May 27, 2015    Headlines
 Sac Stripers

Rivers: Sac / Feather and American shad heats up:
J.D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing has been concentrating on striped bass/shad combination trips in the Feather and American Rivers. On Tuesday 5-26 he said, “Shad are in the American all the way to Sunrise, and I expect this week to be very good with the warmer weather. There are females to 4 pounds showing up in both rivers, and we landed some striped bass in the mornings.”

Middle Sac
On Tuesday 5-19 Captain Scott Feist with Feisty Fish Guide Service has been reporting solid shad action around Verona. He has been running trips in the mid afternoon to evening hours and putting groups into solid action. Flows have bumped up and the shad are pushing up. He has been fishing around Verona but if you know Scott he will pick up and move onto a better bite according to the large network he has. He has room on these trips daily. With dam releases ramping up the shad action should only get better. Scott is currently booking shad trips but his calendar is quickly filling for the salmon season which opens on July 16th. Peak dates are mid September through October.
J.D. Richey of Richey’s Sport Fishing reported good shad fishing on the American and Feather Rivers, and the fish are moving up the line in the American past Sunrise. The flows were bumped up to 1500 cfs, and the fish are responding by moving into the river. Most of the fishermen are still focusing upon the mouth of the American at Discovery Park.  A few large stripers are in the American, as they follow up the shad schools.  There are also a number of shaker stripers in the mix. The Yuba River is low at 430 cfs, and Richey said, “It’s not shaddy yet.” The flows on the Feather River came up to 4000 cfs before dropping back down to 3000 cfs on Tuesday.

The following is a great update from long time sponsor and Guide Dave Jacobs clarifying the closures on the upper Sac.

There is inevitably going to be some confusion whenever you have some new closures or any regulation changes to our salmon fishing on the Sacramento River or anywhere in Northern California.  That is just the nature of the news business as news stories get picked up and reposted throughout the country. Fortunately, I have been able to maintain my fishing schedule and stay very involved with all of the current regulation changes that have taken place, some on the Sacramento River system and others on rivers like the Klamath and Trinity Rivers.  Here are a few of the big changes that will hopefully clear up any confusion anglers may have about this years salmon and trout fishing seasons.
The first big change is the small fishing closure on the upper Sacramento River near Redding, Ca. This is confusing to many because it talks of protecting endangered Winter salmon and no fishing to help protect these salmon.  Most just hear a few words in these news reports that circulate like CLOSED...SACRAMENTO RIVER....SALMON....FISHING.
Here is the recent change, as of April 27th, there is a closed 5.5 mile stretch of the Sacramento River in downtown Redding to ALL FISHING.  The closed section of river is from the highway 44 bridge upriver to the base of Keswick Dam through July 31st.  This section of river will re open to trout fishing on August 1st.  THIS CLOSURE HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE 2015 SACRAMENTO RIVER FALL RUN KING SALMON SEASON.

The 2015 Sacramento River Fall run king salmon season will open 150 feet below the Sycamore boat launch at the Red Bluff Diversion Dam on July 16th.  The Sacramento River above the Red Bluff Diversion Dam will open on August 1st all the way up to the Deschutes Bridge near Anderson Ca.  This year the Sacramento River will remain open to salmon fishing through December 16th.
Here is the only change to the Sacramento River salmon fishing regulations.  The possession limit has changed to four salmon in possession up from just two salmon in possession.  This is very confusing to most but this clarification may help you better understand this change.  There is a 
daily bag limit and a possession limit, each are not the same as many sometimes think.  The daily bag limit on the Sacramento River is still the same when it comes to king salmon,  each angler is allowed two king salmon per day.   The possession limit has been increased to four salmon in possession up from the previous possession limit of just two salmon.  So, an angler can now possess a total of four king salmon on their person, in their cooler or in their freezer etched. An angler can still only catch and keep in one fishing day two salmon.
Now, on to a big change in the salmon and steelhead fishing on the Klamath River this season. The biggest change is the closure to fishing at and around the mouth of Blue Creek on the Klamath River.  This closure has nothing to do with the Sacramento River salmon fishing and it only relates to a small (but very important) section of the Klamath River.  This year you cannot fish 500 feet above and one half mile below the mouth of Blue Creek where it meets the Klamath River from June 14 to September 14.  It will remain closed from 500 feet above and 500 feet below from September 15 to December 31.  This closure is for non-tribal sport fishing only.  There is also a catch and keep regulation at the spit area of the Klamath River this year.  All anglers must keep all legally caught adult salmon and cease fishing the spit area when the angler legally hooks and lands his or hers two adult king salmon for the day.

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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