BY ROBIN WADE
WON Staff Writer
ANTIOCH — By now it is no secret that a non-profit, mitigating for water withdrawals, has been working with DFG, releasing salmon smolts into the San Joaquin River, so the place has been a madhouse with anglers targeting the stripers herding these babies into schools and feasting on them.
Chris Gulick from Eddo’s Harbor and RV Park on Sherman Island said the entire area down to just below the Antioch Bridge saw a lot of pressure this past week, thanks to the smolts that are being released. “The stripers are on the salmon smolts and popular areas such as Sherman Lake and Twin Sloughs have been very busy,” Gulick said. “Our parking lot has been full. Most are using spoons and Rat-L-Traps, while the bait anglers are using the more abundant bluegill.”
Mike Pipkins, owner of Gotcha Bait & Tackle in Antioch said it was windy all week, but when anglers could get out they found both sturgeon and stripers. “The River View Pier accounted for 4 keeper sturgeon and shakers,” he said.
“Stripers fishing slow for us after they stopped releasing the smolts,” Pipkins said. “Fish being caught they were only 4 or 5 pounds, 2 weeks ago was better. But things should pick back up again by the end of the week as we should see better tides. Clarity has been good for both plugging and trolling.”
“Whiskey Slough and Holland Tract has been good for redears, with limits to almost a pound. Black bass have been good in Big Break, with fish to 9 pounds as other species are also being targeted now,” Pipkins said.
Boaters can dock their boats in the water
near their campsites at Lake Camanche
By RON WILSON
WON Staff Writer
IONE — Late winter storms have changed the outlook at Lake Camanche, and with a high lake level, good spring fishing and plenty of trout plants, visitors have lots of options.
"It rained more in the Mokelumne River watershed the last two weeks of March than it did the 3 months before thate," according to the East Bay Municipal Water District (EBMUD) report, and Camanche Lake is almost at full pool.
Prior to late March and April storms, a broad ring of exposed shoreline surrounded Lake Camanche and EBMUD was advising its marina and resort operator to be prepared to move its South Shore docks to a low water location by early summer. Now, however, the lake is almost full and the docks will stay put.
“The water’s now licking near the edges of many of our premium campsites,” said Brian Bressel Camanche Recreation Company general manager. “Campers just love being able to park their boat in the water just below their campsite. They can keep an eye on it and not feel the need to pull it out each night.”
Bressel said that with the lake up, "new boat-in campsites at north shore are now useable, where they would not have been, otherwise.” Additionally, “New, state-of-the-art docks at south shore, equipped to better meet the needs of long-term slip holders and rental boats, are in position and ready to go, and paved launch ramps on both shores will be able to use all lanes and parking for the summer,” Bressel added.
At this time, last year, Lake Camanche was at 217 feet in depth. It is now at 210 feet. Outflows then were 2,535 cubic feet per second (cfs), today they’re at 259 cfs, meaning that the lake is growing by over 1,000 cfs.
Despite the increased water level, Bressel described lake use, so far this springtime, as light. “People haven’t been fishing, boating and camping in the same numbers as in previous years.” He continued, “They heard the lake would have less water and are not yet aware how that has changed.”
Bressel added, “Though many missed camping this past month, the good news is that water levels should remain high for much of the summer.” For more about Lake Camanche, visit camancherecreation.com.