Humboldt’s Friday Fishing Report 2/17/2017
River flow conditions were decent for the Chetco and Smith at the beginning of the week and not so favorable for other coastal rivers as usual. Most coastal river flows are high with poor clarity and predicted to rise again next next week. There might be small window this weekend on the Chetco or Smith. Steelhead are finally making there way into the river systems, with most action on the Smith and Chetco due to favorable conditions.
Chetco – Great reports of Steelhead entering the system in the past weeks. Conditions may be favorable this weekend for Steelhead. Side drifting and roe have been good for Steelhead when they are around.
Smith – Similar river and fishing conditions to the Chetco. Good reports of Steelhead entering the system. Conditions may be favorable this weekend and for Steelhead. Side drifting and roe have been good for Steelhead.
Klamath River – Currently high flows. Steelhead should be making their way in the river from the recent and predicted high flows. No reports for the upper Klamath area.
Trinity- Most reports are decent for Steelhead on the Upper Trinity where conditions are more favorable. Flies, plugs, and side-drifting have been working for Steelhead when conditions are good.
The CDFW’s Trinity River Project 2017 trapping summary through Feb.4 ,2017. (No Updates)
Total combined Chinook did not change from 0 (12/24-12/31) to 0 (1/29-2/04).
Total combined Coho did not change from 0 (12/24-12/31) to 0 (1/29-2/04).
Total combined Steelhead doubled from from 142 (1/22-2/04) to 144 (1/29-2/04).
Mad River – A few Steelhead have been entering the system in recent weeks, with some reports of success but not significantly and river conditions are not looking good for this weekend or next week as the next precipitation event occurs. Side drifting and roe have been effective for Steelhead.
Van Duzen- Steelhead have been entering the system in recent weeks and the conditions were getting better but new precipitation will cause poor quality water conditions. Conditions are not looking favorable this weekend and into next week for Steelhead. Side drifting and roe have been effective for Steelhead.
Eel River/South Fork – River conditions have not been favorable due to high flow for the main stem. Steelhead should have been entering the system in recent weeks. Conditions are not predicted to be favorable this weekend and into next week for Steelhead. Side drifting have been effective for Steelhead.
- On Feb. 13, the Van Arsdale Fish Count Station reported “The ladder was back online on January 31 but was again offline on February 7 due to high flow and damage. The Chinook count stands at 435 (Male 191, Female 188, Jack 56). One male steelhead was counted prior to the closing of the ladder. The steelhead count stands at 13 (Male 5, Female 8).”
Starting in 2017, anglers will be allowed to retain canary rockfish for the first time in more than a decade. Canary rockfish was declared overfished in 2000, but the population rebuilt to healthy levels quicker than anticipated based on a combination of conservation efforts and restrictive management.
The open season dates and allowable fishing depths for each of the recreational Groundfish Management areas are as follows:
Northern – Open May 1 through Oct. 31 in 30 fathoms (180 feet) or less; Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 with no depth restriction
Mendocino – Open May 1 through Oct. 31 in 20 fathoms (120 feet) or less; Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 with no depth restriction
San Francisco – Open April 15 through Dec. 31 in 40 fathoms (240 feet) or less
The 20 fathom depth restriction is described by the general depth contour. The 30, 40, 50 and 60 fathom depth contours are defined by straight lines connecting the waypoints as adopted in federal regulations (50 CFR Part 660, Subpart G).
New statewide changes include:
A new sub-bag limit of one canary rockfish within the 10-fish Rockfish, Cabezon and Greenling (RCG) Complex bag limit
A decrease in the sub-bag limit of black rockfish from five to three within the 10-fish RCG Complex bag limit
Elimination of the sub-bag limit of bocaccio within the 10-fish RCG Complex bag limit
A decrease in the lingcod bag limit from three to two fish
Allowance of petrale sole and starry flounder to be retained year round at all depths
Take and possession of bronzespotted rockfish, cowcod and yelloweye rockfish will remain prohibited statewide.
For more detailed information about recreational groundfish regulations and to stay informed of in-season changes, please call the Recreational Groundfish Hotline at (831) 649-2801 or check CDFW’s Marine Region Groundfish Central website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/groundfish .
Dungeness Crab and Shellfish
The recreational fishery for Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) is open from November 5, 2016 through July 30, 2017. The daily bag limit is 10 crab, and the minimum size limit is 5¾ inches. Note that the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) advises that consumers not eat the viscera (internal organs, also known as “butter” or “guts”) of crabs caught north of Point Reyes. Recreational crabbing is not allowed from vessels licensed for commercial Dungeness crab fishing. Review new crabbing regulations that went into effect on August 1, 2016, crab measurement methods (PDF),and the current Ocean Sport Fishing regulations booklet for more Dungeness crab fishing information.
- Call the CDFW Domoic Acid Fishery Closure Information Line at (831) 649-2883 for the latest status of the Dungeness crab season.
- Call the CDPH Shellfish Biotoxin Information line at: (510) 412-4643 or toll-free at (800) 553-4133 for updated crab consumption advisories, or check CDFW’s Finfish and Shellfish Health Advisories web page.
More info on our Sport Fishing Regulations page.
Open Fishing Seasons
= Partially closed fishing season
Kelp and Rock Greenlings
Soupfin Shark and Spiny Dogfish
Other Federally Managed Groundfish
Pacific Sanddab and Other Flatfish
Closed Fishing Seasons
All North Coast rivers are rising and very dangerous. Subjected to low flow fishing closures during dry times of the year.
The low flow closure hotline for North Coast rivers is 707-822-3164.
COASTAL WATERS FORECAST FOR NORTHWEST CALIFORNIA NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EUREKA CA 826 AM PST FRI FEB 17 2017 PZZ400-172315- 826 AM PST FRI FEB 17 2017 SYNOPSIS FOR NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WATERS AN OFFSHORE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL MOVE ACROSS CENTRAL CALIFORNIA TODAY. THE PROXIMITY OF THE LOW WILL INCREASE THE WINDS AND SEAS ACROSS THE MARINE AREAS TODAY. THE WINDS AND SEAS WILL DIMINISH SATURDAY THEN INCREASE AGAIN ON SUNDAY AS A COLD FRONT APPROACHES THE WATERS.
PZZ450-172315- PT ST GEORGE TO CAPE MENDOCINO OUT 10 NM- 826 AM PST FRI FEB 17 2017 SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON TODAY N WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. WAVES W 9 FT AT 14 SECONDS. RAIN LIKELY. TONIGHT N WINDS 15 TO 20 KT WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 30 KT. WAVES NW 12 FT AT 12 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY. SAT NW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES NW 11 FT AT 12 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS. SAT NIGHT SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES W 8 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SUN S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. WAVES W 13 FT AT 16 SECONDS. MON S WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. WAVES W 7 FT AT 9 SECONDS...AND W 15 FT AT 13 SECONDS. TUE S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. WAVES W 12 FT AT 14 SECONDS.