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 02, 2016    Headlines

 Delta Stripers and Sturgeon

Delta Report
By Dave Hurley
Big wind was the story on the Sacramento River during the past weekend, and most locations were inundated with heavy wind, making access to the top trolling and anchoring locations impossible.
American shad continue to move into the upper ranges of the Sacramento-Delta, and bank fishermen and boaters are getting in on the action with a variety of presentations on Monday 5-2. Striped bass are moving both up and down the river, and sturgeon fishing remains good for the few anglers still targeting the diamondbacks in lower Suisun Bay.
Craig Kamikawa of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento said, “Shad fishing is good at Freeport and the Minnow Hole and they are just starting to move above the Freeport Bridge. Shad fishermen are either drop-shotting with a 3/4th to 1 ounce sinker with two shad grubs spaced 9 to 12 inches above the weight on a leader of similar length. Shore fishermen are using 1-inch grubs in champagne/pink or sparkle on a 1/32nd or 1/16th jig head.
The majority of stripers in the Delta have spawned, but there are indications that there are still fresh fish moving into the system. Kamikawa added, “Striper fishing has been dependant on the spawn, but there was a fresh push of mails into the system at the end of the week, and larger females are on their way. There has been several females caught in Suisun Bay, and trollers have been scoring around Decker and Sherman Islands, so they are on their way.”|
James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service was on the Delta three times last week, and he said, “Overall the bite has slowed down, but there have been new big fish moving into the system as we have landed males loaded with milt to 10 pounds along with some females with eggs, but most stripers are downstreamers. The best action has been on the Sacramento side of the Delta, and I have been trolling Yozuri Crystal Minnows in red head/white, chartreuse, and clown in both deep and shallow diving patterns. The clown pattern has just turned on as it has not been effective until now. I will be staying on the Delta for two or three more weeks before moving up to the lakes of Oroville and Stampede.”
For sturgeon, Captain Steve Mitchell of Hook’d Up Sport Fishing out of Pittsburg took his final sturgeon trip of the season on Sunday, and he said, “The fish are still here, and we released two oversized to 81 inches on Saturday along with a slot-limit fish and we have another slot-limit fish on Sunday to go with a few oversized. They want roe right now, and they are biting aggressively. Now is the time to go, and the fish are stacking up in the Little and Big Cuts. We released the big 81 incher in the Little Cut before heading over to the Big Cut for the remainder of our five fish including the keeper.”
Pam Hayes at Benicia Bait reported a number of oversized and legal sturgeon have been landed from the shoreline from the Dillon Point State Park to Glen Cove by fishermen targeting striped bass. There are an abundance of jack smelt along the shorelines as well. Striper fishing is picking up and the smolt dumps will bring in the linesides although the smolts are being released on the outgoing tide at night. She said, “They action  isn’t  red hot right now, but every week there is a 30-inch plus striper landed.”
Steve Santucci of Steve Santucci’s Fly Fishing Guide Service confirmed the overall slowdown in the striper bite, stating, “Fishing for stripers in the Delta is decent, but it has slowed down from last week.  We need some upstream or downstream fish to enter our area. Four inch Clouser Minnows presented on a fast sinking line is the way to go fishing 4- to 15- feet of water.  In the 4- to 6-foot range, you will want to try your intermediate slow sinking line.  Largemouth bass topwater should be good in May as the water temps will be hovering in the 70 degree range.”
Doug Chapman of Gotcha Bait in Antioch reported big stripers are coming off of the Antioch Fishing Pier with a 38 incher landed at 2:00 a.m. on a live jumbo minnows. The largemouth bass bite is picking up again, and large minnows are doing the trick near Orwood Resort.
In the Stockton area, Brandon Gallegos of H and R Bait said, “Bluegill are abundant in Whiskey Slough and off of Eight Mile Road with wax worms and jumbo red worms while crappie are found near the docks in Tiki Lagun or Turner Cut with small to medium minnows.  There have only been a few double-digit stripers coming to the shop in the past weeks, and they have been taken on live bluegill in Whiskey Slough. The fish don’t want a large bluegill, and they are targeting a smaller size which they are able to swallow.” Fresh shad has still yet to appear.

There are still striped bass in the Delta, but most of the linesides are spawned out and moving down river in a hurry while others are still pushing up. Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, was out on both Tuesday and Thursday 4-28, and Thursday’s trip was much slower than his previous venture with a pair of stripers shallow on the San Joaquin along with a few more on the deep troll outside of Decker Island on the Sacramento River. He said, “It was slower for us today, but one boat had 8 fish released and Mark Wilson also landed 6 fish. Our largest striper was 5.5 pounds, and we only kept two, and they were spawned out.” On Thursday’s trip, they went as far as Prisoner’s Point on the San Joaquin along with outside of Decker Island for 25 stripers to 16 pounds caught and released. He said, “Everything was deep on Tuesday with P-Line Predator Minnows or Yozuri Crystal Minnows, and nearly all of the fish were spawned out.” There were no large groupings of stripers, and they had to search around to locate the isolated schools.
Kenji Nagakawa, Delta Wood Bomber Pro-Staff, continues his assault on San Joaquin River stripers with two linesides at 18 pounds caught and released during the last hours of daylight on Thursday night. He said, “We got the two bites were were looking for.” Nagakawa is switching out his hooks to Owner SST56 3X in order to land the big fish he is looking for.
Dan Mathisen of Dan’s Delta Outdoors in Oakley reported the winds have been bad in the Delta, but the wind is not stopping the striper and largemouth bass bite. A 40-inch striped bass was landed off of the Antioch Fishing Pier on a sardine, and he said, “I have received several striper pictures this week.” The largemouth bass bite is still good, and we are selling Senkos, Senkos, and Senkos in 6 and 7-inch sizes in color patterns 208, 297, and 925. Anglers are starting to punch the weeds, and the wind is bringing out the spinnerbait bite. The Fat Sack Tournament Series compact spinnerbait in to 3/4th ounce has been effective in chartreuse/white.
Randy Pringle, the Fishing Instructor, said, “The largemouth bite is to die for right now as we have landed bass from 7 to 11 pounds in the past week. We caught and released 55 fish to 5 pounds on Thursday by staying out of the wind along levees with cover. This week has been interesting with the water temperatures dropping from the 65 to 67 degrees to 63.5 degrees. The topwater bite has slowed down as a result, and our best action has been flipping or worming with the Havoc Flat Dog or Power Worms in earth tones on a Zappu head. Once the water heats up, the topwater bite should return, and there are fry in the water which is a good sign. The crankbait and spinnerbait bite will pick up. The bass are still in holding from the banks to 6 feet in depth.”
Pringle avoided the tornado that touched down in the Delta on Tuesday by running under a small bridge near Bullfrog Marina. He said, “We saw it coming and took cover, but the skies just let loose with a huge rainstorm.” This was the second time Pringle has been on the water when the extraordinary occurrence of a tornado hit the Delta. The last time, the roof was ripped off of Tiki Lagun.

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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