BODEGA BAY
 

February 19, 2017    Headlines

 Crabs & Dabs
Waiting On Salmon News

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 (www.goldengatesalmonassociation.org) 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.


The long winter season has started along the California coastline in regards to fishing, but Bodega Bay remains a viable option for sport Dungeness crab along with the bonus of sand dabs.
Here on Saturday 2-4 morning we are seeing brisk winds and scattered showers. Captain Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sport Fishing said, “We have just been pounded by the weather since the New Year, but within the first two months  of the season, we put in 25,000 Dungeness crab. Our last trip produced crab limits along with 350 sand dabs, and we will be running crab/sand dab combinations and crab-only trips until the salmon opener in April. (hopefully April) 
Captain Jeff Carmella on the Miss Anita will also be offering the sand dab/crab trips.
Joel Sinkay of the Spud Point Marina reported the launch ramp at Westside Park is now open. There are handicapped restroom facilities as well as widened launch ramp and a kayak launch. The renovations include a widened launch ramp, installation of a new gangway and an accessible kayak launch, improvement to the restrooms and picnic sites, and upgrading the fish cleaning and boat wash stations.


There has not been a whole lot of interest due to all the recent wet weather but Rick Powers was back out over the weekend. On Saturday 1-14 Rick reported 11 limits of crabs. On Sunday he had a very light load of 7 anglers on a crab and dab combo. They took 342 sand dabs a few croakers and full limits of crabs. The weather was excellent with winds under 5 knots over a 5 to 6 foot swell. Rick will be offering crab and dab and crab combos weather interest permitting.


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 
https://cdfwmarine.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/perfect-storm-decimates-kelp/.
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
http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=42101&inline=true.
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
http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=136510.
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.



Vacation Rental at Point Arena
 Brand New House in Irish Beach with 2 bedrooms and a huge loft. Sleeps 6. Blue Water Ocean View to the Point Arena Light House and great local fishing. The house is located on a private court with access to the Members only Irish Beach.
 


 


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 fishsite@aol.com 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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