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Sturgeon spawning in San Joaquin River

07/30/13 -- Sturgeon spawning has been verified for the first time in the San Joaquin River, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study. The study was jumpstarted by the California State Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), which for years has documented angler reports of sturgeon being fished in the San Joaquin River. The study was led by Zachary Jackson, a Service fish biologist in the agency’s Lodi office. The study was recently highlighted in an Interagency Ecological Program newsletter article that can be found at water.ca.gov/iep/docs/IEP_Vol26_1.pdf. A copy of both years of the studies and downloadable pictures can be found on the Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife Office website.

The study detected that for the first time, sturgeon spawning activity was verified at a total of four sites on the San Joaquin during 2011 and 2012. The study indicated that white sturgeon use the river for spawning not only during wet high-flow years, but also during dry years. White sturgeon are thought to be found in only three major river systems on the West Coast of North America including the Sacramento (in California), Columbia (in British Columbia, Idaho and Washington) and Fraser systems.

Anglers and state wildlife enforcement officials had indicated that sturgeon caught during March and April commonly expel milt or eggs during handling, showing that spawning was occurring nearby. DFW wardens told the Service that every year a group of poachers targeted spawning sturgeon at a location on the San Joaquin called Laird Park, near Grayson, spurring speculation that sturgeon were spawning there. Spawning sturgeon contain a high number of coveted eggs, which can be processed into caviar, capturing up to $150 a pound on the black market, according to the DFW.

“Understanding the effects of water management in a regulated system like the San Joaquin River may result in increased spawning activity, spawning success, and recruitment of white sturgeon,” Jackson said. “Additionally, a better understanding of white sturgeon distribution and use, and the potential to encounter a green sturgeon within this system may enhance the understanding and ability to manage for both species.”

Despite researchers’ hypotheses that spawning of white sturgeon occurred in the San Joaquin River, it had not been documented before 2011. In April of 2011, Service biologists deployed egg mats in locations where anglers and state DFW enforcement personnel had reported regularly seeing or capturing adult sturgeon. The egg mats consisted of furnace filter material secured within a 2x3-foot welded steel frame. These mats were anchored in place, and checked for eggs twice a week for approximately a month. Throughout the 2011 sampling period, 23 fertilized white sturgeon eggs were collected, likely representing a single spawning event, Jackson said. During 2012, egg mats were installed in February and observed through May. A total of 65 fertilized white sturgeon eggs were collected in 2012 – at the 2011 site again and at three new locations, likely representing six distinct spawning events. Documentation of at least six distinct spawning events during 2012, a dry year with flows half or less than the 20-year average, showed that spawning occurs in dry years and may occur annually, which can be an important source of production for the Central Valley white sturgeon population, Jackson said.

“Continued study of the response of white sturgeon to changes in river discharge and temperature would be important for informing fishery and water management decisions,” Jackson said.

“The Department’s collaboration with the Service on behavior of white sturgeon in the San Joaquin system is part of California’s nearly decade-old increased emphasis on reducing impediments to sturgeon migration, assessments of the population and the fishery, improved fishing regulations, and the arrest of poachers,” said Marty Gingras, Program Manager in DFW’s Bay-Delta Region. “Most work with sturgeon has taken place in the San Francisco Estuary and in the Sacramento system, because sturgeon have for decades been very rare in the San Joaquin system. This evidence of spawning in the San Joaquin will help the two agencies protect and manage sturgeon habitat there.”

California’s green and white sturgeon can be easily over exploited because they mature late, spawn infrequently and are dependent on unusual environmental conditions. More-protective sturgeon regulations including a Sturgeon Fishing Report Card, three-fish annual white sturgeon bag limit and a zero-fish green sturgeon bag limit were implemented 2007. Also, AB 1187 (DeSaulnier; D-Concord) was signed into law giving courts authority to issue a fine between $5,000 to $10,000 and/or up to a year in county jail for sturgeon poaching offenses. Much of the , was closed to sturgeon fishing in 2009, and in 2012 several restrictions on fishing gear were implemented in an effort to improve the condition of sturgeon that are released by anglers. Green sturgeon is a federally threatened species under the Endangered Species Act and can’t be taken for sportfishing.


Fishing Reports

Groundfish make a sustainable rebound
3 species of fish displayed in containers, FISHBIO, groundfish
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO 
09/15/14 -- Conscientious chefs, shoppers, and restaurant goers in search of sustainable seafood just got a heap of new options to choose from. The Monterey Bay Aquarium's highly regarded Seafood Watch program...  Full Story
ODFW seeks funding for unique species 09/15/14 -- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists with the Native Fish Investigations Program (NFIP) are trying something new in Oregon to support lesser known fish. Crowd-sourced funding...Full Story
Sacramento River kings in full swing
In-River Fishing News article and photo by Dave Jacobs
09/13/14 -- The Sacramento River king salmon season is in full swing here in early September and this month is looking to be some of the best salmon fishing in Northern California. River flows are are very low due to...Full Story
Mendocino ab poacher goes to prison 09/12/14 -- A previously convicted abalone poacher is facing a lengthy prison sentence after pleading guilty to new poaching charges. Dung Van Nguyen, 41, of Sacramento was charged with poaching abalone... Full Story
Triton owners coming to Clear Lake By Kathy Priester
09/11/14 -- After a short summer lull, some bigger bass tournaments are about to descend upon Clear Lake, again. Pre-registration is currently open for the 8th-Annual Triton Owners Tournament West. If you or someone...Full Story
Rollin on the River!
steamship casino boat by Martin
By Vince Harris
09/11/14 -- The Final event of the Future Pro Tour "Delta Swing" series is fast approaching. “Crunch Time” is officially here, and you can best believe that Future Pro Tour anglers are preparing in earnest for the final...Full Story
Sacramento River double header
Sitting in boat on Sacramento River, Shane Anderson of Fair Oaks with typical Sacramento River rainbow trout. Sundial Bridge in background, photo by Jeff Goodwin
Article and photos by Jeff Goodwin
09/07/14 -- Early last week, I received a call from a couple of guys who had a few days left at the tail end of their vacation, and they wanted to go fishing. They would be coming from the bay area and chose to fish the Sacramento...Full Story
Lake Berryessa yields nice ‘bass’
Lake Berryessa Bass taken a week ago while using a Whopper Popper by River2Sea in trout pattern. Photo Courtesy of Sid Silberberg, Fishing with Sid Guide Service
By Sid Silberberg
09/07/14 -- Labor Day weekend was great I went out midday and stayed out till dusk each day. My aim was to find areas where the top water bite would be successful and I was able to catch some nice bass that way...Full Story
Slam’n Salmon Ocean Derby draws 500+
picture of man holding large $6,000 check to Chadwick Poole of Crescent City, Lorissa Soriano
Article and photos by Lorissa Soriano
09/05/14 -- Hundreds of fishermen/women from all over the State of Oregon and beyond flocked to the Port of Brookings Harbor in Curry County, Oregon, this past Labor Day weekend to participate in the 2014 Slam’n Salmon...Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Trout Angler’s Challenge set for Collins
Fish Sniffer, Vince Harris
By Vince Harris
09/03/14 -- It's September everyone, and that means that we are just about a month away from the biggest trout championship event in the west - the 2014 Norcal Trout Angler's Challenge - Tournament of Champions...Full Story
GGSA: Sac River too warm for spawning 09/03/14 -- The Golden Gate Salmon Association and a coalition of salmon stakeholders are calling on state and federal fish agencies to save this year’s fall-run salmon from deadly effects of drought. Joining GGSA...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
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
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
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
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
​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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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