done.
“The Department appreciates the issues facing the salmon fishery and local communities as well as native salmon stocks in low abundance,” said CDFW Fisheries Branch Chief Kevin Shaffer.  “This collaborative study is intended to shed light on how enhancement salmon may interact with native river stocks.”
The Bodega Bay Fishermen’s Festival offered financial support to offset the cost associated with the project. Spud Pt. Marina harbor master Noah Wagner and Sonoma Country Regional Parks have generously offered use of their dock and crane to unload the fish. 

The Golden Gate Salmon Association ( is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fisherman, businesses, restaurants, a native tribe, 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.

Regulations for California’s popular red abalone sport fishery have changed in 2017. Due to concerns about the declining population, the season will be shortened and the take limit reduced.
The 2017 season will be shortened by two months, with the traditional opening date of April 1 now delayed until May 1. The fishery will also close a month earlier than usual, on Oct. 31.
The annual (calendar year) limit is changing from 18 abalone to 12. As in the past, no more than nine abalone may be taken south of the boundary between Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
The red abalone catch is being reduced because surveys conducted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) found that red abalone populations in deeper waters are on the decline due to unfavorable environmental conditions. Over the past three years, growth of kelp — a major food source for abalone – has declined significantly. Dramatic increases in purple sea urchin populations have further reduced the food available for abalone. Details can be found at
Other regulations relative to abalone remain unchanged. Fishing for abalone will be allowed from 8 a.m. to one half-hour after sunset in waters north of San Francisco Bay. People may travel to fishing locations before 8 a.m. but may not actively search for or take any abalone before that time. The daily bag and possession limit remains at three. Parts of Fort Ross State Historical Park remain closed to the take of abalone. A map of the closed area can be found online at
Northern California’s recreational red abalone fishery is enjoyed by tens of thousands of divers along the Sonoma and Mendocino coast. A recent CDFW study estimated that approximately 31,000 abalone divers derived between $24 million and $44 million per year of recreational value from the fishery. The value of this fishery declined nearly $12 million after stricter regulations were imposed in 2014 following a harmful algal bloom that killed thousands of abalone in Sonoma County. Information about the study can be found at
The changes to the abalone regulations were approved by the Fish and Game Commission at their Dec. 7 meeting, under emergency rulemaking provisions that allow fast-tracking of the approval process when there is an urgent need for regulatory change.

Nearly all the salmon caught along the coast this year are there thanks to the Golden Gate Salmon Association. If not for their efforts to push both state and federal hatchery managers to truck fish over the past three years of drought we would have likely NOT had a season this year or next. I encourage readers to support this great organization and their efforts to return our salmon fishery to it's past glory. You can visit their website and see all that they are doing to make that a reality.

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Upcoming Events:
USAFishing proudly supports the many fishery and wildlife organizations that benefit anglers and hunters throughout Northern California. Does your organization have an upcoming event? Contact us at and we will gladly post the information on our reports pages.

California Waterfowl Dinners and Youth Events Calendar

Golden Gate Salmon Association Events Calendar

 Party Boat Contacts:
The Bodega Bay Sportfishing  Center is currently booking trips on the New Sea Angler. They also book the six pack Sandy Ann, Profishn't and during the summer the Predator. Reservations can be made at 707 875-3344.

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5-day plot - Wind Speed at 46013

5-day plot - Wave Height at 46013

Marine Weather
With the Point Arena, San Francisco and Bodega Bay buoys all out of service it's been tough to judge conditions. There are some land based weather stations, wave rider and even webcams that readers can use to assess current conditions.  The Point Reyes wind observations or wave conditions at the San Francisco wave rider buoy are good tools for Golden Gate anglers.  For Bodega Bay anglers you can use both the Point Reyes wind observations and the Bodega Bay Marine lab web cam at Horseshoe Cove and conditions at the Point Arena light house. For Monterey based anglers looking for conditions inside Monterey bay can use the Monterey Bay Aquarium buoy.




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