Proposed Klamath River Salmon Regs Include Legalized Snagging and a Closure of Blue Creek

Klamath River @ Mouth of Blue Creek

Klamath River @ Mouth of Blue Creek

Several new fishing regulation proposals are being considered by the California Fish and Game Commission. Most noteworthy this cycle are changes that would have profound impacts on fishing for King Salmon in the Klamath River. Here are a couple biggies, including some counter regs proposed by the Yurok Tribe:

This first one is designed to address the massive amount of wasteful catch & release fishing that takes place at the Klamath Spit..

Option 1: No Catch & Release fishing in Spit Area (CA DFW Proposal)

After internal discussion and Yurok Tribal coordination, the Department is proposing the
following change to the 2015 fall Chinook spit area regulations:

• All legally caught Chinook salmon must be retained. Once the adult Chinook component
of the daily bag has been retained, the angler must cease fishing in the spit area.

This regulatory proposal does not preclude anglers from leaving the spit area and fishing other
areas once their adult daily bag has been taken. Anglers may fish other areas outside of the spit
to fill the grilse (Chinook salmon also does do not preclude anglers from filling a daily bag composed entirely of grilse salmon
while fishing the spit area.

In other words, you can’t keep your adults and then catch and release a bunch of other adults while looking for your jacks at the Spit.

Here’s what the tribe is suggesting, which would basically legalize snagging at the Spit and close all fishing near the mouth of Blue Creek:

Option 2: All Chinook salmon must be kept in Spit Area & Blue Creek Fishing Closure (Yurok Proposal)

The Yurok tribe is proposing the following modifications to the Klamath River regulations in the spit area and on the main Klamath River below the confluence with Blue Creek:
• No catch and release fishing allowed in the spit area to reduce pinniped predation on released fish.
This proposal would allow no release of Chinook salmon, regardless of whether they are legally caught or foul hooked. This option provides an exception from the general snagging prohibitions in Section 2.00.

• Conservation closure below the mouth of Blue Creek to reduce catch and release in a
thermal refuge area and protect late-fall Chinook holding prior to entering Blue Creek.

The first modification is to the spit area at the mouth of the Klamath River. The second modification would add Blue Creek to the September 15 to December 31 stream mouth closures and add a new Klamath River main stem closure from June 15 to September 14 from 500 feet
above to 1/2 mile downstream around the mouth of Blue Creek.

The Commission may combine Option 1’s prohibition on catch and release fishing in the spit
area with Option 2’s Blue Creek conservation closure.

• All legally caught Chinook salmon must be retained. Once the adult Chinook component of
the daily bag has been retained, the angler must cease fishing in the spit area.

• Conservation closure below the mouth of Blue Creek to reduce catch and release in a
thermal refuge area and protect late-fall Chinook holding prior to entering Blue Creek.

The California Fish & Game Commission will hear public comments on this at it next meeting scheduled for Thursday, February 12 at 8 AM in the Resources Building Auditorium, 1416 9th Street, Sacramento, CA. If you’d like to speak on this issue, be sure to be there!

28-Pound Rainbow Trout would have been Idaho State Record



The North Fork of the Clearwater River in Idaho have up this massive slob of a rainbow trout to angler Larry Warren. The beast weighed 28 pounds and smashed the current state record by 8 pounds. But since the fish was sporting an adipose fin, it had to be released and thus, no official record for Warren.

It’s crazy how thick the fish is! I know the Clearwater system is one of the country’s great steelhead streams, but that, folks, is not the physique of a fish that swam up all the way from the mouth of the Columbia! This is for sure a resident rainbow that found himself a gravy train and got fat living the good life.

And since he’s still there, maybe he’ll be 30 pounds the next time!

Stop the Gut & Release Poachers!

Wild Steelhead from the Mad River...eggs removed and left for dead

Wild Steelhead from the Mad River…eggs removed and left for dead

This incredibly loathsome and disgusting scene took place on the Mad River in Northern California recently. A friend posted the photos and I felt the need to pass them on.

Yes, what you are seeing is a dead wild steelhead that was gutted for its eggs and then left to die. As the photographer said:

“Not only is it a wild fish on a river where you can only keep hatchery fish, but it was done by an experienced angler. They cut the gills and bled it before taking the eggs…”
Hey you freaking ignorant scumbags, be warned! This kind of crap will not be tolerated (on wild or hatchery fish) and if any of us catch you doing this there will be hell to pay! Not only are you committing a horrendous crime against nature, you are doing anglers and angling a huge disservice! This is the kind of B.S. that gives the anti’s momentum and gets waters SHUT DOWN TO ALL FISHING!!! IF IT SEEMS LIKE I AM YELLING…I AM!! THIS MAKES ME BURN WITH RAGE YOU INCONSIDERATE, HALF-WITTED DIRTBALLS!!!

Please keep an eye out for these gut-and-release slimeballs and call DFW if you see any of this going on!

The Ones that Got Away!

Fish on, fish gone...

Fish on, fish gone…

They haunt your dreams and gnaw at your soul. They keep you awake in the wee hours and make your chest hurt when you think too much about them. You’ll remember them – like it was yesterday – as long as you live.

I am, of course, talking about the ones that got away.

It sounds kinda crazy, but it’s those encounters with massive fish that spat the hook or busted off that you think about even more than the ones you landed. I guess you could say that it is “better to have loved and lost than never loved at all,” but I’m not totally sure. Some of ‘em still hurt really, really badly…

The say misery loves company, so here are a few stories to make you feel not so alone in your grieving of the ones that got away…

A monster lurks

The one that still sticks in my craw took place a couple years ago on my home stream, the American River near Sacramento. It was a couple days before Christmas and buddy Tim Reilly and I got a kitchen pass from holiday chores, so we decided to wet a line for steelies.

With only a couple hours to spare, we left the boat at home and opted instead for wading a couple productive riffles where my clients had been catching good numbers of small fall-run steelhead in the 3- to 5-pound class on recent guide trips. Armed with light spinning gear, slinkies and small egg clusters, we worked the upper spot without incident and then decided to move downstream.
[Read more…]

Striper Seminars Coming on Thursday & Sunday in Sacramento

The International Sportsmen’s Expo is rolling into Sacramento this week and I will again be there doing seminars on light tackle striped bass fishing.

I really look forward to seeing everybody out there again! My seminar times are 3 PM on Thursday, Jan. 8 and again at 2 PM on Sunday, Jan. 11. In addition to all the info, I’ll have some goodies to give out!

Come by and say hi!

And if you’d like a $2 off coupon, click HERE