Humboldt’s Friday Fishing Report 3/3/2017
WINTER STORM WARNING from 3/3/2017 Friday to 3/6/2017 Monday 10:00 am
River flow conditions and fishing were good for the Chetco, and Smith towards the beginning of the week. The upper Trinity River has also provided more opportunities for fishing . Most coastal rives have high flows with poor clarity. Significant rain is in the forecast this weekend and flows are predicted to rise into next week. There might be small window this weekend on the Chetco or Smith but a chance of precipitation will be in the forecast. Steelhead are in the river systems, with most action on the Smith, Chetco and upper Trinity River due to favorable conditions.
Chetco River- Great reports of Steelhead entering the system in the past weeks. Conditions may be favorable this weekend for Steelhead however rivers should be starting to rise. 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 in 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 are in the river however with predicted high flows. No reports for the upper Klamath area.
Trinity River- Most reports are good 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. There have not been any reports for the CDFW Trinity River Trapping Summary.
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 and the weather continues into next week. Side drifting and roe have been effective for Steelhead.
Van Duzen- Steelhead have been entering the system in recent weeks although poor water quality. Conditions are not looking favorable this weekend and into next week for Steelhead but as the weather is forecasted to be significant. 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. 28, 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).”
Forecasts suggest there are 230,700 Sacramento River fall run Chinook adults in the ocean this year, along with 54,200 Klamath River fall run adults. Both forecasts are lower than those of recent years, with the forecast for Klamath fall run being among the lowest on record. Salmon from these runs typically comprise the majority of salmon taken in California’s ocean and inland fisheries.
“With a poor forecast for Klamath fall run and continued concerns over the winter run, California anglers will see reduced Chinook fishing opportunity as compared to last year,” said Brett Kormos, a senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).
Chinook that will be harvested in ocean fisheries in 2017 hatched two to four years ago, and were deeply affected by poor river conditions driven by California’s recent drought.
CDFW and federal fish agency partners have expended millions of dollars on measures to minimize the impacts of the drought. These efforts have included trucking the majority of hatchery salmon smolts to acclimation pens in the lower Delta, improving hatchery infrastructure to keep juvenile fish alive under poor water quality conditions and partnering with sport and commercial fishermen to increase smolt survival. Though all of these efforts helped, other environmental factors – such as unusually warm water conditions in the ocean – were beyond human control.
The 2017 forecasts, in addition to information on endangered Sacramento River winter Chinook, will be used over the next two months by fishery managers to set sport and commercial fishing season dates, commercial quotas, and size and bag limits.
Season dates and other regulations will be developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and California Fish and Game Commission over the next two months. For more information on the salmon season setting process or general ocean salmon fishing information, please visit the Ocean Salmon Project website or call the salmon fishing hotline at (707) 576-3429.
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 205 PM PST FRI MAR 3 2017 PZZ400-040515- 205 PM PST FRI MAR 3 2017 SYNOPSIS FOR NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WATERS BROAD LOW PRESSURE WILL DEVELOP OFFSHORE THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST ON SATURDAY. WINDS WILL GENERALLY REMAIN LIGHT THROUGH MID WEEK WHILE A MID PERIOD WESTERLY SWELL MOVES ACROSS THE WATERS.
PZZ450-040515- PT ST GEORGE TO CAPE MENDOCINO OUT 10 NM- 205 PM PST FRI MAR 3 2017 TONIGHT W WINDS 5 TO 15 KT. WAVES W 7 FT AT 11 SECONDS. RAIN. SAT SW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. GUSTS UP TO 30 KT. WAVES W 8 FT AT 11 SECONDS. RAIN. SAT NIGHT SW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. GUSTS UP TO 30 KT. WAVES W 10 FT AT 12 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. SUN W WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. WAVES W 11 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. SUN NIGHT W WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. WAVES W 11 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. MON SW WINDS 5 TO 15 KT. WAVES W 10 FT AT 11 SECONDS. TUE S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. WAVES W 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS. WED S WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES W 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS...AND W 2 FT AT 13 SECONDS.