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Post Info TOPIC: Please report spawning activity locations


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Please report spawning activity locations
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Putah Creek Trout is seeking reports of spawning activity observed on the creek.  Paired trout, chasing, cutting of redds... etc. We would like to better identify spawning habitat for future work. 

Send your reports to:

sk60@putahcreektrout.org

 

Thank You!



-- Edited by drdan on Tuesday 14th of November 2017 08:05:23 PM

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Lots of gravel spread out this year. I’m sure new spawning sites are around.



-- Edited by Rossflyguy on Wednesday 15th of November 2017 08:31:34 AM

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How active are the fish right now? A recon trip with a camera might be kind of fun. I was thinking the Yuba but options are always nice.

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I hear lower Yuba has some fish showing up. Maybe some steelhead.

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Some background information to Dr. Dan's request to report spawning fish. The last two spawns were poor due to heavy siltation in 2015-2016 followed by the high and heavy flows of 2016-2017. From our surveys, concentrations of suitable gravel are not in the "usual" locations nor in other reaches within the IDR. We are concerned that another poor spawn may be detrimental to the long term health of the fishery. Those of you fishing the creek are valuable observers. If you see pairs or larger numbers of big fish that appear to be "on the spawn", please let me know by email their approximate location so we can evaluate those areas for gravel augmentation for next year and beyond. The quality large fish fishing we have now is not guaranteed to last if we don't have young fish filling the ranks.



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I have found good gravel at the turn by five, and again, down near the old corrugated pipe. But as with most things, it's not that easy. Along with suitable gravel, there needs to be a constant and specific flow of water through the potential redds, and the drop in the flow has made some places that I have found unsuitable. As well, there needs to be at least a modicum of protection for the spawning fish from predators and that usually means overhanging growth. The flood took a lot of that away.


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A lot of the problem with flows and depth may be associated with the scouring from the glory hole spill that increased the volume of the streambed through which the flows pass. Same flows as last year, bigger bed volume, lowered surface elevation and flow speed. We are measuring differences in gage height between last year before the spill and this year to document this hypothesis and use the information to guide future restoration efforts that will focus on stabilizing spawning habitat. Thanks to all who have been emailing me with information and please keep it up to help us build support for proposals to CDFW and other regulatory agencies.



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The best thing anyone who cared could have done is avoid publicizing the creek.
It was fine for years with stocking and opportunities for summer worm dunkers and egg drifters and never had trouble.
Pressure pressure pressure just as I said on this board in 2008.
There was a book Stienstra wrote in the 80’s about trout fishing in Northern Ca and he rated the creek a 1.
Good man.
I have fished maybe once or twice in two years.
People now on this board are complaining of fishing pressure?!
Pretty funny, here you are on a message board with a section devoted to PUTAH CREEK FISHING reports and now you complain about pressure.
Mother Nature worked this out fine in the past with some BROWN and rainbow stocking to augment.
This creek is succumbing to the inevitable deleterious effects for natural resources in the info age.
You tube vids...I don’t even know what people post on fb! Maybe hero shots with a seventeen inch fish.
Before internet this was a nice place.
I couldn’t stomach what I saw before 08. Can’t imagine how dumb it is now.
The creek is what it is. IMO switching the regs was a mistake.
I prefer to remember when good fish were ten eleven pounds. I was lucky to find out by word of mouth and I did the right thing and kept my trap shut.
I hate to say it but this new age of social media is sort of suicide when it comes to nice natural resources.
Seems only now some are starting to realize that silence is golden but for this resource it’s two decades too late.


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I don’t think you really know what you’re talking about. For one, before the reg changes the fish population plummeted due to fish take. Second, stocking trout isn’t considered an act Mother Nature. That’s human interaction sustaining a false population. This was all done way before social media was a thing. As far as fishing pressure if you ever seen the shoulder to shoulder of spin casters/fly rods snagging browns and bows off redds before they changed regs than I guess you missed out on that pressure. I dont think the creek has seen that type of pressure in a long time. Especially during the hot weather months. And because you don’t hear about 10-11 pound fish being caught doesn’t mean its not happening. Maybe you’re talking to the wrong people and most of the bigger fish either dont get posted or they don’t get posted with the location they were caught from. Those fisherman don’t run their mouth to the world.



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What about the nighttime live minnow poachers I reported to DFG?
What I mean is the regs for single barbless artificial during the winter.
Why is it that fly fisherman seem to feel they have moral superiority?
I’ve never been that way and I have watched guys “fly fishing” snagging quite effectively hundreds of times thinking they were nymphing or sight fishing.
Plop that fish up onto the bank and take a pic while eggs spew...Often too light of gear is used and they take everything out of the fish before landing!
That’s BS!
The creek used to be a place for families bringing up youngsters catching the stockers primarily In summer.  That’s all gone now because of a bunch of jackass people on a moral high horse without philosophical legs to stand on!
The creek always defended itself fine due to the flows
What’s happened to this resource is a travesty.



-- Edited by Grahler2018 on Thursday 18th of January 2018 08:12:30 PM

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Go away troll.

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Amen. So many contradictions in what you’ve said grahler and as rossflyguy said, it’s not sincere. Don’t think anyone who fishes the creek regularly pines for the days of stocking/5 fish limits. If you’re into stocked trout fish at berryessa, spring lake or east fork Russian.

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I don’t fish the creek regularly anymore.
Too sad to watch.
It was sad when they changed around the section just above the bridge.
That was the first place I caught a trout at Putah back in the day when the pheasant tail was the go to.
That tie needed a little twist to it even then.
During summertime flows the creek is protected. Totally fine to stock profusely imo.  Vast majority of the summer folks took stocked fish.  Sure they would get a few natives,  but except for poachers fishing at night I think The natives were relatively safe.
It provided more opportunity to all fisherman. During the winter it went single barbless artificial if I remember correctly.
I dunno if Windknots is still active on the board but I met him about ten years ago. Nice fella.
He can attest I am not full of it.
And a big snagging spot was the tail out spawning bed at the bridge. Just couldn’t take watching what went on there. “Fly fisherman” (so they called themselves) snagging big natives in the gills foul hooked and fighting them to the brink of death.
I can’t take it!
Too many fisherman due to internet.
Big thing that gets me Also is guys using less than 5x flouro on the tippet. I’ve caught a lot of fish and removed others flies.
Foul hooking happens, not a lot you can do about it, but when you are wading in the spawning bed and using it as a method it’s pretty sad.
Everyone knows now when to fish because of the net. Very correct that’s its not mid spawn.
The other thing that’s bs is mi flows going below 100 ever imo.
The creek took care of itself just fine pre internet.
People don’t like to hear these views.
From what I saw a few years ago someone needs to shoot some otters also.



-- Edited by Grahler2018 on Friday 19th of January 2018 06:45:53 AM

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Grahler, I couldn't agree more, so much of what you've been saying makes plenty of sense.

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Grahler2018 wrote:

...
During summertime flows the creek is protected. Totally fine to stock profusely imo.  Vast majority of the summer folks took stocked fish.  Sure they would get a few natives,  but except for poachers fishing at night I think The natives were relatively safe.
It provided more opportunity to all fisherman. During the winter it went single barbless artificial if I remember correctly.
I dunno if Windknots is still active on the board but I met him about ten years ago. Nice fella.
He can attest I am not full of it.
And a big snagging spot was the tail out spawning bed at the bridge. Just couldn’t take watching what went on there. “Fly fisherman” (so they called themselves) snagging big natives in the gills foul hooked and fighting them to the brink of death.
I can’t take it!
Too many fisherman due to internet.
Big thing that gets me Also is guys using less than 5x flouro on the tippet. I’ve caught a lot of fish and removed others flies.
Foul hooking happens, not a lot you can do about it, but when you are wading in the spawning bed and using it as a method it’s pretty sad.
Everyone knows now when to fish because of the net. Very correct that’s its not mid spawn.
The other thing that’s bs is mi flows going below 100 ever imo.
The creek took care of itself just fine pre internet.
People don’t like to hear these views.
From what I saw a few years ago someone needs to shoot some otters also.



-- Edited by Grahler2018 on Friday 19th of January 2018 06:45:53 AM


 I know your sentiment is well meaning but it appears to come from an uninformed place...  

The reason the creek is no longer stocked is due to concern for litigation due to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  In 2007 CDFW was sued to ensure that they were following the law by doing evaluation on the impact of stocked trout on the wild populations of trout and other fauna.  Instead of doing these studies or risking legal action, they simply stopped stocking trout in many waters, including Putah Creek.  That being said, studies HAVE shown that stocked trout compete, displace, and potentially ENDANGER wild trout populations.  Here is a good read on why Montana stopped stocking in the 70's: http://fwp.mt.gov/mtoutdoors/HTML/articles/2004/DickVincent.htm

 

As far as fly fisherman snagging, mistreating, stomping on reds, etc, etc... Really?  I don't see that OFTEN.  That being said, people are people. Not all fly fisherman are clods/elitists and not all gear fisherman are poachers. Lets just stop that CRAP now.  Judge the fisherman INDIVIDUALLY by the way he/she shows respect to the resource.  If they care, they will use the stoutest tippet possible, play the fish hard and fast, keep them wet, and release ASAP.  They will also respect the spawn and avoid fishing during this time of year.  I'm just as anxious to get out there as anyone else but I CARE enough not to endanger the resource.  I (along with MANY others) put in effort to educate, enhance, and protect the resource.

Flows are set according to the Putah Creek Accord which was a landmark agreement to continue ensure a stable flow regimen.  Like all compromises, no one got everything they wanted.  The flows do seem too low this time of year and they definitely expose the fish to undue pressure.  Occasionally sudden drops of flow also may damage the spawn or strand fingerlings but it is much better than previous decades.  PCT continues to monitor the impact of the current flow regimen. 

As far as otters... In my observation, they mostly target crayfish and other wild fish.  I rarely see wounds on fish that I can ascribe with certainty to an otter bite. These WILD trout are smart, strong, and fast making them poor targets for otter.  Shooting a wild animal because it potentially threatens the trout population when almost ALL OTHER issues likely impact the fish population to a greater degree is shortsighted (AND DANGEROUS!).

If you really want to support Putah Creek, come out and volunteer your time with Putah Creek Trout.  If you have no time, support us with a donation.  If cash is short for you, support our efforts through your connections and keep up your passion to protect the fishery that many enjoy.  

Regards,

Dan Brugger (writing on my own behalf)



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As far as otters, it is a well known fact they eat trout, and roe. Many sources say their primary diet is fish. I saw in several locations that they need to eat 15-20 percent of their weight each day.
For a simple trout stream they are high up on the food chain. I’d never shoot one, but if someone wanted to dispatch some of the weasels in Putah it would be fine by me. They could also be trapped.
I don’t know the situation now, but otters cannot be helping and at times I have witnessed several in a single pool.
I’ve never had one steal a fish I had hooked, as seal lions and sharks do on salmon, but I am racking my brain tryin to remember if fishing was ever good when they were near...Personally, I can’t think of a time it was.
Far as flow imo anything below 100 at any time is bad.
Also, I never categorized fishermen or women by anything but individual behavior so there’s no crap to stop. I will say though that my appearance fishing the creek has deceived many by design and I have been treated very poorly by many jerks with all the fashion accessories and unnecessary crap they carry and no skills many times over. I’ve also met some very nice people as well.

I am not talking just about Putah on the delicate fish fighting that stresses and kills fish. Ive seen that a lot with people all over with trout. IMO it’s fine if you are eating it anyways, but there’s a point where it’s really bad for the fish. Just because it’s released doesn’t mean it doesn’t die from the fight.
Pretty sure most savvy guys know this.
Thanks for the link. By that links study alone, one would expect the fishing at Putah to be at an all time high. Obviously the issue is much more complex than just stock or no stock.
No stocking combined with current regs basically shuts the door to the summer put and take folks.
In the past it was never an issue, then again every Parkin place wasn’t full as soon as the flow dropped 1 cfm.
Let’s say I wanted to donate money to PCT. What are some of PCT’s big accomplishments at the creek?
Are you mostly still collecting data?
Ultimately if the goal is to totally protect the stream it should be closed to fishing, maybe build spawn viewing decks and make paved trails to them.
That’s what these politicos did with the mlpa areas at the coast.
I wasn’t aware the Solano also went special reg but never really fished there...





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Grahler you keep contradicting yourself. I really don’t think you’ve fished the creek since the stocking stopped. Before you pass on your opinions about something you seem to haven’t experienced in a long time maybe you should go the creek. Fish it and do some CURRENT research about the projects done. If you don’t know what Putah Creek Trout has done than I really wouldn’t be posting how strocking was such a positive thing, how much pressure they get during the spawn, or no one fishes the creek during the summer since it’s only catch and release now. All of which is untrue.

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My goodness! Is this guy for real or just trying to argue for fun?

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Just enjoy the trout fishing. This is a fish site, not a political lightening rod. Opinions are always going to be different on everything.

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Not one but two guys wading where there’s no need to, one guy in a decent spot, and one guy in snagger paradise.
One guy unnecessary wading informing snagger paradise guy he’s on redds...This is ridiculous and sad for that hole/flow.
This is what I mean and why I don’t fish Putah. Too crowded and filled with cluelessness.
m.youtube.com/watch


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Good idea. Don’t fish the creek. It’s super crowded and not worth fishing.

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I honestly do not have two log in accounts.

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lightfoot wrote:

I honestly do not have two log in accounts.


 Lol....I was thinking of a few people who wouod make an alter account to sound like this guy. This person sounds like a robot. Jyst throws comments out there. 



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Let’s just try to straw man him...wait not working...let’s try saying he’s contradicting himself...wait not working...
Dr Dan made a quality response and I viewed his links. I may not agree that one study done in the early seventies applies to everything in the trout world, but he provided evidence and sound reasoning.
However no one addressed the fact that the regs and lack of stocking eliminate Putah as a summer option for fishing and camping for many good people.
I’ve fished it in all seasons and summer is protected imo. Yes you can flyfish at high flows in certain places, but at those flows it’s well suited for put and take due to its location primarily, plus there’s so many better options in summer who really wants to flyfish it anyhow given the choice?
In summer I hit Hex every year and many waters which are much nicer.
I don’t buy the argument that summer put and take would have any effect at all on the natives because it never did before. It’s all political crap and we all know what happens when govt gets involved in almost anything...
Nuff said on that crap...
Probably the original gene pool is getting diluted over time...kinda inevitable really.
I haven’t seen truly trophy trout in many years...Maybe they were Steele’s who knows...
When’s the last time people here caught a 13 liber?
People now get worked up over 20-24 inch fish...okay...
If you trout fish this state you know those are no trophies.



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My most memorable fish in my lifetime was maybe 5-6 inches long, a little rainbow in cottonwood creek North of Bridgeport. Trophies, at least to me are not always regulated by size. The biggest fish I've landed in Putah was 26" (2 in the same day). I've hooked 30" fish but landing is another story.

Lets digress back to the 70's, stocking of fish and Putah as a summer option for fishing and camping. I remember camping at lake Solano, bait fishing from the bank and catching a lot of fish just like everybody else that was there. I remember hoards of people fishing off of low water bridge. I remember people casting at fish as they were being planted by fish and game. I remember my best friends grandfather letting us dig up worms in his backyard and then taking us fishing at Putah. He was really partial to access lot #3. I remember my friend and I fishing Putah alone as kids. Our parents would drive us up and drop us off, picking us up later at a set time. I can remember only 2 large fish from back then. One rainbow with a huge gash on its head, and a German brown that jumped a few times right in front of us. We fished it mainly in the Summer.

In the 80's I lived to fish. Putah was a regular, year round location due to proximity. I vividly remember a huge brown that took a gob of red worms while fishing in a boat below low water bridge. That fish was well over 30". Other than that one German brown, I really don't recall any other truly large fish. Twenty inches would be a really nice fish, the vast majority were stockish.

In 1990 I became a fly fisherman and Putah put out a ton of really nice fish. I was a substitute teacher from 90-96 and managed to fish Putah way too often. It was crowded back then which lead to lots of exploring to find water nobody else was fishing. I landed a ton of fish in the 20-24 inch class and 25+ fish days were the norm. Fishing really slowed down around 95 or 96 and at least to me, seems to have lead a steady and consistence pace since then. Float tubing from the island down to Pardeshas in the Summer was always fun for little browns on dry flys.

I remember swimming in lake solano and the water was cold and deep. Now the water is just cold. There are so many weeds and so much silt in lake Solano that fishing it anywhere near the camping areas isn't quite the way it used to be. I'd probably get tangled up in vegetation and drown if I tried to swim in it today. I kayaked from low water bridge up to the island a few years back (granted it was in the winter) and don't remember much if any water deeper than my paddle and getting stuck in floating mats of weeds kinda sucked. Drive by in the Summer when the water flows are up and it seems like most of the weeds are gone....I doubt it.

Did stocking fish back in the 70's+ provide a "Summer" option for a lot of people, yes it did. I doubt it would go noticed down in lake Solano due to the change in habitat. Granted, I suppose somebody could find a niche. Above the big island with Summer flows it would create an opportunity for people that new how to fish and weren't afraid of the water. In general, people that flyfish are not in the "put and take" category. Gust saying. It doesn't really matter much since CBD got involved.

It is well documented with steelhead and salmon studies on genetic diversity in regards to the raising and release of hatchery fish. Yeah the gene pools in Putah have probably been diluted. What is a viable population to regenerate significant diversity back into a population? I have no idea, but were not talking about the California Condor.

The last huge fish I saw at Putah was two? years ago and was well over 30". I've hooked a few fish in Putah that were in the 10lb class, landed none of them. I can get worked up over a 10" fish. Yes I also get worked up over 20-24 inch fish. I've got a yellow mark on my 9-0 3wt at 20 and 24....I'm okay with that. My favorite fish last year was about 13", I remember it well.

My flyfishing journey whas gone something like this. Catch as many fish as possible. Catch as many bigger fish as possible. Just catch big fish if possible. Just really hope to catch something and enjoy everything else out there to see. Yeah, catching is still more fun than fishing, but fishing isn't too shabby.






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642D2552-1A46-4947-ACC3-D63D91818FEE.jpeg2CBE63C5-4DDC-47CC-9EE2-49BD46302418.jpeg

Yeah, no trophies and no one fishing PC during the summer cause there’s WAY better places. You just don’t know what you’re talking about. 



-- Edited by Rossflyguy on Tuesday 23rd of January 2018 07:54:54 PM



-- Edited by Rossflyguy on Tuesday 23rd of January 2018 07:59:45 PM

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Yes, crossed above the split and fished a bunch of times during summer. You could work your way upstream up the left a fair ways. Good spot there. I wouldn’t publicly recommend anyone doing it unless they are prepped to swim if they lose their footing.
I remember fishing out of some depth there and seems like depth prevented progress all the way up to the head of that run...Been a while...I know I never tried to get out of water and hike up from there...
I know I’ve bungled up a few leaders fishing that spot when I was younger...You get to that point with shot/flies and make a bad move or two then check your rig and you gotta decide cut and retie leader or untangle hehe.
For me a huge part of fly fishing has been tying. I developed a deadly Hex nymph with mono ‘eyes’ where I take and put small silver beads over the mono and then carefully burn the ends to keep the two beads on.
I was in my early teens when I got some Charles Brooks book out of the library dude was fishing some rivers with sinking lines and made arguments for impressionistic nymphs tied in the round after observing flies underwater with a mask. Tied like wooly worms hehe. I’ve been into nymphing since that point. Heck the whole way I got into Putah was when my dad brought home a fly recipe scrawled on a scratch paper of his go to fly from a fellow engineer at work whose pictures of trout Impressed my dad. There were many pics apparently of 6-10 lb trout.
My dad liked big trout and we used to take them on the upper sac in the predawn with spinning gear on homemade spinners (maybe up to 5-6 lb) (Years before the Cantarra spill). Hiked way down the tracks. I remember the blade was a Swiss swing. Basically a knock off black rooster tail. 6 lb mono with the old I think Mitchell spin reel. Good drag on those.
Schuerger tipped me off on one great pattern that works well. Over time the most fun of it for me was trying different creations and I got to where I just simplified my ties down to nothing. I am no tying ‘artiste’ at all but I have created quite a few patterns that work great on old Putah. A few times I thought about going up and setting up a vise on the tailgate and helping some folks out but it’s taken too long for me to develop stuff that works...I’ve had a lot of fails haha. My go to point flies can be tied quite rapidly and easily.
I don’t like combat fishing. Therefore I no longer go to Putah. The word is out. Everyone knows when to go. Also, I dunno, I don’t have a sense of mystery about it the way I once did. Maybe after a few years I will return and enjoy it again, but driving by a few times and seeing all those cars...It’s just tough.
For me, I like a sense of solitude most times when fly fishing unless I am with close friends or family.




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Solitude is a funny thing. Some people fish alone but most prefer not to. The more remote, further distances or overnighters the more amplified it becomes.

There is a certain peace when out alone that most don't understand.

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I thought you wanted people to fish summer time for stockers?

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WOW. Had a knee surgery in December, couldn't sit at the computer comfortably until today, so hadn't been following blog. Dan and my original request for information has certainly morphed into something else. I would like to add a few facts (no fake news0 to the conversation. Won't change any minds probably about anything related to the fishery but worth a shot.

- In 2007 PCT originally had no major concern about planted fish in the IDR and angler box surveys indicated that the catch was 30% wild/70% plants, the reports coming from FF-bait fisherman rarely filled out a form. Regulation change was discussed, but was not being pushed.

-That changed in early 2008 when THE LAW SUIT was filed, stopping trout planting in 1200+ bodies of state waters, including PC. By the end of the year, that dropped to 100+, still including the creek and lake solano. We then asked CDFW to consider the change to C/R based on results from online and box surveys that reported that catch rates were dropping.

-The regulation change went through the standard evaluation process which included a public comment period of at least 45 days as well as monthly opportunities to comment at the monthly FGC meetings, all of which were held locally that year. Not a single negative response against the reg change was received. We also made presentations in Winters to the chamber of commerce, rotary, city council as to the potential upsides/downsides to the city, talked to Solano County Parks, to Canyon Creek Resort about +/- effects of the change. All were concerned about the economic effect-fewer people visiting, camping, and spending money, locals not being able to bring fish home to fry. And it did effect at least the SL campground-attendance dropped by 50% the year after the change went into effect but that was also the first year of the "big recession"-remember that?

-There were other reasons for PC to be targeted for change: legal mandates required CDFW to, whenever possible, establish wild trout waters where stable, healthy populations can be supported; and the Heritage/Wild Trout Program is required by law is to designate 25 miles of stream and one lake/reservoir as wild trout water every year. They often can't meet that because they don't have the resources.

-Before 2008, its likely that a few plants added genes to the wild fish pool. But its unlikely any of those fish are still around. There is no further "dilution" of this wild gene pool occurring now; this is a wild (and considered a native Coastal Rainbow strain by CDFW) population now. In the 90's I, like many others, had 25-50 fish days after the planting dumps. Each fish was pale, 10-12", missing fins and fought like a stick. I prefer the 2-3 fish day with a catch of a bright, fat young of the year and up to (more occasionally) the 12"-20"+ tough hookups that everyone drools over. And, without the stockers to feed on, you are not going to see a lot of fish reaching 30+".

-The creek is going to continue to change each year, its problems with siltation, fluctuating flow regimes, lack of sufficient and suitable habitat for population expansion through spawning and young of year survival  are not going away. These problems are being addressed by PCT and our partner TU. The Creek is not going back to the glory days of the 70s  80s and 90's. It is not going back to put and take. The poachers and the the spawner targeters are not going away or being stopped. They are the cost of "doing business". You want a better and bigger fishery? Better bank access? Then get involved in supporting the fishery as well as using it. You don't have to join PCT to be involved; your voices on how we might address these and other problems is what is needed. Whining and pining for the past is a waste of time and effort. Move forward, give some time and effort. I have many good PC memories, don't really need any new ones. But I would like to see new ones built by our newbies that includes  a sense of contribution to and ownership of any success this water has as a fishery in the future. It won't protect itself...



__________________

PCT Contact Info: putahcreektrout@gmail.com, SK60@putahcreektrout.org

Address: Putah Creek Trout, 1520 East  Covell Blvd, Suite 5, #331, Davis CA 95616

Visit our website at www.putahcreektrout.org

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