September 02, 2015    Headlines
 Upper Sac Salmon Picks Up
Feather Flows Drop

Upper Sac Salmon
The numbers of fish in the upper river and in guides boxes are slowly increasing this past week. We received two reports from guides Dave Jacobs and Raith Herford on Wednesday 9-2. Raith has been working the Los Molinos section. He reports that they are seeing 2 to 4 fish mostly boondoggling roe. He is metering more fish in the deeper holes but says the fish are concentrated to those deeper wider sections and not holding in the "in between spots".
Dave Jacobs has been working just upriver from Raith from the Canyon to Redding. Water temps are lower (but still high at 62 to 64 degrees but as low as 59 in the morning hours around Redding). Dave reports steady counts of 2 to 5 and a high score of 7 this past week. He is only working plugs with a sardine wrap and says he is finding the fish also in the deeper / bigger holes where the pressure is light. Flows are a steady 7000cfs roughly half of what we would normally see this time of year. Flows will be bumped up to help cool the flows in late September and the main push of salmon works up. There was a big group of salmon that pushed through the Delta a week ago and over the past three days party boats off the Golden Gate saw their best action yet this season. With water temps in the 70s in the Delta readers will find their best bets to lay on the upper Sac where water temps are much more favorable.

Sacramento River/Metropolitan Area:
No change from Sunday’s report with Sacramento Pro Tackle reporting salmon fishing is nil, and most fishermen are heading to the Deep Water Channel for catfish with frozen shad or for striped bass near Rio Vista.

Feather River:
The Feather is dismally low, and it is loading up with moss and algae with the lack of flows. Mike Searcy of Johnson’s Bait in Yuba City said, “I have never seen the Feather like this.” It is pretty much the same deal in the river with the best action for salmon near the moving water at the Outlet along with a few striped bass on topwater lures in the early mornings near Shanghai or Star Bends.

Chico Enterprise Record Editorial

Editorial: Twin tunnels plan sounds worse each day

Every morsel of information released, discovered or leaked lately about Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin tunnels plan makes the project sound worse. Every new tidbit makes us wonder how and why this boondoggle is even a possibility.

The main reason it’s moving forward is because the public has been shut out of its right to give consent. Still, this is no time to keep quiet. Only loud, ongoing and widespread criticism will make Brown back off.

As we’ve seen from the bullet train idea, logic often takes a backseat when a governor thinks he is building a wonderful legacy with a massive project. But at least voters approved high-speed rail. The twin tunnels are being forced down our throats.

The “peripheral tunnel” — the updated version of the peripheral canal that Brown couldn’t get past the voters the last time he was governor — is not the kind of legacy Brown should want. If it is eventually built, it will go down in history as an enormous mistake. Which is why we feel an obligation to complain now rather than later.

The latest bad news for the project was dug up by farmers in the delta. They did a deep dive on documents about the proposed 30-mile tunnels and were stunned to see as many as 300 farms were slated to be hijacked by the government, likely through eminent domain, to make room for the project. They are in the footprint and are likely to get stomped.

One farmer said the plan “makes it sound like they’re going to bully us ... and take what they want.”

The bully analogy is apt. The huge Metropolitan Water District of Southern California wants a way to get more Sacramento River water to the south without attracting the ire of the courts, which is happening now because the water conveyance is killing off the delta slowly but surely. Brown’s plan, like the peripheral canal before it, is very unpopular in the north. We’d like to know where this water would come from, and how sending more water south would affect the delta.

It won’t affect the delta in a good way and the state realizes that. That’s why, in the beginning, the state talked about how restoration of the delta was essential. There was a $7 billion commitment to conservation and something about “co-equal goals.” Now it has abandoned that idea. It’s all about shipping water south.

The good news is even farmers in the San Joaquin Valley are starting to question whether this plan pencils out. They’d have to pick up a large part of the tab, and building two huge tunnels doesn’t mean there will be any water to put in them. The tunnels don’t increase water storage in the state by one drop.

Then there’s this: Farmers tend to stick together. When the state is talking about taking 300 farms for its scheme, other farmers throughout the state should be wary. They need to realize that they could be next — for whatever reason suits the government’s needs.

We are certainly wary. After seeing the thirsty south state drain two amazing river systems — the Owens and the San Joaquin — we can’t let them do that to the mighty Sacramento. Too much is at stake here.

There are many things the state to can to help the water problem, as we are learning during this drought. Shipping more water south to enable Southern California is not one of the better ideas. In fact, it’s probably the worst one.

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