October 21, 2014    Headlines
 Upper Sac Salmon Bite Continues

Sacramento River/Metropolitan Area:
Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported Sunday 10-19 a few good days at the end of the week with his father jigging up five salmon on Friday above Discovery Park, but the bite slowed on Saturday, perhaps due to the 82 boats launching out of Discovery Park for the Future Pro Tour’s event.
J. D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing also has been targeting salmon from Freeport north to Verona, and he said, “There is no way to candy-coat it, the bite sucks with around one fish for every 10 boats trying.” They were able to land a bonus 20-pound striped bass on Sunday and 32-pound salmon on Saturday, so they have understandably had more success than most. The water temperature has dropped to 64 degrees, and Richey expected some more fish to be on the way with salmon still outside of the Golden Gate. The river is very low and full of debris, and Richey advised anglers to use extreme caution.

Sacramento River/Upper Sac:
The salmon are holding longer in the upper Sacramento River near Woodson Bridge, and Scott Feist of Feisty Fish Service said, “Today was my favorite trip of the year! We had an 11, 12 & 13 year old that tugged on Salmon for hours. Its days like these that make my job awesome!!!” I have to say this is one of my favorite pictures posted this year!
Feisty Sacramento Salmon above left

Feather River:
Rob Reimers of Rustic Rob’s Guide Service continues to find solid action with sardine-wrapped Brad’s Killer Fish either above or below Shanghai Bend.  He landed this 41-pounder on Sunday morning.
Captain Manuel Saldana Jr. of MSJ Guide Service took Scott Hallibuton and John Buckland,  both of Yuba City, for limits of salmon by 9:00 a.m. back bouncing sardine-wrapped Flatfish coated with Pro Cure Sardine Gel.  He advised, “Use EXTREME CAUTION when navigating the Feather River as it is extremely low.”


Upper Sac Sacramento River
The salmon action on the upper Sac remains steady at a fish per rod to limits this pat week. The fall run is starting to spawn and the catch is a mix of dark fish and few fresher fish averaging 12 to 25 pounds. Scott Feist reports they are seeing limits and near limits bouncing roe in the Hamilton City, Barge Hole and through the Canyon. Scott landed limits including a a 39 pounder on Tuesday 10-14 and had a 37 pound fish on Monday. He is looking forward to the late fall run of bruisers that will arrive in a couple of weeks. Water temps have dropped to the low 60s and fish should only get better in the next couple of weeks. Scott has space available for salmon trips through November.   

Dave Jacobs sent in this report on Tuesday 10-14.
The salmon fishing for Sacramento River king salmon has remained good for 16 to 22 pound king salmon with larger kings tipping the scales at over 30 pounds. Fresher king salmon are biting down lower from Red Bluff downriver through Chico. We are still hooking on average 4 to 8 kings seven days a week below Red Bluff. The barge Hole  has been very crowded with boats but fishing has been very good with limit fishing happening daily for darker kings that have been in the river for some time. Best bets near the Barge Hole has been boondoggling roe above and through the Barge Hole. Best bets downriver has been sardine wrapped lures like the Brad's KF-16 Killerfish lure with drifted roe also working from Red Bluff down to Chico. Anglers can expect to see  the Fall run to begin to wind down with the Fall spawn in full swing and many salmon will move into Battle Creek to enter the Hatchery. The reports from the Golden Gate are very good with large late Fall salmon starting to show. Our late Fall salmon fishing trips will be starting soon for the largest and brightest kings of the season. This run will go for all of November and the first half of December.

Sacramento River/Metropolitan Area:
Dennis Phanner of Sacramento Pro Tackle reported  a few fish being caught in the American River at night, and there were approximately 10 boats on Tuesday 10-14 morning with one boat landing two limits with a total of 7 or 8 fish for all of the boats. Uncle Larry Barnes, who Phanner said, ’If there are two fish in the river, Larry will catch three of them,’ was unable to hook up on this morning. There are 8 to 10 boats at the Pioneer Bridge on Tuesday morning, and there were around 4 fish taken from these boats. Phanner said, “If it’s not happening by mid-October, it is probably not going to happen,” adding, “This week’s cooler weather may make a difference, and the run could possibly run into November.”
Bill Clapp of Bill’s Sport Fishing confirmed the slow action in the Sacramento area with area guides finding only a few fish from Verona south to the mouth of the American. He said, “One fish is a great day right now.”

Sacramento River/Metropolitan Area/ American:
Alan Fong reported good action on Sunday 10-12 for stripers at the Port of Sacramento with Rick Tetz of Blade Runner spoons jigging up linesides with 2-ounce spoons in shad patterns. The stripers are keying on the bait baits with the fish moving into the port with the wind blowing on the main river.
Uncle Larry Barnes of Sacramento Pro Tackle reported receiving 4 hits and landing two salmon during the early morning hours at the mouth of the American River trolling Flatfish. He said, “I didn’t receive a hit after 5:00 a.m., and once the sun came up, there were thousands of shad jumping on the surface.” We saw the same occurrence in both the Mokelumne River and Sacramento Rivers at sunup last Thursday. The flows in the American are very slow, and there is literally no current in the river with the downhill GPS the same speed as the upstream troll. The water temperature is in the 70 to 71.5 degree range. They will not be receiving more fresh sardines this season unless they are able to purchase hand-net sardines as the commercial seine season is over with the quota decreased. They have plenty of frozen sardines in the shop.

Upper Sac / Redding to Hamilton City
Here is a 36 pound king Dave Jacobs  caught yesterday and salmon fishing remains solid on the upper on Sunday 10-5 on the upper Sac and his report: "The fishing up at the Barge hole below the entrance to Battle Creek is full of dark salmon and boaters. The fishing downriver below red bluff is still very good and all the salmon caught in the last week there are large and in great shape. October still looks to be great here for us.
The rainbow trout and steelhead fishing up by
Anderson Balls ferry is very good as well this month and anglers looking for a change from salmon can have a blast on this trip".

Lots of fresh salmon continue to push up into the upper river and we expect the good action to continue through October.

Sacramento River/Isleton to Walnut Grove:

Clyde Wands, shallow trolling expert, reported a number of fish were landed during Saturday’s 10-4
Central Valley Angler’s salmon derby out of Wimpy’s Marina. The results of the derby aren’t known at the present time, but I am working to find out the final scores. I know that both Mr. and Mrs. Koke Machine were able to weigh in salmon.
Captain Stan Koenigsberger of Quetzal Adventures out of Bethel Harbor loves to troll for salmon, and he put Brett Hatcher of the Concord SIRS Fishing Club onto an 11.2-pound salmon earlier in the week on a chartreuse double-bladed custom-designed ‘Thumper’spinner near Walnut Grove.

Sacramento River/Metropolitan Area:
Alan Fong of the Fishermen’s Warehouse in Sacramento reported bank anglers are doing better than boats on the anchor in the metropolitan area, but Big Al of Big Al’s Sport Fishing has been trolling Silvertron spinners near the mouth of the Feather River near Verona for excellent salmon action.
Bill Clapp of Bill’s Sport Fishing hooked three salmon earlier in the week north of Discovery Park trolling custom-made Flatfish style lures. His two friends on board dropped their fish, but Clapp made his opportunity stick.

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.

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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