It’s official; a new record for the number of steelhead returning to the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery in one season has been set. The hatchery has received 530 adults and 638 juveniles this year to date, a total of 1,168 fish. That compares to 719 adults and 402 juveniles last season, a total of 1,121 fish.
Meanwhile returns at the American River Hatchery are similar to last year.
Surveys by this angler have resulted in few fish at either location. Fishing the Moke with the Amador Fly Fishers on January 26 produced three hookups by about ten anglers in half a day. Near weekly fishing the American at Sailor Bar resulted in one fish caught and two other hookups observed. Fewer anglers were observed than seen on earlier outings. Only one drift boat was operating as opposed to the multiples seen earlier. Visiting the hatchery on February 16 found maybe a dozen fish in the collection pond at the top of the ladder. All of the fish were hatchery fish. Indications were that egg collecting wouldn't continue past March 1.
Read the complete Moke story.
Do you know a young angler and conservationist who would be thrilled to learn and grow their skills over the summer? If so, head to www.tu.org/camps to view the camps offered across the country and spread the word in your chapter communications to members! Most camps accept applicants from out-of-state. Get in touch with the directors of each camp to learn more.
Are there teens involved with your chapter or council who stand out as passionate and active conservationists and leaders? If so, they may be eligible to attend TU's national Teen Summit, a leadership conference for young men and women from across the country.
Applications for TU's national Teen Summit are available now at www.tu.org/teensummit.
The final couple of weeks of the 2017 salmon season produced surprisingly good fishing for late fall Chinook salmon in the Sacramento River in the Jelly’s Ferry and Red Bluff areas – and for those targeting steelhead as a record run of sea-run rainbows returns to the Coleman National Fish Hatchery.
The fall Chinook salmon run at the hatchery has fallen 6 million short of producing the annual goal of 12 million juvenile salmon needed to provide mitigation for the spawning habitat blocked by the construction of Shasta Dam.
The better news is the good showing of steelhead at the hatchery. During the same collection period of Oct 3rd through Dec 12, the hatchery collected 9,800 steelhead, the largest return ever to Coleman. Read the Full Story
It is looking like it may be a big year for salmon and steelhead returning to the local rivers. This writer observed the fish at the Hazel Avenue hatchery on December 7. The access ponds at the top of the fish ladder were full with many very large salmon. I may have seen a cluster of steelhead as well. The hatchery was spawning the fish on a twice a week schedule. Opening day on the American is January 1.
The hatchery on the Mokelumne is reporting record returns of salmon and steelhead. The run is on track to break the record run of 18,000 fish in 2011 that went over Woodbridge Dam near Lodi. That year, 15,922 salmon were trapped by the fish hatchery.
The American Sportfishing Association and Southwick Associates created a new series of one-page infographics for all 435 Congressional districts in all 50 states. The 2017 infographics provide fishing participation and economic data at the Congressional district level.
See California-District-4-2.pdf for data on our chapters district under Representative Tom McClintock.
The information in the report and infographics use data from the most recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Census Bureau, as presented in ASA’s Sportfishing in America report. The study used mapping and population software to hone in on smaller geographic areas in a way that is particularly relevant to members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
See Economic Contributions for the whole report.
Article in The Christian Science Monitor by Zack Colman
In an innovative agreement, farmers have joined with environmental groups and state and federal officials to both increase water availability and restore the natural landscape. Although the plan focuses on just one section of the state, it is an agriculturally significant one – the Yakima Basin. And it’s comprehensive: The plan includes voluntary conservation programs, building new water-storage reservoirs, and adding structures to dams that would help fish seek cooler waters as they migrate upstream. The framework, in place at the state level since 2012, has begun to show promise, even though federal approval by the US Congress is still needed for full implementation.
Fall Prescribed Burning Program to Begin for Eldorado National Forest
PLACERVILLE, CA -The Forest Service will begin its fall prescribed burn program in the Eldorado National Forest as soon as weather conditions are favorable. Fire managers plan to burn approximately, 12,671 acres of National Forest land this fall, winter and spring using a combination of understory and pile burning techniques. The actual number of acres burned will depend on weather and air quality conditions which may limit the number of days that burning can take place. The ambitious 2016 burn program includes an expanded scope of work associated with the King Fire Restoration Project and the Cohesive Strategy for the South Fork American River watershed.
"Prescribed fire is an important management tool for maintaining forest health and reducing fuels that could make future wildfires difficult to control," said Fire Management Officer Jay Kurth. "There is increasing support for prescribed fire across California. The Forest Service, CAL FIRE, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, and many other organizations are all in agreement that we need more fire on the landscape under the right conditions to thin out the forest," Kurth added. "This leads to larger, healthier trees that are more able to withstand wildfire, insects and disease."
ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING OTHER WOMEN LEARN TO FISH? Are you a women wanting inclusion in the conservation, fishing and social aspects of Trout Unlimited? Trout Unlimited is jump starting their women's initiative across the state by identifying women volunteers for each of their many chapters. The goal for each coordinator is to plan fun, educational events for new anglers and to connect current anglers.
Many people would be intimidated by being the minority in a group, let alone the sole individual. I encourage you to think about what your experience was like at your first chapter interaction. Did you feel comfortable? Why did you decide to come? What keeps you coming back? Think about the answers to those questions and try to replicate the good and smooth over the gaps. Start a conversation at your chapter and maybe even consider filling the role of Women's Initiative Chair for your chapter. Take a look at other people's successes.
The Washington's Women's Initiative, led by Heather Hodson, is a great example. Heather and her collective of Women's Initiative Chapter Chairs are doing great things from women's social nights to casting clinics. Women who attend the clinics receive a free TU membership from a local TU Business and are followed-up with to invite them to upcoming chapter activities (and even step up to lead other women's events). You may check this out on their Facebook page WashingtonTroutUnlimitedWomen or Women of Trout Unlimited
Liquid Gold is a California Trout film that depicts the history of Golden Trout in California. This excellent presentation includes a two week back pack journey to discover the trout. The film captures the realities of the journey and put you on the scene. The 17 minute film is worth watching to capture the history, the habitat, the range, the geography, the journey and the experience. Watch the Film
Watching Liquid Gold puts you on "YouTube" where a series of similar films are displayed. Two of these are recommended and described here. Follow any of these links and you will be exposed to all of the series.
Enough is Enough portrays the history of the McCloud River, its historic fish, geographical protection of the site and of course the modern fishing experience.
Trout Fishing In The Sierras reports exploration of Twin Lakes near Bridgeport California. It doesn't carry the history of the prior films but presents opportunities in a familiar location.
Ralph Cutter had some time to sit down and share some tips, secrets and thoughts on the Truckee River, fishing with crayfish and women's clothing.
In this episode I get to sit down with Ralph Cutter, www.flyline.com. Who I believe is one of the true icons of fly fishing in the Sierra Nevada and the Truckee River. It has been described by many that Ralph has forgotten more about trout behavior and fly fishing then many of us will ever know.
Ralph shared with me his experiences snorkeling with trout, observing their natural behavior and how they respond to a casted fly. Some of this information will surprise you, it certainly surprised me.
We went on to discuss the suggestive versus imitative fly patterns and in his opinion what really matters and when.