In March 2009, The Nature Conservancy announced the protection of the 4,543-acre Shasta Big Springs Ranch in Siskiyou County, California, which will have a resounding impact on salmon, steelhead and other important species throughout the Klamath basin. As climate change progresses, the area could also become one of the last and best strongholds for coho and other salmon species in California.
An exhaustive look at available data for 89 populations of chinook and coho salmon and steelhead shows that productivity in the wild shrinks in direct proportion with increases in the percentage of hatchery fish that join wild fish on the spawning grounds.
"Our results suggest that the net reproductive performance of the population will decline under all of the hatchery scenarios," according to "Reduced recruitment performance in natural populations of anadromous salmonids associated with hatchery-reared fish," a research paper published in the March 2011 edition of the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. The paper was authored by Mark Chilcote of NOAA Fisheries and Ken Goodson and Matt Falcy of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. "While using hatchery fish in the short-term to reduce extinction risk and temporarily boost depressed wild populations to re-establish normative biological function are laudable conservation roles, such actions come at a cost in terms of reductions in per capita recruitment performance,"the paper says. "Therefore, we conclude, as did Chilcote (2003) and Nickelson (2003), that under most circumstances the long-term conservation of wild populations is best served by the implementation of measures that minimize the interactions between wild and hatchery fish."
New Zealand Mud Snail (NZMS) & Insect Assessment on the Middle Fork of the American River, June 28th. Ken Davis, aquatic biologist & wildlife photojournalist, explained the problems created by the NZMS and gave us an overview of how the assessment would be conducted.
We did not find any NZMS during our assessment but we did notice a great difference in the quantity and diversity of insects found in different segments of the survey area, impressing upon us the interrelationship between habitat and fish populations. Following is some information we all need to know about NZMS: (1) they are very tiny and feel like grains of sharp sand, (2) within 10 seconds they can become hidden in the seams of your boots and waders, (3) they are very prolific and eat the same food fish eat thereby depleting the food available for the fish, (4) they need moisture to survive so sun dry your clothing & gear thoroughly before entering another stream or lake.
From its headwaters in the high Sierra to the San Joaquin Delta, The Mokelumne River is a shining gem of nature. A National Wild and Scenic River Designation will ensure this precious resource is protected for future generations of fish, wildlife and people by preventing new dams and diversions on more than 37 miles of free-flowing river. Please get involved today. Write East Bay MUD and tell them you don't support the Pardee Dam Expansion. Also go to foothillconservancy.org and sign the petition showing your support for a Wild and Scenic Designation.
The 3rd Annual DownStream Fly Fishing Program conducted April 24th was created with the hope that through fly fishing Down Syndrome children can improve coordination, fine tune motor skills, boost social skills and attain a sense of accomplishment while having fun. Family members were encouraged to participate as well in order to promote on-going family activities in an outdoor environment.
Nineteen students attended, and there were enough volunteers at each of the 5 learning stations (casting, fly tying, knots, entomology and fish painting) for each student to receive individual attention. The 55 volunteers included four members from our chapter as well as members of several local fly fishing clubs. In addition to volunteering, the Chapter provided $2,000 (received from one of its members specifically for this event) to help defray the cost.
The event took place on a private ranch just outside Marysville which had a pond loaded with hungry rainbow trout. Every student landed a fish; some even landed 5 or 6!
Our May 2nd Casting Clinic was a great success!
Open to members only, and at no cost, 10 registrants got hands-on, one-on-one instruction from Jeff Putnam, our FFF Certified Casting Instructor. Jeff tailored his teaching to each student's needs and skills, whether they were a beginning or experienced caster. Jeff demonstrated his usual great skill in diagnosing casting faults, and providing as much or as little adjustment as was needed. Remarks from all students indicated that each felt he or she was made a better casters by attending.
In the first session, although limited to students using single-handed rods, Jeff focused on introducing spey techniques based on fishing situations and terminal tackle choices. The second session was reserved for students using two-handed, or spey rods. In this class, student experience ranged from first-time spey casters just learning to employ a two-handed rods, to veteran steelhead fishermen looking to tune up their cast. In each session, Jeff showed remarkable ability to observe a student, and identify just the tip or technique that would make the student better.
Some of our students.
Because of a sharp decline in their numbers, the entire salmon fishing season in the ocean off California and Oregon was canceled in both 2008 and 2009. Quest looks at efforts to protect the coho in Northern California and explores the important role salmon play in the native ecosystem.
Follow the life cycle of Chinook salmon, from tiny fry in the river to shimmery adults in the ocean, and back to river for spawning before they die, returning nutrients to the land.
See all of California DFG's videos on YouTube.