Anti Striper, Bass, Catfish, Panfish Legislation Making Headway in the HOUSE

Here we go again! The water mongers are trying to pin the blame of the Delta’s woes on striped bass instead of the real issue!

This time around, U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) today offered an amendment to the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Act for 2016 which would “ensure an appropriate focus on predation control efforts” in an attempt to recover fish listed as protected under the Endangered Species Act.

“In the Central Valley, predator fish represent a constant threat to native populations such as steelhead and salmon,” said Rep. Denham. “While we’re spending millions trying to save the lives of these fish, which play a huge role in the allocation of water, we must also be working to eliminate the threat that predator fish pose. My amendment would require the NOAA to prioritize controlling non-native predators so we can save salmon and steelhead.”

This, of course, is simply a way to divert attention from the fact that a lack of water and poor water quality are the number one reasons all the fish on that list are Endangered.

All you have to do is take a look at a graph of Delta fish populations. Fish like salmon, steelhead…and Striped Bass are all in a nosedive. The common denominator? Water…not predation!

You can read the whole story here

This, of course, isn’t the first time Republican lawmakers have tried to eradicate striped bass from California. Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) introduced anti-striper Bills in 2009 and 2010, both of which got smashed. I’ve been saying all along, however, this fight is far from over…

Fake Orca designed to scare off sea lions nearly sinks

Photo:  Joshua Bessex, AP

Photo: Joshua Bessex, AP / JOSHUA BESSEX — The Daily Astorian

Well, you have to admit, it was a good try. Officials in Astoria, Oregon tried a pretty clever way to chase off pest sealions: A motorized life-sized killer whale that even plays orca sounds over a loudspeaker.

Sea lions have taken up residence on docks and boats in obscene numbers and also kill an astounding number of salmon, steelhead and sturgeon. City officials figure the animals cost Astoria over $50,000 is business annually.

Being a protected species, you can’t take up arms against the invading beasts…so what do you do? Enlist the help of a big, fake whale!

Unfortunately, things didn’t really go as planned. “Fake Willy” was hit by a passing cargo ship’s wake and eventually capsized. The operator, John Wilfer had to be rescued and the whale was hauled out for repairs.

Photo: Joshua Bessex, AP / JOSHUA BESSEX — The Daily Astorian

Photo: Joshua Bessex, AP / JOSHUA BESSEX — The Daily Astorian

So, round one went to the sea lions…but Fake Willy will be back! He’s currently being retrofitted and made more sea-worthy and will be back prowling the lower Columbia River again in the fall. Stay tuned for the sequel…

“Fake Willy 2: The Revenge”

See more at The Daily Astorian

Lamiglas, Inc. Patriarch Richard L. Posey Passes

 Lamiglas, Inc. Owner / CEO/ President and Sportfishing Industry icon, Richard L. Posey “Dick”, died in peace on Friday, May 15, 2015 at his home in Vancouver, Washington. He spent a highly productive 88-years living true to his core principles of “Onward and Upward”, and “We Will Make it Work”.

Dick dedicated his life to his loving Wife of 58 years Mary Ellen, Family, Friends, Company and Co-Workers. The terms, “selfless, honorable and generous” are continuously used to describe Dick’s character. Rarely did he conduct his business and personal affairs with contracts or legal documents – all Dick required was a handshake. You could rest assured if you ever received one from him, the commitments would be honored in full.

Dick Posey had a profound influence on the Sportfishing Industry that spanned more than five decades. Dick was a lifelong active member and served on the board of the American Sportfishing Association (A.S.A.,) along with countless Sportfishing advocacy groups and organizations throughout the country. Dick believed deeply in maintaining family values and the heritage of Angling. While he likely had IGFA records in his hands and caught countless personal trophies, you won’t see them in the record books or mounted on his office wall. Dick cared more about the people he employed and loved. Fishing was certainly a passion, but the people around him were far more important to him.

It was 1965 when a small company building Fiberglass Rod Blanks in Kent, Washington sparked Dick’s interest in fishing rod manufacturing. Dick invested every effort in the company spending 50 years as Owner/CEO and President of Lamiglas.

 Under Dick’s guidance, Lamiglas Inc. quickly became recognized as an industry leader in construction of handcrafted, premium quality, fishing rods, and instrumental in the development of Graphite and other innovative advances in the industry. True to its name, Lamiglas still builds today the classic fiberglass rod designs sought by Anglers worldwide, but prospers more so with the graphite, Tri-Flex™, and “Kwik” innovations Dick Posey’s leadership brought to market.

Dick was a hard-working man with the utmost integrity. First into the office every day – last to leave. He’ll forever be honored by the industry he loved, and forever be missed by his family, friends, co-workers and associates.
Dick is survived by his wife Mary Ellen Posey, his Sons, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.
A celebration of Dick’s life will be planned in August of this year. Details of the event are forthcoming.




Two of the Biggest Inland Stripers Ever Caught!

66.9-lb striper

Man, there have been some BIG stripers showing up join the radar lately, including this massive 66.9 pounder caught recently by Alvin Vang of Clovis, CA. He was fishing San Luis Reservoir off the bank with a white Fluke from the Romero Visitor Center.

While big enough to swallow dogs and small humans, this fish actually fell shy of the California state record 67.8 pounder, which was caught in 1992 from neighboring O’Neill Forebay by Hank Ferguson of Soquel, CA. For more on this story, check out the Fresno Bee

MO Record  striper

Not to be outdone, the great state of Missouri – Bull Shoals Reservoir to be exact – just pumped out this new state record 65-pound, 2-ounce striped bass to Lawrence Dillman of Rockaway Beach, Mo. Hillman was fishing alone at night with a 6-inch live minnow near Powersite Dam when the leviathan hit.  See the whole story at USATODAY

Historical Significance

So, just where do these two fish rank on the all-time striper leader board? Well, the official IGFA All Tackle World Record for the species is an ocean fish caught off Connecticut in 2011 that weighed 81 pounds, 14 ounces.

The two fish above are certainly in the top 1o and more likely, the top 5 all time taken in freshwater lakes. The current freshwater striped bass record is a 69 pound, 9 ounce fish caught in Alabama in 2013.

Carmel River Steelhead: Success Story in the Making?

The Carmel River. Photo:

Historically, the Carmel River south of Monterey, CA  supported runs of steelhead that could make many on the current list of the world’s best steelhead streams blush. In the 1850’s, the river saw annual returns of between 12,000 and 20,000 adult fish. Rapid expansion and urbanization of the Monterey area, however, set into motion a sequence of events that greatly degraded the river’s habitat.

Dams, surface water diversions, ground water extraction, urban development, levees, culverts, road crossings and channelization have all contributed to the dramatic decline of Carmel River steelhead runs.

During the period from 1964 to 1975, an average of 821 adult steelhead ascended the fish passage facilities at San Clemente Dam. In 1994, only 91 steelhead made the trip. During the 2012-2013 season, 249 adults were reported at San Clemente Dam and 65 adults were reported and Los Padres Dam.

In 1997, Carmel River steelhead were listed as a threatened species and in 1999, the Carmel was named as one of the nation’s 10 most endangered rivers.


The first major blow to the Carmel’s anadramous fish populations occurred in 1880, when Old Carmel River Dam was built. Then in 1921, San Clemente Dam was completed 18 river miles above the mouth. Though equipped with fish passage, the dams posed substantial impediment to both up and downstream migration of adult and juvenile steelhead.

San Clemente Dam is slated for removal. Image: NOAA

More significantly, the dams restricted new gravel recruitment into the lower river, which lead to bank erosion, bottom substrate armored with large cobbles and boulders (and a lack of spawning gravel), channelization, reduction in flood plain habitat and general degradation of spawning and rearing areas.

As the human population of the basin grew and San Clemente Dam filled with sediment, demand for more water storage resulted in the building of Los Padres dam in 1948. Located approximately 7 miles upstream of San Clemente Dam, Los Padres Dam affected the habitat in the reach between the two reservoirs very much the same way that the original structures affected the lower river.

Predation upon out-migrating juvenile steelhead by non-native warm water species in the reservoirs can also be significant at times.

Water Diversions/Extractions

In addition to the dams, surface water diversions and groundwater extractions have had extremely damaging effects on steelhead populations. Drawdowns often leave sections of the mainstem below San Clemente Dam completely dry — or a series of isolated stagnant pools. In either case, fish migration (adult and juvenile) is greatly restricted or impossible at times.

Another huge factor in the decline of the Carmel’s steelhead populations is the lack of over-summering habitat in the sections below the dams. Young steelhead spend up to a year in freshwater before migrating out to the ocean and thus require cold, clean water – which is often not available in the summer and fall due to the water use practices here.

Reduced flows also diminish the viability of the Carmel River estuary as an important rearing zone for juvenile steelhead. Surface water diversions and groundwater extraction also artificially modify the pattern of sandbar formation and natural breaching at the estuary, which can block access to the ocean for in-bound adult fish and out-migrating juveniles.

Lack of water can also keep potentially anadramous juvenile O. mykiss from emigrating out of the watershed and force them to complete their lifecycle within the river. Artificially low flows can also turn minor barriers to fish migration into impassible obstacles.

Other Factors

The lower Carmel River below San Clemente Dam flows through developed residential and commercial land, so the mainstem and surrounding floodplain and riparian habitats have been altered by bank protection and flood control projects. Road construction resulting in the silting in of spawning gravels and impassible dams and culverts on smaller spawning tributaries also reduce the carrying capacity of the Carmel River.

The Future

The mandated reduction of water withdrawals by 2016 should increase the river’s viability as a steelhead producer. The ongoing removal of San Clemente Dam and ingenious rerouting of the river channel should also greatly enhance fish habitat and passage in the lower 18 miles of river. Habitat enhancement of the new channel is getting close to being finished and the drawdown of the reservoir began in April.

The in-progress San Clemente Dam removal/reroute

The section of the mainstem Carmel below Los Padres Dam will still suffer from the ill effects of the barrier, however.

The river upstream of Los Padres is generally in better condition than the reaches below the dams. The upper reaches and tributaries like the Miller Fork are mainly perennial and feature some excellent stretches of quality spawning and rearing habitat. Increased flows in the lower river and removal of San Clemente Dam should allow more adult steelhead to reach those areas, though the dam at Los Padres still remains an issue for passage.
Additional spawning habitat could potentially be added to the drainage by altering/removing manmade and natural barriers on tributaries such as San Clemente Creek, Cachagua Creek and Tularcitas Creek — and adding passage to the dam on Black Rock Creek.

The Carmel will never regain its former glory as a top-notch steelhead stream, but with projects in the work, things seem to be headed in the right direction. Stay tuned…