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SF Bay-Delta Smelt warrants ESA protection

03/30/12 -- The U.S. Fish and Service (USFWS) has found that the San Francisco Bay-Delta Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of longfin smelt warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). However, the Service is precluded at this time from proposing to add the species to the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species by the need to address other higher priority listing actions.

The finding, which was made after a comprehensive review of the best available scientific information concerning the species and the threats it faces, means the longfin smelt DPS will be added to the list of candidates for ESA protection, where its status will be reviewed annually.

Candidate species do not receive statutory protection under the ESA, meaning finding does not impose any new requirements or restrictions. The longfin smelt species remains listed as a threatened species by the state of California, which means that under State law the species cannot be taken without a permit from the State.

“Large distances between populations, the small size of this fish and potential obstacles to movement posed by ocean circulation patterns in coastal waters make the Bay-Delta population of longfin smelt markedly separate and discrete from other longfin smelt,” said Mike Chotkowski, field supervisor of the Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife Office in Sacramento. “Our finding indicates that ESA protection is warranted for the Bay-Delta DPS only, not for other longfin smelt populations.”

The annual review and identification of candidate species provides the Service and other federal agencies, states, tribes, and other partners with notice of species in need of conservation, allowing them to address threats and take actions that may preclude the need for protection under the ESA. Any future proposal to add longfin smelt to the federal list of threatened and endangered species would be subject to public review and comment.

The Bay-Delta DPS is one of at least 20 populations of longfin smelt which are found in estuaries, rivers and lakes from Alaska to California. The Bay-Delta DPS is found in the San Francisco Bay-Delta which includes Suisun Marsh and San Pablo Bay. The longfin smelt is a pelagic (lives in open water) estuarine fish that typically reaches four inches in length, although third-year females may grow to almost 6 inches. The longfin smelt can be distinguished from other smelts mainly by its long pectoral fin.

Today’s finding is the result of a 2011 settlement agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity and The Bay Institute, which had challenged the Service’s 2009 finding that the San Francisco Bay-Delta population of the longfin smelt did not meet the criteria to be listed as a DPS under the ESA. Under the terms of the settlement, the Service agreed to conduct a range-wide 12-month finding to be submitted for publication in the Federal Register by March 23, 2012, and to reconsider the San Francisco Bay-Delta population for protection as a DPS.

The latest review of the Bay-Delta DPS found information indicating that the ability of the longfin smelt to move from the Bay-Delta population to another, or vice-versa, is much more limited than previously thought possible – if indeed the movement occurs at all. The review also identified several threats facing longfin smelt in the Bay-Delta, including reduced freshwater outflow, and a food web altered by the invasive overbite clam and ammonium contamination.

Longfin smelt were historically one of the most abundant pelagic fishes in the San Francisco Bay-Delta. However, their numbers have declined significantly in recent years. Abundance indices derived from survey data all show marked declines in Bay-Delta longfin smelt populations. Surveys indicate that longfin smelt abundance over the last decade (2000-2010) is the lowest ever recorded in the surveys’ 40-year history.

Monitoring survey data show there is a direct correlation between the abundance of longfin smelt and the timing and amount of seasonal freshwater flows in the upper estuary. When freshwater flow is decreased, longfin smelt reproduction in the upper estuary is impaired. The non-native overbite clam thrives in the brackish waters of the estuary. The overbite clam consumes large amounts of plankton, a major food source for many fish species – including the longfin smelt – and other aquatic organisms, by sucking in and filtering plankton from the water. The introduction of the overbite clam in 1986 coincides with the decline of the longfin smelt population. The Service found that entrainment, the incidental trapping of fish in water used for irrigation or similar purposes, is not a significant threat at this time to longfin smelt.

A copy of the finding and other information about longfin smelt is available on the internet here, and here.

America’s fish, wildlife and plant resources belong to all of us, and ensuring the health of imperiled species is a shared responsibility. We are working to actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. Learn more about the Endangered Species Program at: fws.gov/endangered/.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen.


Fishing Reports

Sac. salmon fishing report August 31
Pictured is Forrest Stephanian with a very nice Sacramento River king salmon.  Photo courtesy of Dave Jacobs Professional Guide Service
Article and photo by Dave Jacobs
09/01/14 -- With the arrival of the Labor Day extended holiday weekend along with a large push of Sacramento River Fall Run king salmon, the activity on the Sacramento River is heating up. The heavy fishing and boating...Full Story
Fish-rights groups seek ban on tagging
A well organized group of people marching, Frank Galusha
Article and photos by Frank Galusha
09/01/14 -- Two groups representing the rights of fish are seeking a ban on the use of fin-clipping, embedding nose chips and several other fish marking and tagging practices. The groups say these cruel methods are causing...Full Story
Eureka salmon fishing slower; still good
By Frank Galusha 
08/31/14 -- Salmon fishing off the Northern California coast out of Eureka and Humboldt Bay has slowed a bit but many salmon are being landed, along with limits of rockfish when boats can get to the Cape area...Full Story
Dunsmuir plants Upper Sac with $100 fish By Phil “Flip” Akers
08/30/14 -- For the fourth consecutive year the Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Dunsmuir Big Fish Program on the Upper Sacramento River. This year, in addition to normal DFW trout plants...Full Story
Klamath River to get more cold water 08/29/14 -- Cold water is now flowing down the Trinity River in an attempt to stave off a potential salmon die-off the Lower Klamath where the water is too warm, according to Steve Cannata, Environmental Scientist... Full Story
Big kings continue to pour into Klamath
Santa Rosa residents Brianna Walton, left, and Cat Kaiser holding Klamath River kings.  Photo courtesy of Redwood Coast Fishing/Mike Stratman
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest
08/27/14 -- The North Coast continues to be the king salmon capital of the coast — though the crown is now sitting proudly atop the Klamath River instead of the Eureka coastline. For several weeks now, large king salmon...Full Story
Winners and Losers in Warm, Dry Times
close up of fingers holding up a very small fish by the dorsal fin, Erin Loury, FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
08/26/14 -- This third, continuous dry year in California highlights that droughts are not only stressful for people, they are also concerning for fish and wildlife - at least, for the native species. However, one group poised...Full Story
Fish Fry Lake: Cycling nutrients into fish
By Bruce Kania, Floating Islands International 
08/24/14 -- [Abstract: The following article describes why cyanobacteria (a form of algae) and green algae (another form of algae) occur when they do. Their occurence very much relates to the nutrient ratio present in a waterway... Full Story
FPT season finale at Oroville to re-locate By Vince Harris, Future Pro Tour 
08/23/14 -- We have been notified by the water agencies at Lake Oroville, that all ramps will be closed on Aug 20th due to rapidly falling water levels. Therefore, the FPT tournament competition committee has decided...Full Story
PFMC announces 2015 harvest levels By Tom Marking
08/22/14 -- Back in March we got our hopes up that we would see an increase in time on the water for all the CA coastline. We all got excited and sent in letters of the proposed three options as presented at the April Council...Full Story
New owner of Tight Lines Guide Service By Rick and Tresa Kennedy 
08/22/4 -- Well it’s time for the big news! We have sold Tight Lines Guide Service! With very mixed emotions we decided after 19 years, we were ready to retire. Even as I type this letter I'm having second thoughts...it's too late now... Full Story
Hat Creek fishing and camping
brookebridge, Mike Mogler, Hat Creek, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Article and photo by Mike Mogler
08/21/14 -- After the devastating fires in Shasta County, some friends and I spent a few days camping along Hat Creek. We arrived at Bridge Campground Monday, August 19 at 9:30 a.m. and set-up camp. Bridge Campground... Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Article and photos by Phil Akers
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
Eagle Lake worth the trip
Boats tied to dock at Eagle lake, photo by Val Aubrey
Article and photos by Val Aubrey 
08/19/14 -- Some days we work a little longer or harder, but overall, fishing continues to be quite good with some nice fat trout running two to three pounds. Several lures and locations are providing the action...Full Story
​Mackerel for dinner…but where?
A load of Mackerel, photo by Frank Galusha for myoutdoorbuddy.com
Article and photos by Frank Galusha
08/18/14 -- Most ocean anglers have caught greenback mackerel using all types of gear. Normally these fish can be found near the surface so it is best have your presentation near the top. When the mackerel...  Full Story
Paradise Lake down but not out By Chuck Giles
08/17/14 -- Fishing at Paradise Lake, in spite of the low water level, has been fair. Shore anglers need to get there early for any success and bring lures that can be casted a mile. The water is warm and therefore, the trout...Full Story
Creating healthier wetlands, water & fish
Floating Island West used plastic bottle created bio friendly islands floating in small lake, myoutdoorbuddy.com, Frank Galusha
By Frank Galusha
08/15/14 -- Last month a post at Maven’s Notebook (mavensnotebook.com) caught my eye. It was about algae in Clear Lake. “A small water agency that pumps water from Clear Lake expects to declare a water shortage emergency...Full Story
Grace Lake to remain open as PG&E works
PG&E  powerhouse intake structure at the deep end of Grace Lake. PG&E
08/15/14 -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will replace a control device housed inside a structure on the deep end of Grace Lake, PG&E announced on Tuesday. The lake in eastern Shasta County will remain...Full Story
Myskey says Clear Lake clear
Nick Nazak and dad Matt with Clear Lake trophy,
By Chuck Giles
08/14/14 -- Despite rumors, Bob Myskey, Clear Lake bass guide, reports the overall condition of the lake is good for water clarity. “The algae bloom did not materialize this year and the weeds have died off,” he says...Full Story
Vintage Fish Story
Painting by Gustave Courbet - 1873, Don Webster, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Article by Don E. Webster; painting by Gustave Courbet - 1873
08/14/13 -- It's the early Sixties. I'm barely twenty years old, preparing to enter military service, but I've got a couple weeks remaining before I'm signed up. The phone rings. It's Don Kraft, my hunting and fishing buddy...Full Story
Future Pro Tour aims at Delta
Colton Boykin holds large bass, Future Pro Tours
By Vince Harris 
08/10/14 -- Rollin on the River with the Future Pro Tour, the final event of the FPT’s “Delta Swing" series is fast approaching. It’s “Crunch Time” and you can best believe all Future Pro Tour anglers are preparing in earnest... Full Story
Is a Floating Island in your future?
Is a Floating Island in your future?, myoutdoorbuddy.com, frank galusha, outdoor news, microbes, ponds, water quality, algae, sustainability, filtration, filters, pond filters, wetlands habitat, bait fish, pathogens, New Zealand, Singapore, Lake Rotorua, Biofilm Engineering, Montana State, bio-mimicking
By Frank Galusha
08/06/14 --- Most anglers are acutely aware of what can happen to their favorite relatively shallow lake or private fishing pond as spring turns to summer and the water warms. The quality of the water declines rapidly and that... Full Story
Trinidad Rockfish Wars set for Sept. 13
Kayakers fish along the shore for rockfish from the Trinidad Head to Patrick’s Point. Photo courtesy of Pacific Outfitters
By Frank Galusha 
08/03/14 -- Pacific Outfitters of Eureka will be hosting the 4th annual Trinidad Rockfish Wars kayak fishing tournament on September 13th at Trinidad Harbor. This year Pacific Outfitters has opened up the tournament...Full Story
A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
A Hot Summer's Day on Chico Creek, Steven T. Callan
Article and photos by Steven T. Callan
08/02/14 -- I’ve been exploring Northern California’s streams -- above and below the surface -- for most of my life. One of my most memorable adventures took place on a hot summer’s day in 1964, not long after my sixteenth...Full Story
Weather/variety saves “Fishing Trip to Hell’
MyOutdoorBuddy.com Duck Boat, Frank Galusha, Eureka, Bechhold & Sons Rotary Bait Holder and Flasher with pulsing green LED lights
By Frank Galusha
07/27/14 – What seemed to be the ‘Fishing Trip to Hell’ turned out to be a freezer-filling delight when those 101 things finally came together off the Humboldt Coast last Tuesday and Wednesday. Trust me! Many things can go bump...Full Story
Predators on the chew
10 pound bull trout, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
07/26/14 --Targeting inland lake predators is challenging and sometimes sends you home with a vile, black-and-white kitty rather than a fish. But with arduous challenges come handsome rewards. “Go big or go home” is a...Full Story
Eureka/Trinidad: Summer fishing roundup
Trinidad Harbor, Tom Marking, Eureka-Trinidad Summer Fishing roundup
By Tom Marking
07/20/14 -- The fishing has been good lately in all the coastal areas. Wind has been a problem with a high pressure ridge offshore causing some lump and large swell, but that is now coming down. Smaller boats struggle...Full Story
Statewide free fishing days By Gary Heffley
07/03/14 -- The CADFW selected July 5 and September 6 as California Free Fishing Days. There will be “No License” required to fish within the state of California or offshore where California fishing licenses apply...Full Story
The Myths and Realities of El Niño
Ocean Nino Index - ONI
By Jan Null, Certified Consulting Meteorologist
06/01/14 -- [Posted with permission of the author and Golden Gate Weather Services] The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) continues their El Niño Watch for the possible return of El Niño later this summer or fall...Full Story
CA free fishing days are Jul. 5 and Sept. 6 05/28/14 -- Have you ever felt the excitement of watching your bobber suddenly jiggle, then dive out of sight? Or feeling the tap-tap-tap of a bass as it tastes the worm on the end of your line? Or having a salmon practically tear... Full Story
Crossing the Bar at Humboldt Bay
Furuno Chart Plotter, Humboldt Bay Bar, tides and current chart, Tom Marking
By Tom Marking
05/22/14 -- The Humboldt Bay Bar is the stuff of legends. There are harrowing tales of mariners having to cross the Bar at night or during storm conditions, leading to loss of life, with many a ship foundering and capsizing... Full Story
Saving Yelloweyes
Yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus). Photo by Retired Fish and Game Warden Larry Bruckenstein
By Steven T. Callan
04/24/14 -- Imagine you’re fishing somewhere off the California coast and you hook into a big one. You finally hoist the monster to the deck and discover it’s nearly three feet long, brilliant red-orange in color, with bright yellow... Full Story
Video: Why boaters don’t like ethanol
NOn Ethanol sold here for boats  sign posted along the street
By Frank Galusha
04/04/14 -- Fishing buddies, take my word for it, don’t burn ethanol-laden fuel in your outboard engines if you don’t want to ruin them or even place yourself in danger if your engine fails to run properly especially...Full Story
North Coast Spring Groundfish Report
Pacific halibut and Chinook salmon, Tom Marking and spouse
By Tom Marking, GAP and CA Sports Representative
03/22/14 -- The 2014 fishing season is upon us and shore anglers and divers are already busy searching for fish when the weather and waves allow. Spring can be very productive for shore anglers for rockfish, cabezon...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
First Light
Boats in the harbor alight at night with a soft wake from a departing boat
Article by Matt Goldsworthy
03/04/14 -- Reprinted with permission of HASA (Humboldt Area Saltwater Anglers) – Light is one of the most important factors to consider when fishing deep water. Over the years while fishing for Pacific halibut, we have always... Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Kokanee Power 2014 Event Schedule By Gary Heffley
02/15/14 -- Kokanee Power, a great organization involved with education, research, support and promotion of the fantastic Kokanee and Inland Chinook fisheries in the state has posted their 2014 calendar of tournaments and... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story
Fishing with Phideaux
By Phil “Flip” Akers
01/26/14 -- Meet Phideaux, a 110-pound neurotic chocolate Lab. His name is pronounced “Fido” but it is spelled “Phideaux” because he is a Cajun dog. Anyway, last summer Phideaux took his human (that’s me) on a trout hunt up into...Full Story
Oregon’s Lost Creek Lake is open all winter
By Cindy Broadwater
01/11/14 – Many outdoor enthusiasts may not be aware that Lost Creek Lake, Marina & Café near Trail, Oregon is open year ‘round. Not only is it the best bet for winter fishing and boating, but it may be the only game in town at times...Full Story
Sturgeon tagging requirements changed
DFW photo Harry Morse
01/01/14 -- California sturgeon anglers will see a small change to sturgeon tags issued beginning today. Sturgeon anglers have been required to tag all retained legal sized sturgeon for many years. In the past, the date, location and length... Full Story
Bechhold Bait Holder is fish-catching marvel
Larry Ellis, 37-lb Chetco King taken with Bechhold Rotary Bullet Bait Holder
By Larry Ellis
12/23/13 -- Hello, my name is Larry Ellis, and I have enjoyed the life of being a writer/photographer for numerous outdoors magazines for over a decade. I am truly living the dream. I began writing for Oregon Fishing & Hunting News...Full Story
A primer on fishing Lake Shasta By Gary Heffley
01/01/12 -- Shasta Lake draws more visitors to Shasta County than any other single attraction. While it is often a challenge to fish, it is more likely to produce stringers of fat trout or spotted bass. Trout to four and five pounds are caught here routinely...Full Story
Lake Oroville; 'tis the season By Chuck Giles
01/11/12 – Lake Oroville is probably one of the best lakes for sheer numbers of Spotted Bass in Northern California. This is not just on a seasonal basis, but year round. To start, I have a list of baits that produce decent results... Full Story

 

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