SACRAMENTO RIVER
 

April 13, 2015    Headlines
 Sac Stripers

Lower / Middle Sacramento River:

The solid striper action continues over the entire middle & lower Sac. From Butte City to Colusa to Verona and down to Knight's Landing there are Rain this past Monday brought the stripers will up river. On Saturday 4-11 we heard in Manny with MSJ Guide Service who reported quick early morning limits for two anglers. Manny said they could have had limits in 15 minutes but they picked through a few catch and release opportunites and sent his clients home with fish running from 7 to 9 pounds. Manny has space daily this coming week.
Raith with RH Guide Service reported similar action down in the Knight's Landing area. The spawn bite is on and NOW is the time to get in on the best action of the year. Raith has limited spots available.   


Middle & Lower Sacramento
Rain this past Monday brought the stripers will up river. on Friday 4-10 we received excellent reports from Dave Jacobs, Raith Heryford and Scott Feist. Dave has been fishing the Butte City to Verona stretch. Raith has been around the Knights Landing section. Scott Feist has been in the upper Delta where he says they are seeing some real quality fish this past week.

Pro guide and long time sponsor Dave Jacobs reports he is seeing solid action near every launch ramp from Butte City to Verona. He is seeing limits of fish to 15 pounds and said this latest rain really turned the river action on. They are seeing limits on both his day and evening trips. He is tossing both live bait and lures and swimbaits depending on what best suites his client's skill set. Here is pictured left of 10 year old Tony Sbarounis from Bellflower Ca on his first ever fishing trip, on his birthday at that.

R
aith Heryford has been putting his clients into limits of quality fish as week as well. He has mostly been working live minnows but is plastic worms have been a solid bet especially on the evening / night trips. Raith says the numbers of fish in the river has exploded the past few days and they are BITING! Jasmine Dean and her dad Masqud had a fun day with Raith as her toothless smile attests.

Scott Feist continues to pound out fish in the upper Delta. Im sure Scott will be fishing closer to home (Yuba City) soon but for now he says he can't leave biting fish. He has been trolling shallow diving plus, rattle traps, P-Lines and the like for a lot of quality fish with a few double digit fish taken each day. With lots of fish in the Delta and more fish still moving through SF bay the bite looks to stay good for a few more weeks. That said it's great now so get out there while both the weather and fishing are good. This is a great kid shot from earlier in the week.


CDFW to Hold Public Meeting on Proposed Emergency Fishing Closure of Part of Sacramento River

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is holding a public meeting to solicit comments on a proposed closure of 5.5 miles of the Sacramento River above the Highway 44 Bridge in Redding to Keswick Dam. CDFW has determined this closure is necessary to protect endangered winter-run chinook salmon. The anticipated dates of closure are April 27-July 31.
“At the department, it pains us to propose this action for the state,” said Stafford Lehr, CDFW Fisheries Branch Chief. “But we are in unchartered territory here, and we believe this is the right thing to do if we want to help winter run and be able to fish for big rainbows in the long-run.”
The meeting will be held Tuesday, April 7, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Redding Public Library,1100 Parkview Ave. in Redding (96001).
CDFW is proposing a complete fishing closure in this critical holding and spawning area to ensure added protection for the federal and state endangered winter-run chinook, which face high risk of extinction. Given the gravity of the current situation, it is imperative that each and every adult fish be given maximum protection. Current regulations do not allow fishing for chinook salmon, but incidental catch by anglers targeting trout could occur.
An estimated 98 percent of the in-river spawning is occurring in the 5.5 mile stretch under consideration for closure. This reach is the principle spawning area in these extraordinary drought year conditions. This section represents only 10 percent of the waters currently open to fishing upstream of the Red Bluff Diversion Dam.
In 2014, approximately 95 percent of eggs and young winter-run chinook were lost due to elevated river temperatures. Given current drought conditions, it is likely the 2015-year eggs and young salmon will again be subject to extremely trying conditions.
CDFW is tasked by the Governor to work with the California Fish and Game Commission to determine whether fishing restrictions in certain areas are necessary and prudent as drought conditions persist. The proposed closure is also in accordance with the state and federal Endangered Species Acts.
Governor Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 25 percent. Visit  saveourwater.com to find out how everyone can do their part, and visit drought.ca.gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought.


 


How drought management plays out in the Delta
By: Stina Va

People were left dumbfounded at the meeting called by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) on its plan for emergency drought barriers along key Delta channels held on February 12th at the Clarksburg Community Church.
If the drought continues to be serious, DWR’s plan would install three temporary emergency rock barriers Steamboat and Sutter Sloughs near their confluences with the Sacramento River. A third barrier would be built across False River, which opens into Franks Tract, a large flooded island in the central Delta. The barriers would be constructed with large rocks, through which a culvert would pass to allow smaller flow of water and, potentially for fish passage. They would stay in place from May through November.
According to DWR, these barriers would be needed in order to have enough good quality fresh water to carry the state through the fall months, which are often dry in California. They will be paid for from funds left over from Proposition 50, originally passed in 2002. These funds were originally allocated for the Franks Tract Project (this was another plan to install gates in the Delta for fish). Marshall stated that $27 million has already been approved just to install the barriers. Further taxpayer money would also be needed to mitigate impacts later on and to remove them in the fall.
“We were scared to death,” exclaimed Paul Marshall, chief of the Bay-Delta office of DWR. His staff expects very high salinity levels in various parts of the Delta if the barriers are not installed to block tidal salt water. In the absence of winter storms, the big reservoirs owned by the state and federal governments upstream might be required to send stored water down the rivers to expel the salts to protect Delta exports, and would force the Delta export pumps to shut down to prevent public health violations of water quality.
Even more important, the state and federal reservoirs have much more water now than they did at this time last year. Shasta has nearly 750,000 acre-feet more now than at this time last year when it had just 1.7 MAF. Oroville has about 280,000 acre-feet more, and Folsom is at 102 percent of normal, with over a half-million acre-feet in storage.
The only thing that DWR seemed sure that it could mitigate was negative impacts to Delta boating and recreation. using a “universal boat trailer” – an idea that set the Delta locals roaring with laughter. The trailer would enable boats of any size to be lifted around the barriers.
“Please email the photos of this universal boat trailer,” a Delta resident asked. “We will do that,” Marshall quickly promised. Another Delta local skeptically commented that boat trailers would not be needed, due to the growth of water hyacinth that would intensify because of the planned barriers.
Delta people in attendance were clearly well informed, asking a variety of challenging technical questions. Most of these questions were left unanswered since last year’s meeting on drought barriers. “We’ll get back to you on that,” Marshall replied repeatedly, almost robotically. Yet at the same, he reminded Delta residents that DWR is not required to submit formal responses to comments (leaving us skeptical that Marshall’s promise to circulate photos of the phenomenal universal boat trailers may never occur).
Delta residents voiced concerns over impacts on water quality and public health, impacts on traffic, public safety and economic impacts to their islands (which are just recovering economically, crop harvests, and concern about endangered Delta fish extinction (specifically Delta smelt). Still others asked whether delta levees would be undercut by these barriers, and also why DWR has not followed any other suggestions regarding placement of the barriers in other parts of the Delta.
Remarkably, to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act, DWR hopes the proposed drought barriers can be approved with a mitigated negative declaration, meaning that agencies would not have to prepare or release a more detailed environmental impact report on the project.
Anna Swenson of North Delta CARES suggested that public members request a public meeting through the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who are considering the permit for these drought barriers. In a concern that echoed last year’s issues with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s documents, Swenson also insisted that DWR extend the public comment deadline by three weeks, since its environmental documents on the barriers are over 200 pages long. The current deadline for public comments to DWR on the mitigated environmental declaration will be due March 6.
Several members of the public urged DWR to prepare an environmental impact report on the project, but Marshall disregarded these requests. “I don’t want to make false promises to you,” he said.
As the meeting came to a close, Marshall reemphasized, “We hope beyond hope that the drought never gets to a point where we get to these measures [installing drought barriers].”
“We are their dinner plate,” one audience member commented in frustration. The room erupted in applause. The barriers looked to him like, “in essence, a water grab under the guise of [protection from] salinity.”
To watch video of the meeting recorded by Gene Beley of the Central Valley Business Times, click here.


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