te or federal incidental take permits



Captain Steve Smith of the Bay Area "Smith" fishing clan has been fishing Alaska's Kenai Peninsula for 29 years. 800.567.1043

Captain Stan Koenigsberger

July 16, 2016    Headlines

 Delta Summer Grind Begins

Delta Report
By Dave Hurley

Do Doung of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported Friday 7-15, “ Small stripers are the rule, but there have been stripers as large as 12 pounds taken in Honker Bay on live bait. Most legal striped bass are in the 18- to 22-inch range on live minnows, anchovies, mudsuckers, sardines, or frozen shad.” Dockside Bait is closing out their inventory due to the closure of the shop by the end of July, and remaining inventory has been marked down as low as 40%.

Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors was out on Thursday night, and I spoke with him just prior to launching his boat. He said, “The frog bite is starting to improve, and the topwater bite on the River2Sea Whopper Plopper is good as well as punching the weeds. Most fishermen are punching the weeds, and the fish are holding on the outside two feet of the weeds and hyacinth mats. Current is essential.” They are holding a Frog Seminar on Thursday, July 28th with Angelo Alero of River2Sea and Chris Bass of Snag Proof presenting in addition to MathisenDo at Dockside Bait reported hot weather and a lack of live bait is a bad combination for Delta fishermen, and there have been few striped bass fishermen out the past few days. They are still selling their remaining rods and reels up to 40% off.
Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, is looking forward to getting back on the Delta within the month, stating, “We usually get our first surge of stripers in August, and I found them last year and want to do this once again.”


It's that time of year that this writer takes off for our annual family trip to our vacation home on the Kenai peninsula. We will be chasing kings & sockeye on the local rivers and will be jumping on board with good friend Captain Steve Smith for some likely epic halibut and saltwater action. I will be posting highlights on my Face Book page (Mike Aughney) next week. We will be leaving the laptop at home and will return with full reports here on Saturday July 30th.
In the time being please contact our sponsors or visit their websites for current reports, information and bookings.
Until then... good fishing!
Mike Aughney

Delta /Lower Sacramento River
The Delta is in a holding pattern for the next few months before the river salmon season begins on July 16th and the first run of fall striped bass arrives during the month of August. There is high optimism for the river salmon season, but the reality is the action will not begin in earnest until mid-August. Catfish, smallmouth bass, and bluegill provide the most action at the present time

Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait in Freeport touted smallmouth bass as the top area species, stating, “The smallies are stacked up along the rocks at depths from 10 to 15 feet with live minnows or plastics on the drop-shot. Catfishing is good with the warm weather with nightcrawlers or chicken livers throughout the system as they have moved out from the Sacramento Deep Water Channelo. Small striped bass are the rule, and fishermen should bring plenty of bait along with garlic spray to find the occasional keeper over 18 inches. A few boats are still drop-shotting for American shad below the Freeport Bridge, and one boat came up with 7 and another with 4 on Saturday.”

Do Doung of Dockside Bait in Pittsburg said, “ Small stripers are the rule, but there have been stripers as large as 12 pounds taken in Honker Bay on live bait. Most legal striped bass are in the 18- to 22-inch range on live minnows, anchovies, mudsuckers, sardines, or frozen shad.” Dockside Bait is closing out their inventory due to the closure of the shop by the end of July, and remaining inventory has been marked down as low as 40%.

In Suisun Bay, Tony Lopez of Benicia Bait and Tackle said, “We have been spooling a number of reels for the upcoming river salmon season as the shore fishermen are getting ready. Vee-Zee spinners or Flying C’s are starting to sell within the past two weeks. Small striped bass from the shoreline are possible with pile worms, blood worms, anchovies, or sardines. Sturgeon fishing has been null and void.

The San Joaquin-Delta is in recovery mode from the heavy boat traffic experienced over the holiday weekend, and combined with the minus tides, the water has become muddy, particularly in the shallows. Largemouth bass and bluegill remain the top species, but a few decent stripers are showing up on live bait.
Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors is preparing for the two big frog tournaments coming up with the Ultimate Frog Challenge on July 30/31st and the Snag Proof Open on August 6/7th, both out of Russo’s Marina. He and Chris Ball are hosting a frog seminar on Thursday, July 28th at the shop. He said, “Largemouth bass fishing is best with topwater lrues in the mornings along with white buzzbaits. We are hosting the Bass N’ Tubes tournament this coming weekend as well our own Dan’s Delta Outdoors event on July 23rd out of Big Break Marina. Striped bass fishing is fair with a 25 incher taken over the weekend at the Antioch Fishing Pier. Most stripers are undersized.”
Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “The punch bite has slowed down some with the cooler weather, but the topwater bite remains good.”
Gotcha Bait in Antioch confirmed the action for small stripers off of the pier with a few stripers also found near Orwood Marina. Anchovies, sardines, mudsuckers, or pile worms are all working, and there have been the occasional sturgeon taken on lamprey eel near the RiverView Lodge in Antioch.
Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait in Stockton reported stripers from 6 to 8 pounds have been taken on live bluegill in Whiskey Slough. He said, “The smaller bluegill are working best for this grade of striped bass, and the legal stripers have mostly been coming on live bait. Bluegill fishing is also very good with red worms, wax worms, or jumbo red worms from the banks throughout the south Delta. Largemouth bass are found in downtown Stockton near Weber Point, Brookside Road, Ladd’s Marina, and off of March Lane with medium to large minnows.” Eight Mile Road or Wimpy’s Marina on the Mokelumne River are also good locations for bluegill. H and R received 9 pounds of fresh shad on Sunday morning, but it was gone within an hour. Fresh shad has been sporadic, and the quality is mixed with most of the bait on the small side.

Lawsuit over Delta flows: Feds fail in oversight role, environmentalists say
Alex Breitler

Environmental groups sued federal regulators on Friday for allowing river flows in the fragile Delta to decline below levels that would normally be required even in the driest of years.
Repeatedly since 2014, state officials have elected to loosen flow and water quality standards in order to hold back more water in upstream reservoirs for later use by cities, farmers or wildlife.
This, despite the fact that the normal rules that determine how much water must flow through the Delta already contain provisions for drought years.
Friday’s lawsuit, filed at the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, blames the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to oversee the state’s actions. The most recent tweaking of the rules came just this week, when staff with the State Water Resources Control Board agreed to reduce flows on the San Joaquin River at Vernalis in order to store more water upstream in seriously depleted New Melones Lake.
“It seems this has become the habit now, to waive these standards. We think that’s a bad habit,” said Kate Poole, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, which sued along with The Bay Institute and Defenders of Wildlife.
The state has referred to the flow changes as “temporary” and “urgent,” given the severity of the drought. Normally the changes would require more environmental review, but Gov. Jerry Brown’s drought declaration in 2014 gave officials the ability to speed up the process.
Temporary though they are, the changes amount to rewriting the standards themselves, which have been in place since 1995 and are supposed to keep the Delta fresh for cities, farms and fish, the environmentalists argue in their lawsuit.
They target the EPA because the Clean Water Act requires federal approval to rewrite the flow standards.
The past two years have been “disastrous” for fish, the lawsuit says, from the diminutive Delta smelt to the salmon that migrate through the estuary to and from their native streams.
An EPA spokeswoman said the agency would not comment on pending litigation.
— Contact reporter Alex Breitler at (209) 546-8295 or abreitler@recordnet.com. Follow him at recordnet.com/breitlerblog and on Twitter @alexbreitler.

As California Water Infrastructure Crumbles,
Water Districts Consider Wasting $1.2 Billion on the Delta Tunnels
Advocates Say “Fix LA and Santa Clara First!”

Stockton, CA - Opponents of the Delta Tunnels today questioned the wisdom of state water districts investing another $1.2 billion in the plan while local water infrastructure in Santa Clara Valley and Los Angeles continues to leak and burst.
As reported by the 
San Jose Mercury News on Tuesday, “Silicon Valley's largest water provider will have to spend at least $20 million to drain, test and repair a critical water pipeline that failed last summer and may have more hidden problems.” The ruptured 8-foot-high, 31-mile-long concrete pipe brings up to 40 percent of the drinking water to Santa Clara County’s 1.8 million residents from the San Luis Reservoir in Merced County.
Los Angeles, leaking water mains and pipes lose eight billion gallons of water each year. The repairs to the Los Angeles water system will cost rate payers at least $1.3 billion and take at least a decade to fix.
State Needs Another $1.2 Billion to Keep the Tunnels Alive
Nancy Vogel, spokeswoman for the state Natural Resources Agency, has told both urban and agricultural water districts she will soon request from them another
$1.2 billion 
to fund engineering and design studies for the proposed Delta Tunnels project.

Fix LA and Santa Clara Valley First!
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta said: "It's absurd that the Santa Clara Valley Water District would even consider moving forward with raising millions of dollars from ratepayers to advance the Delta Tunnels project when they cannot maintain their own existing water infrastructure. The tunnels project, misnamed California Water Fix, and their propaganda arm, Californians for Water Security, sell the Delta Tunnels as needed to save California's water supply when, in truth, the Delta is not the weak link in the water delivery system. Californians lose 10 to 15 percent of our water supply each year due to water main breaks and leaky pipes in urban areas.  
“It is also ironic that pipes laid just 30 years ago by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation are already corroded and breaking apart. If we cannot build and maintain an 8-foot pipe in the Santa Clara Valley Water District, what can we expect with two Delta tunnels, 40 feet wide, built in peat soil?

“Let’s instead spend precious ratepayer dollars to fix the decaying LA and Santa Clara Valley Water infrastructure before considering a massive new proposal with an Environmental Impact Report the EPA has already issued a failing grade of ‘inadequate’.”

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