October 18, 2016    Headlines
Sac Salmon Picking Up!!!!
Feather Easy Limits

Sacramento River/Metropolitan Area:
Monte Smith of Gold Country Sport Fishing continues to put his clients onto salmon using Brad’s Cut Plugs behind an 11-inch Pro Troll flasher in the Garcia Bend area on Thursday 10-13. In addition to this fish, they had a couple more come unbuttoned. There are still fresh fish pushing through the lower Sac and we expect that fishing on upper Sac / Feather and American will continue to see solid late season action. While some stretches of rivers are closing others like the upper Sac are only getting better.

Mokelumne River:
Field scout Ted Handel of the Central Valley Anglers in Lodi reported a good turn out during the past weekend’s annual Salmon Derby with 64 anglers enjoying a culminating taco feed at the end of the event at Wimpy’s Marina. There were 16 salmon weighed in with the top place taken by Terry Shoeffler at 22.2 pounds. Second place went to Lois Doty at 17.6 pounds and in 3rd place was Stan Ita at 16.4 pounds. Handel added, “Most fishermen were using double-bladed Silvertrons with 2 ounces of weight in the 63 degree water temperatures.

Feather River:
Raith Heryford continues to put his clients onto limits of salmon with 4 limits taken in the early morning on Thursday 10-13, followed by another 4 limits within three hours after 3:00 p.m. when the second group arrived. Heryford advised us several weeks ago that he would start scoring consistent limits once he was able to get his cured roe down. He has it down now, and the fish are coming out of his special hole near the Outlet. He said, “Fishing is red hot here right now, and there are as many fish at one time that I have seen at the hatchery in Oroville. I was told there were 36,000 fish both inside and outside of the hatchery right now. This has been one of the best months that I have experienced in 25 years of fishing the Feather River. The salmon are starting to turn now, but there have been some bright ones around.”

Upper Sac
Guide Dave Jacobs, who is one of the top guides in the Valley says he is concentrating on the upper Sac. He has been working the Redding to Chico stretch for an average of four kings per day and counts of up to nine this past week. Dave reported on Monday 10-10 that most of the fish they are seeing are bright and fresh run fish (considering the near mid October date) and moving through very quickly. Dave added that "these are some of the brightest fish I have ever seen in October. There are some darker fish in the mix but most are bright and full of fight and we are releasing all that are past their prime". Dave says he is not catching near as many as fish as guides on the Feather but he (and his clients) are content to work over much less crowded waters and cover a far wider area of river.
To date 4000 fish have pushed into the Coleman hatchery on Battle Creek. Not enough yet to meet production goals but far better than counts of just a few hundred a couple of weeks ago.
Rain is expected late this week and this will both cool off flows and bring more salmon into the upper river. Early rains are exactly what our wild salmon need to have a successful spawn for the first time in three plus years.

Guides and bankies working the Thermalito Outlet are seeing fast and easy limits over the past two weeks. On Monday 10-10 many of the top guides are reporting FAST limits of fish averaging 8 to 15 pounds with a few bigger ones in the mix to 25. The action is fast and many guides are putting their first group into limits by mid morning and taking out a second group or sometimes three with the same results. Being October the fish are not chrome but are "cutting clean" and all are posting pictures of smiling clients. That is all that counts and what all the top guides what for their clients.

Great News! Water Contractors Pull Their Petition to Destroy Bass and Striper Fishery
If you were prepared to head up to Folsom on Thursday to be present at the Fish and Game Commission meeting regarding the petition for the so-called ‘Coalition for the Sustainable Delta’s’ desire to lower the size limit and raise the bag limit for striped and largemouth bass has been withdrawn by the organization. Thanks to the efforts of Dick Pool and Water4Fish, John Buettler of the Allied Fishing Groups, Sep Hendrickson of the California Sportsman’s Radio Show, Roger Mammon of the California Striped Bass Association, Kent Brown of Ultimate Bass, and so many others in the bass fishing world– the ‘Coalition’ decided it would be better to retreat than to be publicly humiliated by a defeat of their petition. Thanks to everyone who sent letters and signed the petitions as our collective efforts have been heard. Let’s see what their next move is, and it is as important as ever to stay involved since the fight for water will only get harder as our resources continue to become limited.  Thanks everyone!

Allied Fishing Groups: There is no need to go to the The California Fish and Game Commission meeting set for this Thursday (the 25th)!  The Commission has announced the that the Coalition for Sustainable Delta, California Chamber of Commerce, California Farm Bureau Federation, Kern County Water Agency, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Northern California Water Association, San Joaquin Tributaries Authority, Southern California Water Committee, State Water Contractors, and Western Growers have withdrawn their petition number 2016-011 (striped and black bass regulations).

As you may recall from our previous emails on this subject, David Ostrach and I sent in 4 AFG exhibits to the Commission regarding
1) CFGC Code Responsibilities and Public Trust Law requirements to protect and sustainably manage striped bass and black bass in the Bay-Delta estuary.
2) The Petition’s failure to comply with Code requirements to use peer-reviewed science in decision making.
3) SWP and CVP fish loss estimates.
4) the history of efforts to destroy the striped bass fishery. These exhibits are on our web site thanks to Dave Studeman’s efforts to keep everyone informed. 

We’ve been advised that the Commission staff recommended not supporting the CSD’s ( proposed regulation changes. The Commission also received several thousand letter and petitions in opposition. 

John Buettler

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