March 10, 2016    Headlines
Russian Steelies Push In

El Nino Rains Hit
We have seen moderate to heavy rain across the North Coast the past day with more rain forecasted through the weekend. The highest rainfall totals have been concentrated in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. 24 hour rainfall totals through 5:PM Thursday 3-10 are: 1.76" at Gasquet on the Smith. The Smith crested at 17 feet this morning and has dropped to 15 feet as of this writing.
On the Mendo coast Honeydew saw 3.34" while at Ft Seward 2.16" has fallen. The South Fork Eel is still rising with a current level of 18 feet or 19,600cfs at Miranda.
The concern for these storms are centered around the Russian river basin. Rainfall over the past day is 4.04" at Venado and the guidance plot now calls for the river to crest around 35 feet or roughly 3 feet above flood stage at Guerneville late Friday. Three to four more wet systems are lined up and all rivers will remain high and muddy for the next few days to two weeks. With water now being released off most of the dams this will only extend the time until rivers clear.
In a nutshell all coastal rivers look to be out of play through much of the coming week. The Smith or Chetco will be back in play by the middle to late of this next week. This late in the season high water is great for spawning and out migrating fish but not good for steelhead anglers looking to hook some late season metal.

Rivers Rise
All North Coast rivers saw significant rises on Saturday 3-5. 24 hour rainfall totals ending at 6:AM Sunday 3-6 were: Gasquet on the Smith river reported 2.6". The Honeydew area near Cape Mendocino saw 5.35, Ft Seward on the Eel reported 3.33 while at Venado (located between Healdsburg and Casadaro) reported 3.75" on the Russian watershed.
More rain is forecasted again Sunday afternoon through Monday morning. Two more additional systems are expected mid to late this week. This will keep all rivers high and off color for the next week or more.
These late seasons storms are ideal for young salmon and steelhead that are both laying in the gravel waiting to hatch or those hatched last year being swept to sea by the high flows. After four years of drought conditions these storms will help seed better returns three to four years down the line.

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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