Volunteer anglers wanted for Klamath River study

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is putting their money where their mouth is. Stemming from the backlash of the California Fish and Game Commission’s decision to close a stretch of the Klamath River to fishing from the mouth of Blue Creek to downstream a half mile, they’re now making good on a promise to study the effects of water temperature and the catch and release mortality of steelhead. These studies come on the heels of the recent modification by the Commission when they changed the no fishing buffer zone from a half-mile below Blue Creek to 500 feet.

The studies will be conducted by CDFW, and they’re looking for a few experienced steelhead anglers to help. This is a rare opportunity to assist CDFW scientists with an important study by fishing for steelhead in a wild and remote section of the Klamath River.

Due to the remote location of the study site, volunteers will need to dedicate a full day to the study; including 5-9 hours angling, plus additional time for training and orientation.

Volunteers will meet CDFW personnel near the town of Klamath and will be transported to and from the study site via jet boat. Volunteers must provide for themselves: transportation to and from the meeting location, valid California fishing license and steelhead punch card, personal fishing equipment, food, water, extra clothing, and personal safety gear (sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, etc.) adequate for a full day (sunrise to sunset) on the river.

Volunteers will be expected to use the gear types and angling techniques specified by CDFW personnel on site. The study will be performed mostly on weekends from July 9, 2016 through October 2, 2016. Tentative dates for angler participation are as follows: July 9, 10, 23, 24; August 6, 7, 20, 21; Sept. 1, 2, 17, 18; Oct.1, 2.

To sign up, contact Brett Anderson (brett.anderson@wildlife.ca.gov) or call (916) 323-3422 with the following information: Name, phone number and email address, preferred dates, short description of your angling experience. Only pre-registered volunteers will be allowed to participate.

Marine forecast
The ocean forecast for the holiday weekend is not looking great. From the beach out 10 nautical miles, Friday and Saturday’s forecasts are calling for winds out of the north 10 to 20 knots with northwest swells 9 feet at 9 seconds and southwest 2 feet at 16 to 17 seconds. Sunday is calling for winds out of the northwest at 5 to 15 knots, with northwest swells 7 feet at 9 seconds. Monday’s forecast is looking similar, with winds out of the north 5 to 15 knots with northwest swells 8 feet at 9 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/. You can also call the National Weather Service at 707-443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 707-443-6484. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan or you can also verify the conditions as reported by looking at the bar cam at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/barCam/?cam=humboldtBayBar

Saturday is statewide free fishing day
On Saturday July 2, people may fish California’s waters without a sport fishing license. All regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect. On Free Fishing Days, every angler must have the appropriate report card if they are fishing for abalone, steelhead, sturgeon, spiny lobster, or salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity River Systems. For more information visit, www.wildlife.ca.gov/Licensing/Fishing/Free-Fishing-Days

Ocean sport salmon season closes June 30
As a reminder, the sport salmon season, from the OR/CA border to Horse Mountain, will close on June 30. The season will re-open again on July 16 and run through August 16. For the complete list of regulations, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Regulations/Salmon#recreational

Halibut season re-opens July 1
The Pacific halibut season will re-open Friday, July 1 and will remain open through July 15. To date, the CDFW has projected 8,672 net pounds have been harvested towards a quota of 29,640 pounds. For up-to-date harvest tracking information, visit https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Pacific-Halibut#31670772-2016-in-season-tracking

Abalone season closing
Abalone season will close Thursday, June 30 and will be closed for the entire month of July. It will reopen on August 1. For more information, visit https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Invertebrates/Abalone

The Oceans:
The salmon fishing was very good prior to Wednesday according to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing. He said, “The salmon have been real close to home; on Wednesday most of the fish were caught right around the bell. There’s still lots of bait around and not just offshore but along the jetties as well. Only a couple boats went out on Wednesday due to rough weather, and Thursday isn’t looking very good either.”

With salmon season closing on Thursday, the focus will again shift back to halibut and rockfish. Offshore conditions will have to improve dramatically in order to make a run to the Cape or to drift for halibut.

There’s been a pretty good salmon bite this week, with most boats reporting limits said Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters. “The salmon fishing was really good on Monday and Tuesday, but it fell flat on Wednesday. All the same signs were there, but the fish were either gone or not biting. The rockfish has been excellent as well, with more lings starting to show,” Wilson added.

Fishing the NC photo 6_30

Clay Crandal of Samoa landed a nice pair of kings on Tuesday while fishing out of Trinidad aboard the Wind Rose. The sport salmon season from the OR/CA border to Horse Mtn. will close on June 30 but will reopen on July 16 and will remain open through August 16. Photo courtesy of Curt Wilson/Wind Rose Charters

Shelter Cove
Captain Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing reports the salmon have been spread out this week. He said, “Seems like there’s been different “hot spots” everyday. There was a good bite in the Old Man a couple days ago. On the average, guys trying are getting from zero to five fish per day if they work at it. The rockfish bite is still good as we’ve been able to get all of our lings and five to 10 snappers per angler.”

Crescent City
According to Chris Hegnes of Crescent City’s Englund Marine, the salmon action is still really slow, but not many boats are trying. “There’s been about three to four boats trying for salmon each day, and they’re getting roughly one fish per boat. Definitely not red-hot. The rockfish bite is still good, there seems to be plenty of lings around,” added Hegnes.

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
The springer bite has remained steady this week, with boats getting one to four real good opportunities per day while sitting on the anchor. The steelhead should start to show in bigger numbers in the next couple weeks and boats will be switching over to side-drifting riffles. The fall kings should begin to make an appearance in the estuary any time now.

Find “Fishing the North Coast” on Facebook and fishingthenorthcoast.com for up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information. Questions, comments and photos can be emailed to kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com