Humboldt’s Friday Fishing Report 2/24/2017
River flow conditions have been poor 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. Although rain is in the forecast, flows are predicted to descend into 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. Numbers of returning Steelhead to the hatchery have declined the past 3 weeks and decreased by more than half from last week.
The CDFW’s Trinity River Project 2017 trapping summary through Feb. 25, 2017.
Total combined Chinook did not change from 0 (12/24-12/31) to 0 (2/19-2/25).
Total combined Coho did not change from 0 (12/24-12/31) to 0 (2/19-2/25).
Total combined Steelhead doubled from from 121 (2/12-2/18) to 47 (2/19-2/25).
See Full 2016 TRP_ Trapping_Summary
Mad River –The river has been too high and no reports of success due to river conditions. Not looking good for this weekend but the weather should clear up next week. 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 precipitation has caused poor water quality conditions. Conditions are not looking favorable this weekend and into next week for Steelhead but the weather is forecast is predicted to be clear. 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, however weather is clearing up next week. Side drifting have been effective for Steelhead.
- On Feb. 22, the Van Arsdale Fish Count Station reported “The ladder was offline due to high flow and cleanup. The Chinook count stands at 435 (Male 191, Female 188, Jack 56). The steelhead count stands at 13 (Male 5, Female 8).”
Reminder that Anglers Can Retain Canary Rockfish in 2017
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 high 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 241 PM PST FRI FEB 24 2017 PZZ400-250715- 241 PM PST FRI FEB 24 2017 SYNOPSIS FOR NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WATERS COLD AND UNSTABLE AIR OFFSHORE THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST WILL SLOWLY DRIFT SOUTHWARD TONIGHT THROUGH SAT. ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED THROUGH SAT. A SLIGHTLY STRONGER FRONT WILL PUSH ACROSS THE WATERS ON SUNDAY. ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS AND BLUSTERY WEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED ON SUNDAY WITH THIS FRONT.
PZZ450-250715- PT ST GEORGE TO CAPE MENDOCINO OUT 10 NM- 241 PM PST FRI FEB 24 2017 TONIGHT S WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. WAVES W 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS. NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS. SAT SE WINDS 5 TO 15 KT...SHIFTING NW. WAVES W 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS...AND W 6 FT AT 14 SECONDS. ISOLATED SHOWERS. SAT NIGHT SE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES NW 7 FT AT 16 SECONDS. SUN SW WINDS 5 TO 15 KT. WAVES W 8 FT AT 16 SECONDS. ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS. SUN NIGHT NW WINDS 5 TO 15 KT. WAVES NW 8 FT AT 10 SECONDS... AND W 5 FT AT 16 SECONDS. MON N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES NW 8 FT AT 15 SECONDS. TUE NE WINDS UP TO 5 KT. WAVES NW 6 FT AT 14 SECONDS. WED N WINDS 5 TO 15 KT. WAVES NW 7 FT AT 15 SECONDS.