te or federal incidental take permits



Captain Stan Koenigsberger

Captain Steve Smith of the Bay Area "Smith" fishing clan has been fishing Alaska's Kenai Peninsula for 26 years. 800.567.1043

July 27, 2015    Headlines

 Delta Late Spring Stripers and Shad

Delta Report
By Dave Hurley

The salmon season is off to a slow start mainly due to warm water temps in the Delta. There have been at least six salmon landed off of the Benicia shoreline through Sunday 7- 26 with three large fish in the 17/18-pound range at 1st Street and three in the 7 to 10-pound range at the Dillon Point State Park. Vee-Zee or Flying C spinners in green/yellow are the top lures, but at least one salmon was landed on a pink Flying C.
Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait said, “The water has cleared up along 1st Street, and the minus tides this week will be in the middle of the night. The water had been muddy with the bottom of the tide in the early morning during the first week of salmon fishing.” Small legal stripers in the 18 to 20-inch range are biting blood worms, pile worms, or anchovies from the Benicia shoreline. Benicia Bait is one of the only shops with a supply of live grass shrimp, and they have been able to keep up with demand over the past few weeks.
Stripers appear to be around the West Bank with Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento reporting Big Al of Big Al’s Guide Service putting in 5 limits of striped bass on Sunday running shallow-running lures at 6 to 8 feet. Fong said, “The group insisted in going out, and Big Al was pleasantly surprised has his was the only boat in the area.”
A single salmon has been landed in the Freeport area of the Sacramento River, and Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “There was a salmon landed in the Minnow Hole on a Flying C spinner, but that has been it so far since the opener. The water temperature is 70 degrees, and whatever salmon are moving up the river are blasting through.”
There are still striped bass around, and Tran touted anchovies, sardines, blood worms, or pile worms coated with garlic spray while catfish are still holding in Lisbon Slough and the Deep Water Channel with chicken livers or nightcrawlers.
Smallmouth bass are in Steamboat and Miner Sloughs as well as the Old Sacramento in Walnut Grove with live crawdads or wacky-rigged Senkos. Bluegill and huge red-ear perch are in the process of the spawn, and they are thick along the Delta Loop with wax worms or jumbo red worms.
Triple-digit temperatures are on their way once again to the Central Valley, and the largemouth bass are already staging in the 79 degree water on the San Joaquin River. The hot weather will only keep the bass hunkered below the mats and hyacinth in the river.
Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “The water temperature is 5 degrees cooler under the mats, and the bass are really black since they are never coming out from under the cover. The key to getting bit is finding moving water, and we have been scoring by punching Missle’s D-Bombs in green pumpkin with no skirt on a 1 to 1.5-ounce weight. The fish are under both grass mats and hyacinth as they are seeking cover in any way possible.”   With the fish under the mats, the frog bite was limited during the 200 boat frog tournament held at Russo’s Marina over the weekend. The Snag-Proof Frog Tournament will be held this coming weekend, August 1/2 at Russo’s with information at www:snagproof.com or www:bestbasstournaments.com.
Don Paganelli of Paganelli’s Bass Fishing Experience participated with the owner of the Plano Tackle Company during the past weekend’s Ultimate Frog Challenge, and they took 7th place in the event. Paganelli said, “We missed a nice fish on Saturday that would have moved us up, but that’s fishing. We had a better day on Sunday and started culling fish at 8:00 a.m.”
H and R Bait in Stockton has been receiving an average of 30 pounds of a small grade of fresh shad on a daily basis, and the shad is perfect size for rolling for rainbow trout and king salmon instead of striped bass. Stripers are coming out of Empire Cut with live bluegill as the bluegill and red-ear perch are abundant along any of the sloughs with wax worms or red worms. H and R has extra-large minnows in the shop for the first time in over a month.
Small striped bass in the 9 to 12-inch range are thick throughout the San Joaquin side, but there have been a few quality stripers to 15 pounds taken from the shoreline on bait.  Catfishing is best in the Old River or back sloughs in the south San Joaquin River with frozen clams or chicken livers.


Special to The Bee

After yet another revision, the governor’s plan to build twin tunnels through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta still makes no economic sense. A closer look at the three types of economic benefits claimed for the project to export water to Central Valley farms and Southern California cities shows why it can’t possibly justify its estimated $15 billion cost. In each case, I give a value derived directly from the optimistic estimates of the state’s consultants and a more intuitive comparison.

Water supply: The latest numbers estimate the tunnels will increase water exports south of the Delta by an annual average of 257,000 acre-feet, with no increase in drought years when it is needed most. The cumulative value of that water supply over 50 years is $2 billion to $3 billion.
For comparison, San Diego’s new desalination plant will provide 56,000 acre-feet of drought-proof water for a capital cost of $1 billion. Desalination is the most costly water supply alternative, but it still provides more than three times the water supply per dollar invested than the Delta tunnels.

Water quality: Because the tunnels would divert higher-quality water from the Sacramento River, the salt and other contaminants in export water supply could decrease by 20 percent. It’s estimated that this could have a cumulative value to water exporters of as much as $2 billion over 50 years.
However, it is important to remember that the tunnels aren’t a water treatment or desalination plant that purifies water. Thus, the water exporter’s gain in water quality will be offset by degraded water quality elsewhere, a concern that is at the center of opposition in the five Delta counties and environmental concerns raised by the EPA and others.

Seismic risk: Listening to the governor, earthquake protection is the main economic argument. But the state’s experts estimated seismic-risk reduction to water exports was only worth a cumulative $400 million over 50 years. Why is this value so low? First, it is a very low probability event even in the most pessimistic models. Second, the outage to water exports isn’t as bad as you hear in TV commercials. Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin correctly described it as “weeks or months” in a recent media call, not years. In a worst-case earthquake scenario, the tunnels might prevent 2 million to 3 million acre-feet in lost water exports, a costly but manageable shortage. For comparison, the current drought has cut surface water supplies to farms and cities by more than 10 million acre-feet.
The earthquake argument is not only economically wrong, it is morally outrageous. The real damage from what some call California’s Katrina would be death and destruction in the Delta itself. The state’s model of this tragedy shows hundreds could die and that 80 percent of the economic damage was from the loss of property and infrastructure in the Delta.
It’s shocking that the state’s response to this are water tunnels that protect only 20 percent of the economic loss and zero percent of the life loss. Levee upgrades are much cheaper and reduce risks for all Californians.
In sum, the economic benefits of the tunnels to the water exporters total about $5 billion of its $15 billion cost, and the benefit-cost ratio is even worse when the negative impacts to the Delta and risks to the environment and upstream interests are considered.
Support among water exporters has been steadily eroding as the economic and financial shortcomings of the plan become better understood.
A few years ago, the state tried to shore up its economic argument by attaching a huge value to the hope of 50-year regulatory protection from the Endangered Species Act, and incorrectly attributing habitat restoration benefits to the tunnels. After heavy criticism, the latest revision to the tunnels plan eliminates the 50-year regulatory assurance and separates environmental restoration. The plan’s already flimsy economic rationale evaporated with this correction.
It is increasingly clear that there are less divisive alternatives that provide more economic and environmental value than the tunnels. No amount of tweaking can save what is fundamentally a bad idea. It’s time to move on.

Jeffrey Michael, an economist, is director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific. Read his blog at valleyecon.blogspot.com.
Read more here:

We are back from our annual family trip in Alaska and will be updating reports over the next couple of days.
Do Doung of Dockside Bait reported windy conditions and few fishermen out on Thursday 7-25. They do have live mudsuckers in the shop. Temps are expected to climb back to triple digits next week and this will only keep water temps high and the fishing to be slow.

THE DELTA by Jim Pickens of the Fishermen’s Friend in Lodi
The river salmon opener was a bust with no reports of salmon taken in the Delta.  We have had a couple of reports of shore anglers landing salmon in the Antioch and Benica area and numerous reports of salmon rolling from Rio Vista up to Sacramento.  Silvertron’s on spreaders and back trolling with Flatfish and Kwikfish are your best bets.  From shore throw Triple C’s and Blue Foxes for the best action.  And for the salmon anglers wanting to fish the Old Sac and launching out of Whimpy’s or New Hope, the Delta Cross Channel Gates will be open on July 24th around noon.   

Restore the Delta Files Protest Over State Water Board’s Changes to Delta Outflows

Board is picking winners and losers in a drought
Sacramento – Restore the Delta has filed a protest and request for consideration with the State Water Resources Control Board over its prior “Temporary Urgent Change Petitions” regarding water exports, Delta outflows, and water quality standards for the SF Bay-Delta estuary during the drought.
In its protest, RTD bases its request in three key areas: the existing Temporary Urgency Change Petition does not serve the public interest, is contrary to law, and is resulting in an adverse environmental impact on the Bay-Delta estuary.
Among the claims in the letter:
  The SWRCB has failed to implement the reduced Delta reliance policy mandated by the Legislature in the 2009 Delta Reform Act which intended to increase water importers’ reliance on local and regional supplies, drought-resistant supplies like water recycling, etc.
  The CVP & SWP treated their supplies in 2013 and 2014 as though a long-term drought would not occur, exporting from the Delta for today, never mind future years’ supplies.
  The SWRCB has yet to analyze and balance the value of water exports with the value of water to fisheries to Delta communities.
Read the letter here: http://restorethedelta.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/RTD-pet_protest-20150721.pdf
“We’ve asked the State Water Resources Control Board to do a post-mortem on how management of the state and federal projects and Board actions since the start of the drought contributed to the present depleted water supplies,” said Restore the Delta policy analyst, Tim Stroshane. “As a consequence of their actions—not just the dry conditions—state and federal water officials have placed the entire water system at risk of failure next year if this winter isn’t wet enough, including the Delta exports they’ve favored since 2012.”
“The Water Board's claim to have balanced the needs for exported water against available supplies has been overstated within the TUCP,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta. "The board decided that the needs of water exporters are of a higher value than the health of the estuary and the people and fish who depend on it staying healthy.  People in the Delta and in coastal communities are dependent on freshwater flows to protect fisheries, farms, and drinking water supplies. Delta fisheries are on the verge of extinction.  If water quality is so bad that we lose the fisheries that means Delta water quality is unfit for our communities as well."
Restore the Delta has been at center recently of the fight to protect the Delta on three fronts: a defense against Governor Brown's effort to build the Delta tunnels; Federal legislation that would allow for the over pumping of the Delta; and regulatory suspension of water quality and quantity standards for the Delta, contributing to the decimation of fisheries and protection of public trust  resources.


California moves to restrict water pumping by pre-1914 rights holders

For the first time in nearly 40 years, state regulators are telling more than 100 growers and irrigation districts with some of the oldest water rights in California that they have to stop drawing supplies from drought-starved rivers and streams in the Central Valley.
The curtailment order, issued Friday by the State Water Resources Control Board, has been expected for weeks. Earlier this spring, the board halted diversions under some 8,700 junior rights. With snowmelt reduced to a trickle this year, there simply isn't enough water flowing in rivers to meet the demand of all those with even older rights predating 1914. And as flows continue to decline this summer, board officials said, they expect to issue more curtailments, stopping river pumping by more senior diverters.
The effect of the curtailments, which affect water users with rights dating to 1903, will vary. Many have water in storage that they can continue to use. Utilities can keep using flows for hydropower production as long as the water is returned to the rivers. Some growers and ranchers also have groundwater supplies that are unaffected by the order.
A few communities, including Chico and Nevada City, have to stop river withdrawals under the order.
But Thomas Howard, the state board's executive director, said they have alternative supplies. “Each water-right holder has different options available to them,” he added. Still, the fact that the state is reaching back more than a century in the hierarchy of California water rights highlights the withering hold of a drought that has also led to the state's first mandatory cuts in urban use.
The last time regulators ordered those with pre-1914 water rights to stop diversions was in the punishing 1976-77 drought. Those curtailments were not as geographically widespread as Friday's, which applies to the Sacramento and San Joaquin river watersheds as well as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
 But the 1977 curtailments went back further in time. On some river stretches, they stopped withdrawals by all senior diverters. Despite the 1977 precedent, it is likely that Friday's order will spark appeals to the board as well as legal challenges."
 People are so dug into their rights that regardless of what we do it's likely they will ask for a rehearing,”
Delta Watermaster Michael George said last month. “There's going to be lots of litigation coming out of this. ”
Within hours of the board's announcement, officials of the Oakdale Irrigation District in the San Joaquin Valley issued a statement saying that they were ready to seek a court injunction to put a hold on the curtailment. “The water board is using a bulldozer when it needs a scalpel,” said Steve Knell, the district's top official. “It does not have enough data and information to support this decision. It is based on estimates and unverified claims. ”In an interview, Knell said the district has supplies stored in several reservoirs that it can continue to draw from. “This is more of a legal issue,” he added, arguing that the state doesn't have the authority to manage pre-1914 rights, nor does the board have accurate data on diversions by junior rights holders.
 “The senior rights holders are adamantly opposed to oversight or control,” he said. “We do a good job of managing our water among our water rights group.”
Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen of Modesto condemned the board action. “Today's water grab by the state board is disappointing, but not surprising,” she said in a statement. “It is one they have been eager to do for a long time and our current drought crisis gives them the cover they've been looking for to follow through. ”In California and the West, most rights to surface water are based on when the water was first diverted and used, a system known as “first in time, first in right.” The oldest claims date to the Gold Rush era, when miners sucked water from streams and used it to blast gold out of the Sierra Nevada foothills.
The state didn't start issuing water diversion permits until 1914, the dividing line between senior and junior rights.
In times of drought, when there isn't sufficient flow to satisfy all demand, those with junior rights are cut first to leave water for those with older claims. Last summer, the state halted diversions by many junior rights holders. In April and May, regulators again issued curtailment notices to those with junior rights in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins.
 At the same time, the board warned those with pre-1914 rights and rights to water flowing by their property — riparian rights — that they might be soon cut.
 Unusual storms in May delayed the move for several weeks as state staff monitored stream flows and demand in Central Valley watersheds.
 In the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, growers with riparian rights volunteered last month to reduce their use by 25% this summer — a deal that headed off possibly more severe cuts by the state board.
Friday's curtailments apply to 86 senior rights holders in the Sacramento River watershed, 14 holders in the San Joaquin River watershed and 14 in the delta. Because some holders have multiple rights, the total number curtailed Friday was 276. Those with riparian rights were not affected.
In other drought action Friday, the Obama administration announced $110 million in additional funding to provide temporary jobs for dislocated Californians, to support farmers and to improve water efficiency. The money comes on top of more than $190 million that federal agencies have already committed to aid drought-stricken communities this year, officials said.


Upcoming Events:
USAFishing proudly supports the many fishery and wildlife organizations that benefit anglers and hunters throughout Northern California. If you or your organization needs to get the word out or are looking to promote an event please contact us at fishsite@aol.com so we can inform our readers.

Golden Gate Salmon Association Events Calendar


Party Boat Information and Reservations around the Bay

The Happy Hooker is running halibut and striper trips out of Berkeley 2008 +1.510.223.5388

California Dawn is running sturgeon trips from Berkeley +1.510.773.5511

Caught Fish? Looking for timely informative updates? Check out a FREE trial to the Northern California Hotsheet, California's fastest growing fishing newsletter. The Hotsheet is emailed three to four evenings per week direct to your desktop. No hunting the web for information or waiting on an outdated magazine to arrive in the mail. These in-depth reports keep you on top of what is happening TODAY so you can catch more fish tomorrow! Just $3.50 per month when you subscribe for one year. You can receive a free week's trial copy by e-mailing a request to hurleyjacks@aol.com





www usafishing

USAfishing.com Copyright © 2005 All rights reserved