EEL, MAD & MATTOLE RIVERS





Captain Dave Jacobs 530 646-9110

March 01, 2015    Headlines
 Eel Steel

North Coast Fish Wrap
All North Coast rivers continue to drop and clear. Here on Sunday 3-1 there have been a very isolated showers over Sonoma county the past 24 hours but no rain to speak of. This has not changed river conditions and with dry weather in the forecast through the coming week conditions will only become more challenging.
The Chetco and Smith and low and gin clear and the fishing has been challenging to say the least. While a few guides are still reporting a fish or two landed most are happy to see one. All are working very hard to put their clients into fish but with the current low conditions the best efforts are not often rewarded.
One of the best bets this week is the Upper Klamath. In the Seiad Valley flows are still pushing at 2400cfs and Wally Johnson says the river is in great shape. He is just back from fishing the 2ndRowdy Creek derby on the Smith and Chetco and his report from the coast was "it's good to be home". Last week Wally was reporting solid 5 to 12 plus adults and upwards of 15 to 20 half pounders per day. Water temps are in the high 40s and with the lack on snow in the hills the fish are going to continue to bite. The upper Klamath sees little pressure as it is very isolated but for those willing to put in a couple of extra hours of scenic drive time you will wonder why you have never fished here before. It's quiet with a busy day being three other drift boats and five bankies in the course of the whole day.
The Mad is low and clear and the fishing has turned slow. We had a good push of fish from the storms in early February but many of the hatchery fish pushed down and only a few fresh ones have pushed in. The Mad usually sees a decent run of natives in March so it's not over yet.
The South Fork Eel is running at 990 at Miranda and the Main stem Eel at Scotia at 2900. I don't have a report from today but last last week guides fishing the South Fork were seeing 1 to 5 fish per day. With most other rivers necking down I can respect guides who don't want to give up the last of their prime waters. While there are not a lot of secrets between guides they don't want to share the last few spots they are still finding a few fish. I wouldn't either!

All Rivers In
All North Coast rivers are in but most are seeing low clear conditions. Lack of rain the past two weeks has the Smith and Chetco both running low and very clear. While showers / light rain is expected on Friday 2-27 and into the weekend it does not look to be enough to change the river conditions.
 The 2nd Rowdy Creek fish derby of the year will be held this Friday and Saturday 2-28 on the Smith and Chetco. Last weekend the action was slow with the top team out of 24 total seeing a combined 8 fish. This week with even more challenging conditions and lower flows  22 teams will be facing tough conditions but I'm sure everyone involved will have a great time supporting Rowdy Creek hatchery. After all that is what this derby is all about.
The Smith is currently running at 7 feet here on Thursday 2-26 evening. It's low and gin clear and giving up just a few adults and runbacks the past several days.
The gauge at Miranda on the South Fork Eek is reporting a current flow of 1150 feet. The Miranda gauge has been over reading for the past two weeks but guides are reporting the entire south fork is in and giving up 1 to 6 fish hooked per boat. For the coastal rivers the Eel has been the top producer this season.
The Mad river action has slowed this past week. The river is down to 7 feet or about 700cfs and is sporting 12 to 18 inches of viz. Bankies are scoring a few fish on roe while others are lining but scores have dropped from easy limits two weeks ago to a fish per stick for knowledgeable anglers.
Wally Johnson reports they are seeing 5 to 10 adults and 15 to 20+ half pounders working the upper Klamath in the Seiad Valley the past few days. Wally says the fishing pressure has been extremely light and it's rare to see more than one or two other boats even working the same stretch of river. Wally is headed back over to the coast to fish in the Rowdy Creek derby this weekend and will be back on his home waters next Monday. Numbers wise the upper Klamath is a top bet (if) until the rains return. 


All North Coast rivers are in but most are seeing low clear conditions. Lack of rain the past two weeks has the Smith and Chetco both running low and very clear. While showers / light rain is expected on Friday 2-27 and into the weekend it does not look to be enough to change the river conditions.
 The 2nd Rowdy Creek fish derby of the year will be held this Friday and Saturday 2-28 on the Smith and Chetco. Last weekend the action was slow with the top team out of 24 total seeing a combined 8 fish. This week with even more challenging conditions and lower flows  22 teams will be facing tough conditions but I'm sure everyone involved will have a great time supporting Rowdy Creek hatchery. After all that is what this derby is all about.
The Smith is currently running at 7 feet here on Thursday 2-26 evening. It's low and gin clear and giving up just a few adults and runbacks the past several days.
The gauge at Miranda on the South Fork Eek is reporting a current flow of 1150 feet. The Miranda gauge has been over reading for the past two weeks but guides are reporting the entire south fork is in and giving up 1 to 6 fish hooked per boat. For the coastal rivers the Eel has been the top producer this season.
The Mad river action has slowed this past week. The river is down to 7 feet or about 700cfs and is sporting 12 to 18 inches of viz. Bankies are scoring a few fish on roe while others are lining but scores have dropped from easy limits two weeks ago to a fish per stick for knowledgeable anglers.
Wally Johnson reports they are seeing 5 to 10 adults and 15 to 20+ 1/2 pounders working the upper Klamath in the Seiad Valley the past few days. Wally says the fishing pressure has been extremely light and it's rare to see more than one or two other boats even working the same stretch of river. Wally is headed back over to the coast to fish in the Rowdy Creek derby this weekend and will be back on his home waters next Monday. Numbers wise the upper Klamath is a top bet (if) until the rains return. 

Multi-agency Cannabis Pilot Project Finishes Successful Three-Day Inspection of Marijuana Grows in Eel River Watershed

An innovative multi-agency partnership involving state and local agencies today finished inspections of 14 private properties with active marijuana grow operations along Sproul Creek within the Eel River watershed. The three-day effort, which began Jan. 21, is intended to ensure existing and future marijuana grow operations on private lands aren’t impacting nearby waterways and wildlife.
The partnership includes staff from the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights, North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, biologists and wildlife officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and members of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and Humboldt County staff.
Sproul Creek is home to five endangered salmonid species, including one of the most important populations of coho salmon in the Eel River watershed. This stream went dry last year for the first time in many years. This is most likely a result of water diversions for marijuana cultivation combined with the ongoing drought conditions.
In addition, the agencies are concerned about potentially significant pollutants entering the watershed from sediments, pesticides, fertilizers and other contaminants that, when not properly regulated or monitored, degrade the environment and threaten native plants and wildlife.
“Sproul Creek is one of several at-risk watersheds this multi-agency partnership will be visiting and inspecting in the weeks and months ahead where known grow operations exist,” said Cris Carrigan, Chief of the State Water Board’s Office of Enforcement, which is specifically focused on compliance with existing environmental regulations. “What we are seeking from the growers is a commitment to work with us to solve the water quality and water supply problems in the watershed.”
Carrigan said the goal of the integrated effort is to be proactive with our enforcement resources in acutely impacted watersheds and hold those responsible for existing environmental damage accountable, while providing a pathway toward compliance for those operators who want to cultivate in an environmentally sound manner.
The Water Boards and CDFW hope that most or many of the growers will be interested in working with state and local agencies cooperatively to prepare for and then enroll in permits that may be required, such as a conditional waiver of waste discharge requirements and/or streambed alteration agreement. The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board is creating a conditional waiver to better monitor and regulate activities associated with cannabis cultivation much like it regulates and monitors other activities on California’s North Coast. Currently, grow operations are not regulated for potential environmental impacts.
“Voluntary compliance with the law is the best-case scenario and we expect to see an increase in the number of permit applications following these inspections,” said Lt. DeWayne Little of CDFW’s Watershed Enforcement Team. “We do have the authority to serve search warrants, cite those who are damaging the environment and confiscate crops. We hope to not have to resort to those measures, but it is imperative that we take every precaution to avoid the loss of the coho run for a second year in a row.”
Following this inspection effort of the 14 locations, state and regional water board staff observed a variety of potential and actual violations that will be addressed in the coming weeks. Possible violations appear to be unlawful diversion and storage of water for growing operations, and discharge of waste to waterways including some indications of the use of pesticide or fertilizers in ways that could degrade nearby waterways.
Individuals on site at a majority of the inspected parcels gave consent for the team to look at the operations and were cooperative in identifying areas of interest for the inspectors, negating the need to serve administrative warrants to enter properties to perform the inspections.
The state and regional water board staff will be studying the evidence, and providing inspection reports to the property owners detailing any issues that need to be addressed. Those reports should be finalized in the next several weeks. Following issuance of those reports, formal enforcement orders may follow from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and/or State Water Board to ensure compliance with all applicable Water Code provisions.
During this inspection effort, no grow operations were eradicated and Proposition 215 cards were not reviewed.
For more information on the activities of the State Water Board’s Office of Enforcement efforts relative to cannabis cultivation, please visit our resources page here.


River Levels:



For river status (low flow closure) updates from Fish and Game please call +1.707.442.4502 for the North coast and +1.707.944.5533 for Central coast streams. Be sure to check out the California Fish and Game regulations before you go. Regulations vary on every river and you need to pay attention to bait and hook restrictions. Due to winter closures on HWYs 5, 101 & 299 we recommend you check Caltrans road conditions as well.

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