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Post Info TOPIC: Changing the Regs


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Changing the Regs
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I'm new to the board and read the threads about baitfishing out of season and posting signs with interest. The current regs have been in place for at least 30+years while the usage of the creek has increased a lot. I personally would like to see zero limit for the whole stretch from dam to dam year round. Or at least a 2 fish below 15 in with single barbless artificials or something like that.

I wouldn't underestimate the number of fish that bait fishermen take especially in the fall when the water starts dropping and the zero limit regs aren't in effect yet. Before being enlightened many years ago, we used to slay 'em with bait in the fall.

Has anyone tried to get DFG to change the regs in the past? How would you go about it? Seems as if there should be a groundswell of support to have the regs changed with the amount of use the place gets from flyfishermen.

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my guess would be that someone would have to talk to the county

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JT


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Someone would have to prove to the DFG that the wild fish population is in danger. I think they only establish those kind of regulations in fisheries that are classified as wild. I may be wrong, but that is my understanding. They would have to stop stocking the creek and allow it to reach wild status. Do you think something like this could be done in the near future? Itwould be nice. I think the slot limit that you're proposing isbetter for the fishery than"zero limit" regulations. We don't want an overpopulated creek with tons of stunted fish.

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I agree that a slot limit would be best, I'd like to see limit of 2 fish 14 inches or under. Another problem is the fish that dfg plants, these fish are so far from what a rainbow trout is, I really wish that theyy would plant much less but higher quality fish.

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I contacted the Fish and Game Commission by email and asked what the process for changing regs was:

A regulatory change can take at least six months (not including time for adequate biological study).

You can send recommendations for changes to the sport fishing regulations at any time to the Commission or the Department of Fish and Game. In the past the Commission has reviewed public recommendations at least every three years. Our last review was in the fall of 2006.

Should your recommendation be considered one of an urgency nature the Commission may choose to act on the recommendation sooner.

Another option would be to take your recommendation to one of the public Commission meetings that are held almost monthly throughout the State. On the first day of each two day meeting, the first item on the agenda is "public forum". This is the time and place where any member of the public can bring up any topic relative to Fish and Game matters.

You can find more information on our website (including our meeting schedule for 2007) at www.fgc.ca.gov.

Looks like it might be a bit of a process but doable if there is enough support for it.



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GC


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I would like to see a slot limit, say a minimum 12 and a Max of 18. The slot limit would likely increase the numbers of larger fish. Creating a fly fishing only seems out of line. The fishery is challenging but certainly not in danger. Bait fisherman are people too. The Fishery is on public lands and should be open to people of all persuasions. DFG stocks the creek for the enjoyment of many fishermen. I think the bait people should be allowed to continue their fishing. Our wild population is most likely the offspring of planters.



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I agree with you drhays, Just because someone chooses not to fly fish, the right to fish in putah should not be off limits to them. After all I'm willing to bet most all of us started out with spinning gear. As far as the wild fish being offspring of planters, Im not sure about that, I really beleive that these wild fish are actually offspring of wild trout that have inhabited putah for literally thousands of years, But I'm sure some planters do last long enough to spawn, This would be very interesting subject to research.

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Im afraid I have to disagree on the fly fishing only idea guys. The problem with Putah is that it is only 4 miles long and get pounded hard during the open season. All of us have seen bait fishermen taking way over the limit of fish and fishing out of season. Certainly there need to be areas for bait fishing. But this section of Putah is unusually fine fly fishing water, while there are plenty of other places to bait fish, Solano Lake being a fine example. Given my and others observations of the ethics of many, but not all,bait fishermen, a slot limit or other restrictions would likely be ignored by many as the current regulations are now. As far as I know, there are no wild and heritage trout streams in the central valley, and the closest in the mountains is on Stony Creek. I believe this would make a fine addition to that program.

Phil

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It doesn't have to be flyfishing only but could be artificials with barbless hooks. This is much more inclusive and allows all kinds of gear--just not bait. If you scan through the DFG regs, there are many waters with this kind of restriction. It is well established that fish mortality is much higher with bait fishing as the fish are often hooked deep in the gullet. I think it is also fairly well believed that planted fish are an impedement to establishing a wild trout fishery. Some of the planters caught there now look like mutants with deformed fins and tails. I don't even want to touch some of them. I would like to see if a wild trout fishery could be established, but if not, a happy medium might be to have only subcatchable or fingerling trout planted which behave more like wild fish when grown. If I am not mistaken, this is what is done on the San Juan in New Mexico. Finally, I agree that there is a place for bait fishing. Lets face it--the vast majority of us got into fishing with bait and hardware. I also enjoy taking my kids fishing and bait sometimes works the best. Lake Berryessa is only a few miles up the road and has a great trout fishery that is very amenable to fishing with bait.

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GC


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You're right Garrick. I should have included barbless lures as well, as this is the norm around the state. Both barbless lures and flies avoid the fish trying to swallow the hook.

Phil

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WT


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The debate about whether or not Putah should be fly-fishing only is interesting. My question is whether there are any rivers which are fly-fishing only all year around in the state? Growing up in the PNW I know there is something special about rivers that are restricted to only fly-fishing. However with Lake Berryessa so close I question whether Putah would be a good choice, and wonder if there is not another river which might be a better canidate? Barbless lures and fly's with size restrictions I think is a must expecially if we want our children to have the wonderful experiences we have experienced. If anyone wants to experience one such fly-fishing only paradise I would highly recommend taking a trip to the Metolius River in Oregon

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A quick scan of the regs shows only Hot creek specifying artificial flies and I think you can use a surfcaster with and ounce of weight to throw your #18 PT if so inclined. There is a private stretch of Hot that requires only dry flies. A little too snotty for my tastes. Even hallowed waters such as Hat Creek and the Fall River here allow artificial lures. I think it is a good idea because it allows more people to enjoy these waters if they want. I hardly ever see someone slinging barbless Mepps in these areas though. I don't know if I really care for some of the restrictive regs on some OR rivers like the N. Umpqua which(I think) doesn't allow the use of shot or weight above the fly. I think they might even not allow weight in the fly. I think there might be some backlash from the nonflyfishing types if they were totally excuded from many waters.

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I spoke with the DFG about the regs allowing artificial lures with barbless (treble hooks) virtually throughout the state in what used to be artificial flies only waters.My concern was the barbless hook harming the supposed released fish,but the person I spoke with who is also an avid flyfisherman and is directly involved in writing the regs explained that fish mortality is generally low with barbless treble hooks and that alot of time was spent looking into the new regs before changing them.Also as far as I know concerning "wild trout"in Putah creek,I dont think there is any.Putah had no trout in it's waters(only small mouth bass and other warmwater species) untill the dam was put into place.My theory right or wrong is when diversion dam was built below Monticello dam steelhead trout may have been locked between the dams and that is what started the seemingly wild population.That would also explain the early spawners in Putah(like steelhead).Another possible source of wild trout in Putah could be a strain of cutt bows that live in a very little creek that flows into Lk Solano.I used to catch these fish by the loads when I was a kid not knowing where they originated from,untill one day I met a gentelman from UC Davis on the same creek doing a water shed study.He told me that these fish were introduced to this little creek in the late 1800's and have stayed ever since.This might explain some of the larger fish that are caught in Putah have cutthroat type markings on them(very few spots if any below the lateral line and very few above the line,golden hue color and a very slight red slash under the jaw).So far nobody really knows the true origins of the fish in Putah untill some fish are caught and samples are taken,which was supposed to happen last year but never did. Bono

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Greg Bonovich
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I did catch and release a cuttbow last summer around access #4, it had a slash under the jaw, I caught it on a brown san juan worm, And I was very surprised.

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If Greg is right about steelhead getting trapped in the system between dams, then Putah would have both native and wild fish. Peter Moyle at UCD has also suggested this too and I know a DFG biologist who said in the remote past that he has seen steelhead jumping up against the diversion dam.

It clearly has wild fish in it now. We see them spawning up by the bridge and elsewhere, we see fry swimming in the backwaters and we all catch wild fish. It is pretty easy to tell the difference between a planter and a wild fish. Just because they weren't in the system originally, doesn't mean they aren't wild. There are no native brown trout in CA but they are reproducing, self-sustaining and considered "wild".

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I should clarify my last post,when I stated that I thought there wasn't any wild trout in Putah I should of said "native" instead of "wild"there is a difference.I obviously believe there is a self sustaining spawning population of trout in the creek but I don't think there is or were trout in Putah other than a few seasonalSteelhead before the dams were put into place.

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Greg Bonovich
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Maybe it's time to try to get all the players in place again and have a meeting somewhere concerning all of the issues on Putah.About 2 months ago when I was pursuing all of these people trying to get everyone together at the same place same time I was spending many hours on the phone and behind the computer and finally got to the point where I gave up because quite frankly the weather got better and my landscaping business took off like it always does in the spring time.I do not have the time to invest in leading the way like I was trying to do months ago.I have all of the contact phone #s for all of the people that may prove to be helpful in the fight to make Putah a better place for us all.All that is needed now is somebody with the time (maybe retired?)who can as I stated before "run with the torch".I can help and I already know alot of you out there are willing to help as well.Also this website is the perfect catalyst for comunication about these issues and should be used at will.If any takers or possible takers are out there please give me a call.707-480-3809 Thanks Bono

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Greg Bonovich
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Phone: 800-480-5285
Cell: 707-480-3809
JL


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We did it guys!  Special thanks to Steve Karr, Gary Chang, and the rest of the PCT board, Bono for all his support, and of course all of you who volunteered and will volunteer your time in the future.

Jerry Lewis

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