September 28, 2014    Headlines
 Upper Sac Salmon Bite Improves

Upper Sac Redding to Hamilton City
Scott Feist was sounding very "chipper" as he often does when he is having an easy day on the water. "Easy" for a guide is you have enjoyable clients in the seats who listen to instructions and the fish are biting. Scot says they saw quite a bit of rain upriver on Thursday and the bite was a tad slower. Despite the welcome news of rain (nearly 3" at Shasta dam was reported through 5:PM today) the bite was till good as it has been the past few weeks. Overall Scott rates the action good to great with most days him able to put clients into a fish per rod and up to 5 limits. The fish are all still bright and full of fight and running from 15 to 25 pounds on average. He has been fishing north of Hamilton City and is still bouncing around to stay on the bigger schools. Scott feels that the month of October should be solid. The fish are trickling up and cooler weather is dropping water temps. He is going to concentrate on salmon into mid November.
Dave Jacobs echoed Scotts report to say "it's been good every day, on some we struggle to get that fish per rod but on others they bite well and we can have 8 fish in the box before 11:AM. Dave has mostly been working the Anderson to Redding section and finding his fish on a combination of both roe and plugs.
Both have room available into November but look for Dave to be running some Trinity river trips soon.

Sacramento River/Metropolitan Region:
Bill Clapp of Bill’s Sport Fishing said, “We finally found some salmon willing to bite on Wednesday, and he put his three clients onto a fish per rod with another salmon lost at the boat.” The action was between the Interstate 80 and 5 Bridges on the Sacramento River as he marked more fish upriver from Discovery Park than downstream. The water temperature has dropped three degrees in the past few days to 71.5 degrees, and it has consistently dropped three degrees for the past few weeks. The fish were bright and clean, and all bit on custom Flatfish-style lures with a tail in white/chartreuse or silver/chartreuse. He added, “The roe on the one hen was smaller than one would expect at this time of year, and she wasn’t near ready to spawn.”
However, the action is still ‘hit or miss’ with Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, working for salmon from Discovery Park to Garcia Bend on Thursday for no bites whatsoever. He said, “We spoke to several other boats, and they also didn’t have any fish.” They did see one sea lion thrashing bright clean salmon on the surface. One smallmouth bass on a salmon spinner was their total for efforts. Wands is looking forward to heading back to home base in the Delta for striper trolling.

Feather River:
Jack at Johnson’s Bait in Yuba City reported improved action in the Feather. He said, “Bob Boucke, owner of Johnson’s, launched at the Yuba City ramp on Thursday 9-25 morning at 11:00 a.m. , anchored near a deep hole, and he was back by 12:30 with a limit of bright salmon taken on sardine-wrapped Flatfish.” He added, “The Flatfish bite has been best in the early mornings while jigging spoons has been more productive in the afternoons.” The river is still very low and experience and a jet boat with a knowledable operator is necessary.
Rob Reimers of Rustic Rob’s Guide Service out of Yuba City continues to experience great action with a pair of client limits on Wednesday near Shanghai Bend.

2014/ 201515 California Duck and Geese Regs 
Please refer to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website or other materials for official information.
REGULATION Dates and some major changes:
**The duck season is 100 days, and the bag limit is 7 birds/day in all zones.
**The canvasback limit is 1 bird/day.
**There are both light and dark late goose seasons in the Northeastern CA Zone.
**The white goose limit is 15 birds/day. Dark Geese are 10 per day.
**The Scaup limit is 3 birds/day with a season length of 86 days.
**The Southern San Joaquin Valley Zone will run from Oct. 18 - Jan. 25.
**The early Canada goose season in the Balance of the State Zone will run Oct. 4 - Oct.8.
**"Electronic" Spinning wing decoys will be allowed from December 1 until the season ends (statewide).

Ducks and Geese: October 18, 2014 through January 25, 2015
Scaup: November 1, 2014 through January 25, 2015
Brant Special Management Areas: Northern Brant, November 7, 2014 through December 6, 2014. Balance of State Brant, November 8, 2014 through December 7, 2014; 2 per day.
Special Youth Hunt Days: January 31 and February 1, 2015.
Early Resident Canada Goose Season: October 4, 2014 through October 8, 2014 (Except in the North Coast Special Management Area)
Late White-fronts and White Goose Season: February 14, 2015 through February 18, 2015.
Ducks: Daily bag limit: 7. Which may contain 7 mallards of which only 2 can be female; 2 pintail; 1 canvasback; 2 redheads; 3 scaup.
Geese: Daily bag limit: 25. Which may include up to 15 white geese and up to 10 dark geese.
Early Resident Canada Goose Season: 10 Large Canada geese
Sacramento Valley Special Management Area: No more than 3 white-fronts may be taken only from October 18, 2014 until December 21, 2014. For more information on the Sacramento Valley Special Management Area limits and boundaries, please refer to California State Waterfowl Regulations.
Possession Limit Ducks and Geese: Triple the daily bag limit.

Putting some myths about California’s drought to rest
By Jay Lund, Jeffrey Mount and Ellen Hanak

As the effects of the drought worsen, two persistent water myths are complicating the search for solutions. One is that environmental regulation is causing California’s water scarcity. The other is that conservation alone can bring us into balance. Each myth has different advocates. But both hinder the development of effective policies to manage one of the state’s most important natural resources.

Let’s consider the first myth, that water shortages for farms are the result of too much water being left in streams for fish and wildlife. Claims are circulating that California’s farms have lost 4 million acre-feet annually because of environmental policies, and some have even suggested that the severe, long-term declines in groundwater levels in the San Joaquin Valley are a result of environmental cutbacks.

Since the early 1990s, efforts to improve environmental conditions have indeed reduced water supply reliability, particularly for San Joaquin Valley farmers who rely on exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. But blaming these efforts for today’s critical supply issues vastly overstates the role of environmental regulations.

By our calculations, restrictions on Delta exports, coupled with new restrictions on flows on the San Joaquin River, have cost San Joaquin Valley farmers no more than 1.5 million acre-feet per year in reduced water deliveries – a sizable amount, but far less than 4 million acre-feet. During the current drought emergency, environmental restrictions have been significantly relaxed to make more water available for farms and cities, with most of the remaining Delta outflows dedicated to keeping water in the Delta fresh enough for local farmers.

And while reduced surface water has likely accelerated groundwater overdraft in the Valley – especially since new Delta pumping restrictions in the late 2000s – the notion that environmental restrictions are the origin of overdraft is unfounded.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, farmers in the Valley have been mining groundwater at an average annual rate of 1.5 million acre-feet per year since long before Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act in 1972. Nothing seems to change this overall pattern, including construction of the State Water Project. Water demand in the San Joaquin Valley simply exceeds available supply. What’s more, the Valley’s water demands are likely increasing with the shift to permanent orchards and vineyards – now more than 40 percent of total irrigated farm acreage.

What about the second myth? Can conservation really create abundant “new”water? Of course, new technology and changing water use habits have yielded long-term declines in per capita water consumption in California, and this drought is likely to spur more reductions. New irrigation techniques and better crop varieties, along with rising commodity prices, have helped California’s agricultural industry steadily increase production and profits. Farmers have become more economically efficient in using their water.

Some claim that potential dramatic yields of more than 10 million acre-feet of new water – equivalent to 10 full Folsom Reservoirs – can be had from conservation measures that draw half from agricultural and half from urban users. But this is just not credible.

In fact, conservation does not always yield new water, because the water saved is often not wasted in the first place – it is already reused. This is especially true in agriculture.

Irrigation water that is not consumed by crops flows back into rivers or seeps into groundwater basins. Indeed, the single largest source of groundwater recharge in the Central Valley is irrigation. Studies from around the world consistently show that increased irrigation efficiency often does not decrease net water use. Indeed, these technologies often encourage farmers to plant more crops, worsening long-term declines in groundwater availability. The only way to generate reductions in water use on the scale imagined is to fallow several million acres of farmland.

In the urban environment, steady reductions in per capita water use since the early 1990s have allowed total urban use to remain steady at about 8.5 million acre-feet annually, despite the addition of 7 million new residents. Further savings – especially from more drought-tolerant landscapes – will be needed. But because about a third of urban water already gets reused – it also returns to rivers or groundwater basins – it’s simply not possible to achieve the level of new water that some have imagined.

The reality is that conservation is a valuable and necessary part of a portfolio of approaches to water supply management, but it will not produce vast quantities of new water for California.

As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Californians need to make continued progress in managing our scarce water resources to get through this drought – and future droughts – while protecting the state’s economy, society and environment. This requires a common understanding of the causes of water scarcity, and practical, reasoned solutions – not blame games and wishful thinking.

Jay Lund is director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis and an adjunct fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. Jeffrey Mount and Ellen Hanak are senior fellows at PPIC.

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