Chetco Bubble Season off to fast start
The warm water finally moved in close enough for the Eureka boats to set their sights on oh-so-elusive Albacore tuna. About a half-dozen boats made the 25-mile trek straight out of the Humboldt entrance to where the water hit 62 degrees according to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, who was one of the three charter boats to participate in the hunt. Unfortunately, the day turned out to be nothing more than a beautiful boat ride. No tuna were caught, or even seen for that matter. “We never did see that real blue water, it was mostly green. We saw quite a bit of bait along with dolphins and whales, but the tuna were nowhere to be found. The boats that were out did a good job of covering some water and staying in touch, but we all came up empty,” Klassen added. The next opportunity looks like a one or two day window on the 7th and 8th of October.
Dry weather ahead
After a good start to our rainy season, it looks like we’re going to stay mostly dry for the next couple of weeks according to Reginald Kennedy of Eureka’s National Weather Service. “The next good chance of rain will be around the 14th or 15th, but that’s still a ways out there, a lot can change between now and then,” Kennedy added.
Judge Rejects Agribusiness’ Lawsuit over Trinity River Flows
In a press release issued on Wednesday by Earthjustice, and the Hoopa and Yurok Tribes, a federal judge dismissed almost all claims in a lawsuit brought by a coalition of agribusiness and irrigators seeking to prevent the protection of salmon in California’s Trinity River. Judge Lawrence O’Neill, based in Fresno, largely upheld the Bureau of Reclamation’s ability to provide additional flow in the Trinity to prevent harm to salmon, but indicated that different legal authorities need to be invoked.
The agribusiness-dominated San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands Water District brought the case last year against the BOR, which controls water releases from the Trinity Reservoir to the drought-stricken Trinity and Lower Klamath rivers in Oregon. These rivers support huge runs of Chinook and Coho salmon, on which commercial fishing industries and the Yurok and Hoopa Valley Tribes depend for sustenance.
“Ultimately this case is also about preserving the California salmon fishing industry,” said Glen Spain, NW Regional Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA), which represents commercial fishing families coast-wide. “It makes no sense to sacrifice thousands of fisheries jobs over 700 miles of coastline to provide just a little bit more water to a voracious Central Valley Agribusiness system that has already sucked up far more than its share in a major drought.”
“Straight up, if the Bureau of Reclamation did not make the decision to augment flows on the Klamath, we would be right now cleaning up thousands of salmon carcasses on the river,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke, Sr., Chairman of the Yurok Tribe.
To read the entire press release, visit: http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2014/judge-rejects-agribusiness-water-grabbing-lawsuit-over-trinity-river-flows.
Low Flow River Closures now in effect
North Coast rivers that are regulated by low flow closures, including sections of the Eel, Mad, Redwood Creek, Smith and Van Duzen are all closed to fishing as of Oct. 1 due to low flows. The Mattole, also falls under low-flow regulations, but doesn’t open to fishing until Jan. 1. For more information and up-to-date closure info, call the North Coast low-flow closure hotline at 707-822-3164.
Boating safety class this Saturday
The USCG Auxiliary has scheduled a recreational boating safety class for Saturday, Oct 4 in the Woodley Island Marina Conference Room from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The class is open to all boaters, not just the recreational fishing fleet. Persons wishing to take the class can register by calling Thom O’Connor at 707-954-4481 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost of the class is $20 per person.
The ocean was a little bouncy over the weekend, though Klassen was able to bring two halibut to the boat on Sunday. He said, “The weather looks better towards the end of the week, we should be able to get some good days in at the halibut grounds and we should be able to run to the Cape too. At least that’s the hope.”
Port of Brookings Harbor – Chetco Bubble Season
Cindy Jones O’Reilly of Sporthaven Marina (541) 469-3301 reports the bubble season at the mouth of the Chetco is off to a really good start. She said, “The weather was nice on Wednesday and lots of fish were being caught. We weighed in several in the 27-34-pound range already and I’m hearing there are some 50-60-pound fish out there. Herring was the top producer on Wednesday. The leader as of Wednesday afternoon in the Chetco Hawg Derby is a 38.8-pound king caught by Greg Kawaguchi. The bubble season will wrap up Sunday, October 12. For more information, visit http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/salmon/Regulations/docs/2014_Chetco_SW_Sport.pdf
Leonard Carter of Crescent City’s Englund Marine reports a good push of fish came in with last week’s rain. He said, “I heard there were fish as high as the Early hole last week, though the river is closed as of Wednesday. A few fish are also being caught in the estuary,” Look for the Smith to bust wide-open on the next big rain.
King salmon fishing remains excellent on the Lower Klamath River. Fresh fish continued to pour into the river this week, and so far, there haven’t been any signs of the run coming to an end. The fish are spread throughout the system, with boats working from Johnson’s down to Starwein finding fish in just about every hole. A couple silvers, which normally come into the river on the tail end of the king run, were reportedly caught this week. Water conditions are excellent, with the river flowing at 2,500 cfs and reading a very salmon-friendly 65 degrees.
Tim Brady of Weaverville’s Trinity Outdoors reports quite a few salmon have entered the middle of the Trinity. “The biggest concentrations of salmon are between Junction City and Hayden Flat. A few have trickled above, but not in big numbers as of yet. From what I’m hearing, the fish are in real good shape. Spinners and roe have been doing well,” Brady added.
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