August 03, 2015    Headlines
 Upper Sac and Feather Salmon

Sacramento River/Red Bluff:
The Sacramento River above Red Bluff opened on Saturday 8-1, and the Barge Hole at the mouth of Battle Creek was loaded with 70 boats on the opening morning. This didn’t stop the guides from scoring as Scott Feist of Feisty Fish Guide Service put his five clients including Brad Hood of Petaluma onto 8 salmon, following this up with another 4 fish on Sunday.  A picture of Hood with a fish was not available, but he reported, “The fish were bright.”
In the lower Sac the fishing is still very slow due to the warm water temps. Most of the salmon are pushing though to the upper river around Red Bluff where the best action is taking place and where water temps are much cooler.

Feather river
On Saturday 8-1 Raith Herford reports that there are some bright fish pushing into the Thermalito area. Raith took limits opening day (July 16th) but since then they have been scratching out a few fish. Raith said that the fish they are seeing this past week and much brighter and new to the river so his hope is this trend of more and fresh fish continues.  This picture was taken today and caught on a PLine Lazor minnow at the crack of dawn.

Sacramento/American Rivers:

Dennis Phanner of Sacramento Pro Tackle reported Tuesday 7-28, “The Sacramento River at Discovery Park remains very slow, and there isn’t much going on down there with the exception of a few fish along the wall at Nimbus Dam on the American River.” They are bringing in more fresh sand dabs to the shop by Friday as the food-grade flatfish are proving to be a hot item for ling cod fishermen.
On the Sac middle Sac Dave Jacobs reports VERY SLOW action with few holding in any of their usual haunts. Dave says that the opener of the upper river on August 1st should be more productive but with the high river temps (in the lower river) it a matter of fish pushing up into the colder flows around Battle Creek and above where colder temps will hold up most of the salmon. 


Feather River:
The Feather has been the top location for river salmon with Johnson’s Bait in Yuba City reporting Tuesday 7-28 a few schools of salmon moved through the river quickly on their way to the cooler water at the Outlet. The best action remains near the Outlet, but when the schools went through, there were fish caught at Star Bend and Shanghai Bend. Chris Spade of Spade’s Guide Service continues to find striped bass to 10 pounds on the Feather while tossing swimbaits. Raith Herford found some good action on the opener and is still seeing a few fish each day.
Scott Feist posted up a report of three fish landed on Saturday 7-25 also pulling plugs in the section below the Outlet. The Feather for now is a top bet.

Drought Prompts Fish Evacuation at American River and Nimbus Hatcheries

With a fourth year of extreme drought conditions reducing the cold water supply available, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is moving fish out of the American River and Nimbus hatcheries for the second year in a row.
Bureau of Reclamation models suggest water temperatures at the hatcheries could be at lethal levels for cold water fish by August. CDFW has already begun to stock American River Hatchery rainbow and brown trout into state waters earlier than normal. These fish range from small fingerlings to the larger catchable size. The accelerated planting schedule will continue through mid-July when all the fish in the raceways are expected to be evacuated. This includes all the fingerling size rainbow trout that would normally be held in the hatchery to grow to catchable size for next year.
A new, state-of-the-art building at American River Hatchery, completed in early June using emergency drought funds, will enable CDFW to raise Lahontan cutthroat trout through the summer for planting into eastern sierra lakes and streams. The new building will also enable CDFW to hold a small group of rainbow trout fingerlings that are scheduled to be stocked in west side sierra put-and-grow fisheries by airplane in July. The new hatchery building utilizes water filters, ultraviolet sterilization techniques and large water chillers to keep water quality and temperatures at ideal levels for trout rearing. However, the new technology is limited to the hatchery building and not the raceways, which will limit capacity to include only the Lahontan cutthroat trout once the fish start to grow to larger sizes.
Nimbus Hatchery has already begun relocating some 330,000 steelhead to the Feather River Hatchery Annex to be held through the summer. When the water temperature at the Nimbus Hatchery returns to suitable levels in the fall, the steelhead will be brought back to Nimbus to finish growing and imprinting then will be released into the lower American River. The Feather River Hatchery Annex is supplied by a series of groundwater wells that maintain cool water temperatures throughout the year.
|The fall run Chinook salmon from Nimbus Hatchery have all been released into state waterways. If necessary, the chilled American River Hatchery building will be used this fall to incubate and hatch Chinook salmon from Nimbus Hatchery.
“Unfortunately, the situation is similar to last year,” said Jay Rowan, Acting Senior Hatchery Supervisor for CDFW’s North Central Region. “We have begun to implement contingency plans to avoid major fish losses in the two hatcheries. We want to do the best job we can to provide California anglers with good fishing experiences and communicate when there will be deviations from normal practices. With that in mind, we want to let anglers in the area know that a lot more fish than normal will be going out into area waters served by American River Hatchery.”
Rowan said that the number of fish planted at various waterbodies will increase as the planting timeframe decreases, so the fishing should be very good through the summer at foothill and mountain elevation put-and-take waters. Early fish plants now mean there won’t be as many fish available to plant in the lower elevation fall and winter fisheries, so the fishing may drop off later in the season if the fish don’t hold over well.
American River Hatchery operations focus on rearing rainbow and Lahontan cutthroat trout and kokanee salmon for recreational angling, predominantly in waters within the North Central Region. Nimbus Hatchery takes salmon and steelhead eggs from the American River and rears them to fish for six months to a year, until they are ready to be put back in the system.
To the south, San Joaquin Hatchery near Fresno expects to experience high water temperatures this summer. Transferring and stocking fish in advance of high water temperatures is planned. CDFW hopes to maintain some trout at low densities at the hatchery for the winter stocking season.
Annually, CDFW works with the Bureau of Reclamation to ensure its operations provide suitable conditions for fish at hatcheries and in the river. This year, conditions are forecasted to be dire with little flexibility in operations. Similar to last year, low reservoir storage and minimal snow pack will result high water temperatures over summer and very low river flows by fall.
Fall and winter rains, if received in sufficient amounts, will cool water temperatures enough to allow both hatcheries to come back online and resume operations.

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.

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