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Daily Reports is a WON service to readers looking for the latest and hottest news in the state and Baja. If you like to contribute a report we can immediately post after approval, e-mail pat@wonews.com
Maximus sinks near Cedros Island
It was reported that the sportfisher Maximus sank near Cedros Island with two crewmembers aboard May 12 at approximately 5:30 p.m. Both men were rescued by a Coast Guard Cutter that sent a helicopter from where it was operating about 50 miles away.

maximus300

The report said the vessel was not believed to have struck anything, but it took on enough water from the bow to overwhelm the bilge pumps.


Details are sketchy at the moment and more details will be shared as they become available and other reports are confirmed.


Department of Water Resources begins removing stripers from the Delta
Electo-shock removal of stripers from the Delta


BY BILL KARR

WON Staff Writer


BYRON — With no apparent public notice, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) has begun electro-shocking in the Clifton Court portion of the Delta and removing striped bass, moving them to Bethany Reservoir.


This writer received a call on April 19 from Stafford Lehr, Chief, Inland and Anadromous Fisheries, Department of Fish and Wildlife, to advise Western Outdoor News of the news.


“The Department of Water Resources is beginning an electo-shock removal of stripers from the Delta immediately, and they are moving the fish to Bethany Reservoir, downstream from Clifton Court, where they are conducting the shocking,” said Lehr.


Apparently, the permission to remove stripers from the Delta was included in 2009 under DWRs federal take permit for state water operations, under the section “Reasonable and Prudent Actions” clause, Lehr said.


“It’s important for your readers to know that this is not a DFW operation,” Lehr said, anticipating public outcry when the project becomes common knowledge. Lehr had no idea how large the operation is — whether it’s one boat, two boats or a fleet, but it will be operating 3 days a week in Clifton Court. Electro-shocking is a very tedious project — and not very effective for removal of large numbers of fish.


Bethany Reservoir, where the live stripers are being relocated, is in the 608-acre Bethany Reservoir State Recreation Area and is open to fishing, with a launch ramp. It’s noted as “the first stop on the 444-mile, north-to-south California Aqueduct of the State Water Project.”


According to Roger Mammon, President of the West Delta Chapter of California Striped Bass Association, “The problem is with the water exports, not the stripers, since the export operations have created manmade currents that draw the fish into the pumps. I think it will only have a minor effect on the fishery, but I would be concerned that they are going to start doing it on a wide scale basis. Those fish were originally planted by the then-Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to provide sport, and they provide perfect sport, if all the water wasn’t being diverted for corporate agriculture and their profit.”


First yellowfin caught
EARLY BIRDS!

 

First bluefin, now first yellowfin of the year


BY MERIT McCREA

WON Staff Writer


SAN DIEGO — The Outer Limits, while chasing bluefin near the 60-mile bank, Sunday saw the first local yellowfin tuna landed, a 22 pounder for Matt Stoddard of San Diego, in April! If you had doubts as to what kind of season we have in store, that should provide a strong clue.

The week's tuna bite started strong, dipped in what were very nice conditions, with a little drizzle from time to time, then surge back by Sunday. Thursday saw the Top Gun 80 rack limits of blues, only to have Friday and Saturday scores mysteriously dip, then come back strong Sunday with near limits on tap.


Close to home, the week saw private boaters capitalize on 60-pound grade and larger fish in foamers. The top strategy was to spot, slyly slide in and launch the surface plug. For the lucky this resulted a too big of a fish tethered to too long of a rod. All good fun.


H&M Landings Rick Marin said, "The inside fish were blowing up, private boaters got a few hooked on the plug, and then they'd go down. There were some good opportunities." The JR 4, Tady 45s were producers.

The spots of big fish were on fin-bait mostly. Capt. Paul Fischer on the Outer Limits was on his way in from the outside with 33 bluefin in the box, plus that yellowfin Sunday afternoon, when he spotted multiple foamers of the bigger fish. They slid in but got no takers.


While most agreed, except for the gray-bite, the blues were better on the lighter line, say 20 pound even, Marin saw it as and issue of picking a lively bait and getting it out away from the boat, far up drift. He said friend Danny Wade was able to get bit on the 40-pound.


The boats fishing yellows down the line toward Colonet over the weekend posted full limits of 18- to 25-pound yellows once again, and added plenty of rockfish to the take too. Both the Shogun and Pacific Queen fished that bite for limits of yellows. Between the boats they took a total of 330 forks for 66 folks.


At press time, the Chief was still down there on a 2.5 dayer fishing offshore of Erédira. But a radio report indicated that nailed the yellows (see late report sidebar). The Colonet area bite continued to be a yo-yo iron affair.


More locally the yellows popped at the Coronado Islands proper, but with a charter of new anglers the Fisherman III was able to salvage about 10 of the big fish, which came storming to the surface, breaking water. Marin said it would have been a blood bath with a few experienced anglers on the bow throwing the surface plug.


FIRST LOCAL YELLOWFIN of the season, for angler Matt Stoddard of San Diego on a live sardine. He fished with Capt. Paul Fischer, owner of the Outer Limits.


 

OCEANSIDE The Oceanside 95 headed offshore to the 60Mile Bank with 23 aboard, and scored full limits of bluefin tuna, 46 fish on Wednesday, joiuned by a few other boats, including the Long Beach-based Commander (see WON On The Spot in this issue). With the bite wavering the next day the big boat fish San Clemente Island over the weekend for a pick on yellowtail, boating 11, and full limits rockfish plus over 100 whitefish.

The offshore bite resurged Sunday and the boat was online to fish tuna. Capt. Rick Slavkin recommended lighter line for the 18- to 30-pound class tuna. Smaller hooks of 2/0 on the ‘dines and even small macks helped angers draw strikes too.

Local angers fishing the 1/2-day aboard the Electra scored sculpin. They found the bite on the red devils to be strictly limits.

The O'95 was on-line to fish offshore, with open party spots for the week and weekend.

Recreational Dungeness crab and rock crab season closed!
SACRAMENTO — Following late checks on Dungeness crab off the northern California coastline that showed toxic levels of domoic acid, the California Fish and Game Commission held an emergency meeting Nov. 5 and voted to close crab season, which was scheduled to open Nov. 7.

California Fish and Game Commission voted on Nov. 5, just two days before the scheduled Nov. 7 opener, to “prohibit recreational take and possession of Dungeness crab and all rock crab from oceans water, including bays and estuaries, north of the Ventura/Santa Barabara county line.”


Closure of the fisheries shall remain in effect until the Director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), in consultation with the Director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), determines that domoic acid levels no longer pose a significant risk to public health and no longer recommends the fisheries be closed.


The Commission also directed the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) to maintain a list of closed ocean waters of the state and update that list on Wednesday of each week by 1 p.m. It shall be the responsibility of any person prior to taking Dungeness crab to call the department's hotline (831) 649-2883 or visit the department's website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/health-advisories to obtain the current status of any ocean water.


The recreational Dungeness crab season was scheduled to start Saturday, Nov. 7


CDPH, in conjunction with DFW, has been actively testing crabs since early September and results from the most recent tests showed that the health risk to humans is significant. CDPH issued a health advisory on Tuesday. OEHHA followed that with a recommendation for delays and closures.


DFW will continue to coordinate with CDPH and OEHHA to test domoic acid levels in crab along the coast to determine when the fisheries can safely be opened.


Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin that can accumulate in shellfish, other invertebrates and sometimes fish. It causes illness and sometimes death in a variety of birds and marine mammals that consume affected organisms. At low levels, domoic acid exposure can cause nausea, diarrhea and dizziness in humans. At higher levels, it can cause persistent short-term memory loss, epilepsy, and can in some cases be fatal.


Domoic acid is produced from some species of the marine diatom Pseudo-nitzschia. Currently, a massive toxic bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia has developed, significantly impacting marine life along California's coast. Biologists tested crab from eight ports from Morro Bay to Crescent City, and determined that domoic acid levels are exceeding the State's action level.


Algal blooms are common, but this one is particularly large and persistent. Warmer ocean water temperatures due to the El Niño event California is experiencing are likely the cause of the size and persistence of this bloom.


Commercial fisheries are also affected by domoic acid levels. DFW has authority to delay or otherwise restrict commercial fisheries and is developing an emergency rulemaking under that authority. The commercial Dungeness crab season is currently scheduled to open Nov. 15.


Dungeness crab season postponement recommended — high Domoic acid levels
SACRAMENTO — On Nov. 4, just 3 days before the scheduled opening of the California Dungeness crab season, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a health advisory warning individuals to avoid eating rock and Dungeness crab due to the detection of high levels of domoic acid. The advisory was followed by a recommendation from the Office of Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to the California Fish and Game Commission and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) to delay the start of the Dungeness crab season and close the rock crab fishery. These actions would apply to each fishery from the Oregon border to the southern Santa Barbara County line.

The OEHHA recommendation has prompted an emergency meeting of the Commission, which will take place at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5 (agenda and meeting information). At that time, the Commission will consider voting to delay the opening of the recreational Dungeness crab fishery. The recreational Dungeness crab season is currently scheduled to start Saturday, Nov. 7.


Also based on the recommendation from OEHHA, DFW will act on its authority to delay the start of the commercial Dungeness crab season. The commercial Dungeness crab season is currently scheduled to start Sunday, Nov. 15 in most of the state.


Similar action will be considered by the Commission and DFW to close the recreational and commercial rock crab fisheries in the affected area. Both recreational and commercial rock crab seasons are open all year.


"These are incredibly important fisheries to our coastal economies and fresh crab is highly anticipated and widely enjoyed this time of year. Of course, delaying or closing the season is disappointing," said DFW Marine Regional Manager Craig Shuman. "But public health and safety is our top priority."


DFW, along with the OEHHA and CDPH, has been actively testing crabs since early September. OEHHA announced today that consumption of Dungeness and rock crabs is likely to pose a significant human health risk as a result of high levels of domoic acid. DFW will continue to coordinate with OEHHA and CDPH to test domoic acid levels in crab along the coast to determine when the fisheries can safely be opened.


Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin that can accumulate in shellfish, other invertebrates and sometimes fish. It causes illness and sometimes death in a variety of birds and marine mammals that consume affected organisms. At low levels, domoic acid exposure can cause nausea, diarrhea and dizziness in humans. At higher levels, it can cause persistent short-term memory loss, seizures and can in some cases be fatal.


Domoic acid is produced from some species of the marine diatom Pseudo-nitzschia. Currently, a massive toxic bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia has developed, significantly impacting marine life along California's coast. State scientists have been testing crab from eight fishing ports from Morro Bay to Crescent City, and have determined that the neurotoxin has spread throughout the fishery grounds.


Algal blooms are common, but this one is particularly large and persistent. Warmer ocean water temperatures associated with the El Niño event California is experiencing is likely a major contributing factor to the size and persistence of this bloom.



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