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Salmon Counts Still Climbing at Red Bluff



Battle Creek -- Take a look at the chart below that depicts the yearly estimates of salmon runs up the Sacramento to Battle Creek since 1952.



As you can see, after the construction of Shasta Dam the Chinook fall run was estimated to be less than 30,000 fish for nearly 30 years. Then, in 1980, the fish started to recover, perhaps due to more accurate record keeping, but what is most interesting is that the salmon population appeared to rise in the Sacramento steadily after about 1993 until just the last few years. The record year was 463,296 fish estimated in 2002, just six years ago.


Throughout that period we had lots of unscreened pumps, lots of water diversions, dry spells and wet spells, and the same number of predators or more. What we didn’t have were three straight years of poor offshore ocean conditions. That’s why the Krill Rebound story is so significant.


During 2005, 2006, and 2007 ocean conditions were poor. Cold water did not hug our shorelines quite so much. The food chain was disrupted. Salmon stayed further offshore and tuna and other exotics came closer to the shore as a result.


That’s Not All Folks – We Lost the Fry Program on the Sac


During that same time, the hatcheries also stopped raising and releasing fry. Many, including Gary Manies of Strictly Fishin in Redding, think that is primarily why we are not seeing enough fish spawn in the Sacramento main stem or its tributaries. Manies points out that when they stopped releasing fry, the number of fish counted as spawners in the main river began to drop. Manies explains it this way.


“Smolts released from the hatchery are imprinted with Battle Creek water. This may explain why counts of hatchery fish returning to Coleman were high from about 1994 until just recently. At the same time, we’ve seen a steady drop in the number of fish spawning in the river and its tributaries. That’s because the fry were imprinting in all parts of the system, but now that the hatchery doesn’t raise or release any we are losing that part of the fishery. After 100+ years of releasing hatchery raised fish (fry or smolts) we no longer have a pure native strain of fish coming up the rivers. We’ve got new body of fish and we are not allowing the fry to “smolt” and imprint to a wide range of waters, so we are jeopardizing that part of the fishery,” Maines said. “If we released millions of fry and got only a tiny percent return, even less than one percent, we could restore this natural spawning.”


Manies met with U.S. Representative Wally Herger this week to discuss this situation. Manies says he got Herger’s support. In effect, Manies wants more fry production or more hatcheries or both, whatever it takes to restore the CV system. “Coleman has room to raise and release more fry, why aren’t they doing it,” he asks. More on this meeting next week.

Whatever, it’s plain to see that it was not overfishing, but underproduction that caused last year’s collapse on the Sacramento and CV systems.


fr_clip_image002_0000.jpgBy Frank Galusha, EasyWriter
Are Salmon on Rebound, too? 
Historic Records Open Eyes
Ocean Condition Just One Cause
Loss of Fry Program also keyed to Sac River Salmon Collapse 
Local Guide Gary Manies Meets with U.S. Congressman Herger 

Red Bluff -- The salmon counters at the Red Bluff Diversion Dam are now seeing as many as 351 salmon in a single day and have tallied 4332 fish as of Wednesday, up more than 20 percent in comparison to this time last year. Are the Chinooks coming back to

Historic Record on Sacramento Tells Quite a Story

Fishing Reports

GGSA: ‘NO genetically altered salmon' 11/21/15 – The Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA) has announced it is disappointed in the federal Food and Drug Administration's approval of genetically altered salmon as being fit for human consumption... Full Story
Ideal rain sparks river salmon bite
Jim Hall with large kings, . Photo by the author, courtesy of Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing
On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis
11/20/15 -- Salmon fishermen love to see rain, but they don't like to see too much of it at one time. The ideal condition that anglers hope for is enough rain to raise a river to fishable levels, but not a total blowout that floods...Full Story
OR delays Dungeness season coast-wide 11/20/15 -- The commercial Dungeness crab season along the Oregon coast normally opens Dec. 1, but can be delayed to ensure a safe and high-quality product to consumers. Testing of crab in recent weeks showed elevated levels... Full Story
Smith, Chetco get much-needed rain
Fishing the North Coast, by Kenny Priest, author badge,
11/18/15 -- Finally some rain! Both the Chetco and Smith saw sizable rises on Wednesday and should fish well for the next few days. But if you want in on the action, you’ll need to act quickly. The forecast for the next few days is calling for... Full Story
2017-18 groundfish mgmt. up for review
Vermilion rockfish, CDFW photo by Athena Maguire
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Upper Klamath River yields lots of steel
Jonathan holds a fish with the lake and mountains in the background, photo by Scott Caldwell
By Frank Galusha
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Lake Oroville fall bite continues
Oroville Waters by Craig Bentley, author badge,
11/17/15 -- Oroville area waters are continuing to cool down as the latest storm drops more rain and snow in the mountains. The fall bite at Lake Oroville continues with anglers catching bass, trout and salmon. Largemouth bass bite slows...Full Story
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Water hyacinth, photo by Fishbio
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Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
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Good fishing in the Redding area
Jeff Goodwin's Guide Service 24' Willie jet boat equipped to fish the Sac River and area's lakes. Photo by Jeff Goodwin
Article and photos by Jeff Goodwin
11/14/15 -- The chill of fall has changed the colors of the trees in Shasta county, but it hasn't changed the fishing on local waters at all. Fishing has continued to remain good as the season changes, and it doesn't appear... Full Story
CA F&GC delays crab start; El Niño blamed 11/05/16 -- [Updated] The California Fish and Game Commission today voted 3-0 in favor of an emergency rulemaking to prohibit recreational take and possession of Dungeness crab and all rock crab from ocean waters, including bays...Full Story
NOAA Fisheries issues US 2014 Report 11/01/15 -- U.S. commercial fishermen landed 9.5 billion pounds of seafood valued at $5.4 billion in 2014, according to the new Fisheries of the United States report, which was released this past weekend. The continued... Full Story
Bass in the grass
An average Steiner Lake black crappie. photo by Bill Adelman
Article and photos by Bill Adelman
10/27/15 -- The above headline is catchy and it’s actually the case when fishing Steiner Lake in Redding. As the years passed it became more difficult to find solitude and successful angling opportunities. About 20+ years ago... Full Story
Catching Dungeness Crab with Rod & Reel
The author’s friend at the exact moment he begins to reel in his crab snare. Photo: Jerry Back
Chapter III: When, Where and How to Do It
By Jerry Back
10/22/15 -- Dungeness crab season in California is from the first Saturday in November to the last day in June. This year, 2015, crab season opens on Saturday, November 7th. Eight months seems like a long opportunity to go out... Full Story
Recreational Spiny Lobster season opens
Spiny lobster, photo courtesy of CDFW
10/02/15 -- Thousands of lobster fishermen are eagerly awaiting the start of the sport season for California’s spiny lobster, which opens Saturday, Oct. 3 and continues through March 16, 2016.There is currently a strong El Niño event occurring... Full Story
Curing eggs for salmon fishing
A fresh pair of salmon skeins, photo by Jeff Goodwin
Article and photos by Jeff Goodwin
09/27/15 -- Salmon fishing on the Sacramento River is going strong and anglers are catching salmon just about everywhere in the Sacramento River system. We really got off to a late start this year, but the tough fishing... Full Story
Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
Finding Fish from Discarded DNA
Bluegill, photo by FISHBIO
By Erin Loury
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How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
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Agencies halt commercial sardine fishing
Commercial fishing boats dragging their fishing nets, CADFW
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F&GC adopts in-river sport fishing regs 04/23/15 -- The California Fish and Game Commission adopted changes to the Central Valley and Klamath River basin salmon sport fishing regulations for the 2015 season on Friday, April 17. The changes include fall-run...Full Story
Fishing the Klamath below JC Boyle Dam
 Brian Buckingham with one of the larger fish from this section. This trout, estimated at 2 lbs., was caught near the BLM campground on the west shore six miles down the JC Boyle Dam on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon. Photo by author
By Trouteagle
03/02/15 -- Year round trout action can be found on the Klamath River within the 20 or so miles of free flow within Oregon and California. While fishing below the flumes at the JC Boyle powerhouse, it can be difficult to know just when...Full Story
The Mystery of the Middle Fork, Part IV
Jim Broshears, author badge,
By Jim Broshears
11/10/14 -- This trip was to be the final chapter in the saga that began three years ago but is actually over 20 years in the making. As Bruce, Tuck and I journeyed back to the Middle Fork of the Feather River we made...Full Story
Climbing Terms for the Fisherman
Trailhead Tales by Jim Broshears
10/14/14 -- For those of us who prefer to fish the rugged and remote streams and rivers for the elusive wild trout, rock climbing is a skill that is required to reach the special places where catching the big one is a “sure thing.” The skills...Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek.
By Lea Huetteman
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Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers,
Article and photos by Phil Akers
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Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
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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
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California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
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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
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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