Dennis Phanner of Sacramento Pro Tackle said
Thursday 5-3, “They are slaughtering, killing, and maiming the
striped bass in the Sacramento metropolitan area with blood worms,
pile worms, and sardines, and the river is clearing up enough to
throw swimbaits or Zoom Flukes. The larger grade of striped bass are
still on the Feather, and we have heard about linesides in the 18 to
25-pound range. A much smaller grade is moving through Sacramento,
but the river is loaded with them. Shad are also improving as
anglers that were picking up 2 or 3 last week are now catching 10 to
15. The 1/16th oz. shad dart in All American is a big seller along
with chartreuse and white/red. We hand-paint all our shad darts here
in the shop.” In addition to blood and pile worms, sardines, and
anchovies, Phanner has sand dabs and squid in 3- to 5-pound boxes.
Guide Dave Jacobs reports it's still lights out striper action on
the main stem Sac but you have to move around to find the biters. He
reports the bulk of the Sac stripers are concentrated in the Colusa
to Knights Landing stretch. There are schools of spawners who don't
cooperate because they have other things in mind. But post spawn
these fish can either go on a feeding frenzy or hunker down. Find
the schools of fish that likes to eat and not smoke after sex and
you will find the action.
One million salmon smolts were released at the Elkhorn boat ramp
this week as part of two million smolts over an above the normal
releases thanks to the lobbying efforts of the Nor-Cal Guides and
Sportsmen’s Association. Unfortunately pleas by other salmon support
groups to do a pulse flow went unanswered by the BOR.
echoes State fish experts’ warning on proposed Sac Valley Reservoir
proposed Sites Reservoir Project in the Sacramento Valley would take water from
the Sacramento River.
comments filed with the California Water Commission, GGSA is echoing warnings
from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that far more water is
needed in the Sacramento than levels the backers of the proposed Sites Reservoir
are planning to divert at. The reservoir, proposed for the western Sacramento
Valley, plans to divert river water even at low flows when it’s needed by
idea that water can be diverted from the Sacramento River during low flows
doesn’t square with levels needed to keep salmon healthy according to state fish
and wildlife officials.
of the new giant reservoir say it will help heal the environment. The southern
California’s Metropolitan Water District say their investment in the reservoir
would only makes sense if the Delta tunnels project to move it around the Delta
is built, which many now consider doubtful.
After GGSA call state water agency finally agrees to
pay for tagging hatchery fish
After hard advocacy by GGSA, the California Dept of Water
Resources (DWR) agreed to pay to mark and tag Feather River Hatchery fall run
baby salmon. These fish have been adipose fin-clipped and tagged for over 15
years, providing an unbroken series of data on survival and straying. Until
now, DWR has never paid for this even though they are obligated to as part of
required mitigation for operation of the Oroville dam. The cost had been borne
by the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife using emergency drought funds which
are now dried up. CDFW was unable to resolve the dispute with DWR until GGSA
got involved and successfully made the case with higher ups in state and federal
government that paying for tagging and clipping is part of DWR’s mitigation
Outlook for 2018 season
The forecast of adult Sacramento River salmon in the ocean
at about 230,000 is very close to what was predicted last year at this time.
Anglers will get an idea of what kind of season we’ll get in 2018 after the
Pacific Fisheries Management Council meeting wraps up March 14. Fishing is
expected to be restricted due to the relatively low number of Sacramento fall
run and protected winter run forecast to be in the ocean now. Klamath River
salmon will be less of a concern in 2018 as their numbers are forecast to be
considerably higher than last year.
Because fishery managers over predicted last year’s fall
run returns, they have purposely “under predicted” this year’s. Based on 24,400
two year “jacks” returning to spawn in 2017, about 230,000 adult three year old
salmon are predicted to be in the ocean now. If last year’s predictions had
been right, this year’s prediction would likely be closer to 400,000 adult
salmon in the ocean now. Federal fishery managers have signaled they would like
to see more than the minimum target of 122,000 adult salmon return to spawn in
2018. They are shooting for over 150,000 to make it back and spawn.
In past years where two year old returns numbered around
24,000, much higher forecasts of three year old adult salmon in the ocean the
following spring were made and generally decent fishing seasons were the rule.
For instance, 20,000 two year old spawners in 2013 converted into a forecast of
just under 635,000 adult salmon in the ocean in the spring of 2014. Some
fishermen are questioning why last year’s two year olds aren’t leading to a
similar robust forecast for the 2018 fishing season.