Brief Winter Report….

Blown out with more rain on the way. This has been a common sight so far for the month of December. We need the rain, but also need a break if you are going to fish anytime soon. Winter fish should be rolling in. Pics from the big storm last week when the eel system was over 105,000 CFS.

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Updated Contact Information

My iPhone decided it wanted to go swimming with the fish today, so we have a new phone and new number here at Steelhead on the Spey Guide Service…

Jason Hartwick

phone: (707) 382-1655

email: speybum@gmail.com

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Prep the ark

Suppose to be a good one moving in. Heard rumors of 6-8″ of rain over the next few days with gusts over 50mph.

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267,000 CFS…..would be a fun raft ride if you could dodge the 300′ redwoods racing by! Suppose to be one hell of a storm.

 

JH

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Fall Finish

Another Fall comes to a close just in time, as our first big rains seem to be settling in. The fishing was much like the water this fall, up and down! The rivers saw ever-changing flows from the lowest we have seen due to draught conditions to flows upwards of 3500 cfs from both the BOR and rain. This spread the fish out very quickly and made us work a little harder than normal for them…all part of the game!

Why do we love fall steel heading? Floating lines, surface steelhead, t-shirts, and a lot of smiles…

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Steve Merlone with a couple of nice bright fish. Steve’s casting and fishing skills have improved each of the last  3 seasons we have fished together. He always seems to get the job done!photo_1_copyphoto 2 copy

For supposedly having such a banner run on the lower Klamath, I was amazed at how few Kings I saw upriver on the Trinity. Granted there were days like this one where hundreds were on the move and every steelhead around was far away sitting behind a rock!

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Every year for about the last 5-6 years, Rudd and Eric come fish with me on both the Trinity and North Coast. Each time, one out fishes the other but it always seems to balance itself out. This year, Eric hooked multiple fish the first two days. He had to take off due to that thing called life(family+work) and Rudd whaled on ‘em the last two days…go figure. Rudd, the blue gloves gotta go but the hat looks good!

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A few more nice wild ones from this fall. These fish in the lower Klamath and Trinity systems can be some of the hottest steelhead pound for pound. It’s just always a bonus when you see one a little bigger than normal.

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As Fall progressed we bounced back and forth between the Klamath and Trinity to stay on the fish and good fishing. While the Klamath fish might not have the size, they make up for it with a lot of heart! Not to mention you get a few more yanks in a day, fish beautiful long sweeping runs, and might not see another angler!

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It was another great fall season on the Klamath and Trinity rivers. The weather was warm  all the way to the end with only a couple of frosty to mornings I can think of. We have begun to receive some good rains which have triggered the last of the fall kings. The next good series of storms should bring our first good push of winters into many systems. Stay tuned…..

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Jason Hartwick

speybum@gmail.com

(916) 838-2496

 

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Arcata Premier of Wild Reverence

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Join the Wild Steelhead Coalition in showing the amazing film, Wild Reverence by filmmaker Shane Anderson

Two years in the making, this feature film chronicles the state of steelhead across their entire historic west coast range.

Steelhead are not just fish, but emblematic of so much more. The rivers they swim in, the people who fish for them, and everything in between is wrapped up into Wild Reverence.

Check out the trailer here

So please join us, and bring your friends

Arcata Theatre Lounge
1036 G Street
Arcata, CA 95521
6:30 pm

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Eel River Restoration

In the last couple of years there has been some good work work done on our coastal rivers to help boast salmon and steelhead runs. The Eel is receiving much attention especially from CalTrout and some other resources such as Friends of the Eel River to bring the river back to the way it was in its prime. The Eel still fights many challenges especially in this long period of drought where sections of the Eel have run dry in recent weeks. It’s a long road ahead, but CalTrout’s getting a good start.

Coho Populations Once 100,000, Now 1,000
At over 3,600 sq. miles, the Eel River watershed is the third largest in California. While the majority of the watershed is privately owned and managed for timber production, cattle and dairy ranching, the area also includes several State Parks, Wilderness Areas, and National Forests.
Historically the Eel River was a major salmon and steelhead producer with runs in wet periods estimated to annually average over a million adults (~800,000 chinook, ~100,000 coho, ~150,000 steelhead).
Today, nearly all the mainstem and large tributaries in the Eel River Basin have been listed as “impaired” under the Federal EPA’s Clean Water Act, primarily due to excessive sediment, habitat degradation and increased water temperatures.
As a result, salmon and steelhead populations have been severely depressed over many decades: fall-run chinook and steelhead runs fluctuate between 1,000 and 10,000 adults; coho likely number less than 1,000 adults annually.
In recent years, there have been some encouraging signs of recovery believed in large part due to very favorable ocean conditions. In 2012, Chinook salmon adult returns at the Van Arsdale Fish Station increased to over 3,000 compared to average annual runs in the low-hundreds thru most of late 1900s, and endangered coho salmon counts at monitoring stations in the South Fork Eel River have remained steady.
It is estimated that counts at the Van Arsdale station represent ~10% of the total Eel River return. While the current trend is encouraging, the Eel has a long, long way to go to once again support its historical productivity. With concerted efforts and continued restoration work, we have the opportunity to take significant steps toward salmonid recovery and ecosystem protection.
Conservation Goals
Continue to drive the Eel River Forum and focus on improving the status of salmonid populations, evaluation of Potter Valley Project (dam flow releases) and non-native pikeminnow eradication.
Work with Regional Water Quality Control Board to address warm water temperature and sediment impairment.
Restore access to ancestral spawning and rearing habitat.
Reconnect estuary tributaries and improve critical estuary rearing habitat.
Recent Accomplishments
In July 2012, behind the initiative and leadership of our North Coast office, CalTrout drove the formation of the Eel River Forum. This group, comprised of 22 federal and state agencies, county resource conservation districts, water agencies / public utilities, tribes and NGOs, represents a strong watershed-wide coalition to address recovery on the Eel. The group’s mission is to coordinate and integrate conservation and recovery efforts in the Eel River watershed to conserve its ecological resilience, restore its native fish populations, and protect other watershed beneficial uses. These actions are also intended to enhance the economic vitality and sustainability of human communities in the Eel River basin.
CalTrout leads this group in monthly meetings focusing on the many critical issues impairing salmon and steelhead populations and preventing meaningful recovery.
Over the last year, CalTrout secured funding for two critical restoration and recovery opportunities in the Eel system:
Eel River Estuary
Approximately $1 million in funding to develop restoration designs for the 1,200 acre Eel River Estuary Preserve located at the mouth of the Eel, a former cattle ranch now owned by The Wildlands Conservancy. This project will restore tidal marsh, estuarine habitat, and re-connect surrounding tributaries to the Eel itself. Our goal is to restore valuable nursery habitat for juvenile salmonids migrating to sea.
Bridge Creek
Approximately $560,000 in funding for removal of fish passage barrier on Bridge Creek. This will open up valuable coho and steelhead habitat and in particular allow access to critical summer cold water flows required for coho rearing.
What We Will Accomplish in 2013-14
Complete the restoration and engineering designs for The Wildlands Conservancy’s Eel River Estuary Preserve located at the mouth of the Eel River.
Work with state and federal resource managers to explore ways to address critical low summer streamflow conditions, excessively warm water temperatures, and sediment impairment.
Implement the Bridge Creek fish passage barrier removal project and develop engineering designs and construction plans for the Woodman Creek fish passage barrier removal project.
Key Partners: State Coastal Conservancy, CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, The Wildlands Conservancy, GHD Engineering, Russ Family, Kamman Hydrology and Engineering, HT Harvey and Associates, Mike Love and Associates, LACO and Associates, Roscoe and Associates

Source: California Trout

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Another Alaska summer in the books

JH

Tony Weaver with a King minutes from the salt.

Tony Weaver with a King minutes from the salt.

We’re back from another summer season at Hoodoo Lodge, AK. It was great season with some of the best King fishing I have ever seen. One thing’s for sure, if you are looking to swing up ocean-bright, sea liced kings, the Alaskan Peninsula is the place to be. Here’s a link to our Facebook page with some photos from the season. Also, check out or instgram feed as well on our faccebook page.

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We are now back on the Klamath and Trinity rivers for the remainder of the fall chasing Kings and steelhead. It looks to be another great season and we will do our best to keep you posted on whats happening.

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