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

May 25, 2016    Headlines

 Delta Stripers and Sturgeon

Delta Report
By Dave Hurley
American shad continue to be the best option in the northern stretches of the Sacramento River /Delta, but there has been a solid striper bite in the northeast sloughs for those willing to change techniques. Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported Monday 5-23 excellent shad fishing in the Sacramento River and upstream with shad darts or grubs in champagne or pink. The shad are mostly males, but there are larger females to 4 pounds starting to show up in the river. He said, “It’s a pretty good run of fish, and it has just started.”
J.D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing took out two members of the Coast Guard and a Marine on Saturday for the first annual “Support Your Local Heroes” event out of the Rio Vista Coast Guard Station. He said, “We caught stripers all day long, and we mostly worked the bottom with spoons for schoolie stripers.” Mark Wilson, striper trolling expert, also took out members of the police, fire, or military on this first event.
J. D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing found great action for striped bass on the main San Joaquin River-Delta despite the high winds. He said, “The winds were howling, and the water and winds were fighting each other, and I had to run the big motor in order to keep straight. We caught plenty of schoolie stripers tossing swimbait or spooning, and the fish were in the middle of the river in deeper water. All of the fish are spawned out now.”
Steffen Masters of Lost Anchor Bait in Antioch said, “The sturgeon bite continues to be steady between the Antioch Marina and the Antioch Bridge with several sturgeon landed on ghost shrimp, grass shrimp, or pile worm/shrimp combinations.”
H and R Bait in Stockton reported bluegill are thick in all of the back sloughs with wax worms or jumbo red worms while the striper bite has improved in Empire Cut and the Middle River with live bluegill. Fresh shad has been limited in local bait shops with the shadders picking and choosing their days to work.

There is a solid striper bite in the northwest Delta with a number of schoolies available for guides working the area with live bait.’
Scott Feist of Feisty Fishing Guide Service said, “We crushed them on Thursday 5-19 morning despite the wind blowing at least 20 knots. There is a tremendous amount of fish out there, and we have been drifting golden shiners or spooning. The troll bite has slowed, but this is the time when the live bait action takes off. The fish are schoolies up to 7 pounds.”
Johnny Tran of New Romeo’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport said, “The striper guys are still out there with the occasional big fish coming as the stripers are moving back down from up north. Inside Steamboat Slough and at the mouth of Miner Slough have been hot areas for drifting jumbo minnows. Sardines coated with garlic spray, pile worms, Duo Realis jerkbaits, or River2Sea SWavers are all working for bank guys. He added that shad fishing has been excellent in the Freeport area with boats drop shotting shad grubs while bank anglers are tossing shad darts on a 1-ounce egg sinker. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are getting active in Steamboat Slough with wacky-rigged Senkos or crankbaits.
James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service is also drifting minnows in the north Delta, and he said, “We stuck it out on another very windy day as it was blowing over 20 mph at the start of the day. We ended up with 2 limits to 6 pounds with around 20 shakers and another dozen lost fish as they were biting real short today.”
Do at Dockside Bait in Pittsburg reported slow fishing action with the high winds during the past week. He said, “There have been few people out fishing.” They will have ghost shrimp, pile worms, and live minnows for the weekend.
Pam Hayes at Benicia Bait reported overall slow interest with most sturgeon fishermen heading for either the bay or ocean. A few fishermen are picking up a few stripers from the shoreline, and their employee, Gene, came back with a limit at 20 and 28 inches on Wednesday casting at the State Park. Jack smelt are thick at the State Park. They have blood worms, pile worms and possibly ghost shrimp for the weekend in addition to all of the frozen baits.
For largemouth bass, Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, took out a fly fisherman who is preparing for the upcoming Bass N’ Fly at Ladd’s Marina in Stockton on June 4th. Pringle said, “I showed him how to catch bass on a plastic worm on a Zappu head on a fly rod, but you have to use a strike indicator since there is so much slack on the water with the fly line. Bass fishing is at its finest right now, and we are crushing them on the Little Stick by keeping the bait in the strike zone right now. The bass are in all three phases of the spawn, and they are either on beds, guarding fry, or feeding heavily on secondary points. The key is matching the lure with the tide as on the low tide, a buzzbait is a good lure especially with the new triple wings or quad winds, and adding a trailer hook to your lures is important since many of the bass are just slapping at the lures while guarding fry. The best action on the low tide is in 5 to 7 feet of water along the outside edges. The bass are also starting to feed, and the Berkeley Chigger Craw in black/red or the Havoc Bottom Hopper or Flat Dogs are all working. Spinnerbaits are best on the high tides where you can keep the lure out of the grass. It’s really good out there right now.”

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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