Your chance to weigh in on solutions for the Klamath Basin
Published: Wednesday, July 07, 2010, 8:00 AM
By Dennis Lynch and Mark Stopher
The Klamath Basin is one of America's treasured landscapes. It's a place of beauty, and it offers its abundance to farmers, fishermen, ranchers, Indian tribes, landowners, recreation interests and the public in general.
But there's also ample evidence that much of this historical abundance has reached its limit. In just the last decade, various Klamath Basin communities have encountered hardships because of natural resource crises.
In 2001, water deliveries to farmers and ranchers served by the Bureau of Reclamation's Klamath Project were substantially reduced in order to provide flows in the Klamath River and lake levels in Upper Klamath Lake for protected fish species.
In 2002, tens of thousands of returning adult salmon and other fish species suffered a major die-off before they reached their spawning grounds during a very dry, warm September.
In 2006, the commercial salmon fishing season was closed along 700 miles of the West Coast to protect weak Klamath River stocks. This total closure was partly driven by the loss of so many spawners in 2002. Extremely weak or partially closed commercial salmon seasons also occurred in Oregon and California in 2005 and 2007 for the same reasons.
In 2010, drought conditions have forced the Klamath Project to curtail irrigation deliveries that could result in the potential short-term idling of farmland and increased groundwater pumping.
Also this year, the c'waam (Lost River suckers) fishery for the Klamath Tribes has been closed for the 24th year, limiting the tribes to only a ceremonial harvest. Other tribes who fish along the Klamath River rarely harvest enough fish to meet modest subsistence needs.
Please help support the Russian River Wild Steelhead Society restore the steelhead runs in the Russian River Watershed by joining us for the Second Annual Gathering of Great Steelheaders. The event will be held on Saturday April 17th at the Russian River Sportsman's Club in Duncan's Mills from 3:00 to 7:00 P.M.
Come rub elbows with some of your favorite steelheaders, such as Lani Waller, Hal Janssen, Russel Chatham and Dan Blanton. We will have casting and fly tying demonstrations along with a great raffle including a Scott rod, guided fishing trips, custom tied flies and many more exciting prizes.
Guests will have a choice of N.Y. Strip in a red wine sauce or chicken breast in wild mushroom cream sauce. Dinner, appetizers, dessert and wine will be included in the price of admission. Tickets will be $35.00 for Society members and $45.00 for non-members.
All proceeds will be used to help restoration and education projects on the Russian River and its tributaries.
For tickets please contact King's Sport and Tackle:
King's Sport & Tackle
16258 Main Street,
Guerneville, CA 95446
Steve Jackson, Owner
Nick Wheeler, Manager
Ted Nahhas and I floated the Lower Mokelumne with Bill Heger on Monday February 22, 2010. It was a cold and dreary day and the fish were not very cooperative.
We tried throwing everything but the kitchen sink at them, but the bite did not turn on until after lunch. We were below the Highway 88 before we found willing fish. The hatchery juvenile steelhead were still present and was mostly what we caught. We caught most of them nymphing on black Copper Johns and a few on Micro Mayflies.
We were on the water about 9:00 AM and fished until 5:30PM. A nasty wind came up in the afternoon and we raced the storm to get off the water before the rain hit. We managed to get the boat out and secured and were in the truck when it started to sprinkle. Not bad timing at all.
Here are some pictures:
Bill showing Ted a few pointers
Craig Martini and I floated the Lower Mokelumne with Bill Heger on Monday February 22, 2010. It was a beautiful day and the fish were vary willing.
We lost track of the number of fish that we caught, let's just say it was probably well over 50 fish landed between the two of us. The hatchery at Camanche had turned out a lot of 8-10" juvenile steelhead, and it was all we could do to hook something larger between the little guys grabbing our flies. We caught them swinging buggers on sink-tips, we caught them nymphing on red Copper Johns as well as blue Copper Johns. They were spread out from the launch point to the takeout at Mackville, and probably lower. I managed to land a few fish between 12-15" amongst the juveniles and I lost one large fish that was much bigger. I never got a real good look at him, but he was definitely heavier than anything else I hooked.
I was recently contacted by Brian O'Keefe with an offer for a free subscription to Catch Magazine.
I looked over one of the issues and found the photography amazing and the stories interesting as well.
See for yourself at Catch Magazine.
Bill Heger and I fished a certain tailwater on Saturday 11-14-09. I had tried to persuade Bill to head upcountry and hit some waters that are due to close tomorrow, but he talked me into going down the hill.
He stated that flows in a certain tailwater had been consistent all week and that it should be fishing real well. Something appeared to have happened overnight as the water level had recently receded about 6" in some places. The fish seemed to be a little put off by the flow change. We fished from noon until just before dark. We started out working our way downstream swinging streamers on sink tips. We both picked up fish with Bill landing a beautiful rainbow that looked to be about 18".
After a few hours of fishing downstream we switched over to floating lines and used nymphs under an indicator to work our way back upstream. I ended up getting ahead of Bill and fished farther upstream than he thought I had. I picked up a bunch of small rainbows up to about 8-9". Bill said that he had gotten into fish in some of the spots that I had fished through rather quickly and kept wondering when he was going to run into me. It was only after I came back downstream and started shouting for him that we ended up finding each other. By that time it was getting close to dark and it was time to head for the truck.
Here are some pictures from the trip:
Ray Mutter and I fished the North Fork of the Mokelumne River between Salt Springs Reservoir and Tiger Creek Reservoir on Friday 11/13.
We were on a tight time frame, but wanted to get a few hours in before the season closed. We fished from 10:30 until ~12:30 and managed three fish between us.
Here are a few snaps:
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Dennis and Bill fished Crowley on Friday and reported catching six fish each while pre-fishing prior to the Crowley Classic. Dennis took some pictures, but managed to delete them from his camera on accident. Saturday they fished the Crowley Classic and did not have a repeat performance. Bill caught one fish, Dennis caught none. The winners of the Classic apparrently caught 13 Sacramento Perch to take the victory.
Cindy and I forgot our pump for our float tubes. The weather was also acting weird. It snowed on us on Thursday morning on the way over Carson Pass. We stopped in at a shop called Performance Anglers on our way to the condo. The gentleman that we spoke with mentioned fishing the Middle Fork San Joaquin River near Devil's Postpile. The best tip he gave us was to arrive at the gate prior to 7:00 AM to be able to drive into the park and not have to take the shuttle bus. We got there around 6:30 on Friday morning and checked out Agnew Meadows, before heading down to Red's Meadow and having breakfast at the restaurant there. After a good, albeit expensive, breakfast we headed back up to the parking area near the Ranger's Station at Devil's Postpile.
Rich Lobrovich, Cindy and I joined other volunteers from Trout Unlimited and other fly fishing clubs to assist the Heritage and Wild Trout Program with their electro-shocking of Caples Creek 9/8-9/10. They split the group into 3 smaller groups and broke the creek down into three sections. Unlike the shocking in November of last year we only did a single pass this time, though we covered a lot more water. The flows were too high for the block nets to stay in the stream. The flow was at ~30 CFS compared to 3 last November.