California Could Close Fishing in Some Areas to Protect Fish in Drought

    With low, warm and oxygen deficient water conditions persisting in many of the State’s waters, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife could enact emergency regulations that would enable waters in peril to be temporarily closed to fishing. 

According  to the Commission, the water in many systems is likely to be inadequate to support fisheries as the summer progresses, resulting in impeded passage of spawning fish, increased vulnerability to mortality from predation and physiological stress, and increased angling harvest and/or hooking mortality.
To ensure that fisheries are protected under critical conditions stemming from the drought, the Department is proposing a set of triggers to guide fishing closure and reopening decisions. 

The Department’s decision to close or open a water will be based on the most current information available, collected by professional staff trained in the associated fields. 

Criteria for evaluating aquatic conditions are based on site-specific monitoring efforts with an emphasis on listed fish species, species of special concern, and gamefish.
The following proposed criteria will be used to determine if an emergency fishing closure or associated reopening is warranted:

Any water of the state not currently listed in Section 8.00 of these regulations (Section 8 refers to the Mad, Eel, Van Duzen, Mattole and Smith rivers & Redwood Creek) may be closed to fishing by the Department when the Director, or his or her designee, determines one or more of the following conditions have been met:

•Water temperatures in occupied habitat exceed 70° Fahrenheit for over eight hours a day for three consecutive days.

•Dissolved oxygen levels in occupied habitat drop below 5 mg/L for any period of time over three consecutive days.

•Fish passage is impeded or blocked for fish species that rely on migration as part of a life history trait. 

•Water levels for ponds, lakes and reservoirs drop below 10% of their capacity. 

•Adult breeding population levels are estimated to be below 500 individuals.

The Department will reopen any closed waters when the above conditions are reversed. 

Now, before you freak out here, I can tell you that I spoke with Staffor Lehr, Chief of Inland Fisheries the other night and he gave me some insight that should help talk some of you off the ledge.

He said that this is something that the Department wanted to have in its back pocket just in case the worse case scenario came up. They sincerely hope they don’t have to use it and expect that it would be rare to have to close waters. However, they felt it necessary to be able to pull the trigger to save vulnerable fish should that situation arise. 

I asked him some questions about waters a lot of people have been calling me, worried about. One was about the Sacramento River…because temps were over 70 degrees for three consecutive days in Rio Vista, would a place like Red Bluff be closed to salmon fishing?

The answer is no. Furthermore, it probably wouldn’t close to salmon down in the lower 70-degree stretch either because the fish don’t hold down there…they’re simply passing through. The Department is more concerned with protecting fish that are piled up in unnaturally high numbers, where they can be subjected to too much pressure due to low flows. 

Lehr also told me that rivers with hatchery fall Chinook runs should be okay — unless something really haywire occurs. 

Another point to remember is that the Department wouldn’t call for widespread closures. If something does indeed need to be closed, they will keep the no fishing zones to very localized areas. 

So, the bottom line is keep your fishing plans this summer and fall…everything should be okay. But, be aware that there is a chancesome waters  could be  closed if things get really really bad. 

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.