Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition Issue 3902 Jan 3-17 - Page 19
Mokelumne River Fishing Regulations
Setka said the record salmon returns are
a result of efforts that have focused on
fine-tuning water operations, including
managing cold water in Camanche and
Pardee reservoirs to maintain good
spawning conditions, releasing pulse
flows of 1,500 cfs from Camanche Dam
to attract fish, restoring gravel habitat and
using tagging data to evaluate hatchery
release strategies. Additional measures
include transporting juvenile salmon by
barge and feeding them a specialized diet
to assist the fish in transferring from fresh-
water to seawater.
Smith cited their studies on the best
times to release fish as key factors in their
success on salmon, including releasing
salmon at the best times to take advantage
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• Rainbow Trout and Steelhead fishing is best in the stretch from below the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery to Clements. Trout can be caught
river from Clements to Lodi, but access can be difficult. Use nightcrawlers, Glo Bugs, Little Cleos and small spinners. Fly fishing is good for anglers
using a a
variety of nymphs or dry flies when hatches take place. Most of the trout are wild, though some hatchery fish are caught also.
• The major run of King Salmon usually moves into this stretch of river after
when it it is is closed
in May through
15, 1 with
a limit trout
of 1 or
March 1 31
in May Saturday
a limit of
15, the because
river is open
of the to modernized
hatchery and habitat improvements on the river.
• Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Catfish and Bluegill can be found in the Mokelumne in the Lodi area, particularly during the spring and summer
of tides and to limit the number of consecu-
tive releases to avoid predation.
Another major factor in their salmon
management success is the partnership they
have developed with the federal agencies,
including the Bureau of Reclamation and
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to close
the Delta Cross Channel Gates to prevent
Mokelumne fish from straying into other
Central Valley rivers.
Before 1998 when the Mokelumne River
Settlement Agreement went into effect, the
average run was 4,000 fish. Since then, the
run has averaged 9,541 fish per year.
Setka said the ability to implement
management actions that lead to positive
outcomes in the Mokelumne River is due
to engagement from a diverse group of
“The Mokelumne is one
of the success stories in
bringing back fisheries,
“ said Bill Jennings,
Executive Director of the
Protection Alliance (CSPA).
“The current salmon and
steelhead runs are the
result of a long struggle
in the state and federal
courts and state regulatory
agencies. EBMUD became
a proactive partner in
restoring the Mokelumne.”
“Salmon and steelhead
on the Mokelumne are still
dependent on the Delta so
that is problematic. If we
compare the Mokelumne
to fisheries on San Joaquin
and mainstem Sacramento,
it can categorized as a
glowing success story. But
we still have to get fish into
the habitat above rim dams
and we have to fix the
Kristin Lanzarone-Scribner of Sacramento landed this hefty
Delta,” stated Jennings.
Chinook while jigging with Eric Webb in the Mokelumne River
A study released in 2019
in October of 2018. Salmon fishing was much slower this year
than last year, but the hatchery staff has seen good numbers of
by Cramer Fish Sciences
shows that 13.7 miles of
Photo by ERIC WEBB.
Improved Mokelumne Salmon & Steelhead Return Strategies
Stronger Pulses – Pulse flows reached higher magnitudes compared
to recent years thanks to flood control waters released from Camanche
Reservoir. These pulses provide cues for salmon to move up into the
river. Additional pulses provided by reoperating Woodbridge Irrigation
District Dam extended the period of pulses into November.
Gate Closures – To prevent straying of Sacramento and Mokelumne
River salmon, CDFW coordinated closures of the Delta Cross Channel
Gates on weekdays and reopened for weekend recreation beginning in
Tagging Data – Using Coded Wire Tag data from returning fish, the
agencies measured the effectiveness of releasing fish on outgoing
tides and limiting releases to no more than two consecutive days from
the same location to increase juvenile salmon survival.
Barging – The agencies have transported juvenile salmon from the
Mokelumne River by barge and released them in the San Francisco
Bay. Barging improves fish survival through the Delta and may also
help with imprinting for juvenile salmon to re-trace their way to natal
Transfer Diet – Juvenile salmon undergo an incredible physiological
change when moving from freshwater to saltwater. To ease the initial
stress, a specialized feed containing higher salt levels is fed to the
juveniles in the weeks before the release.
Habitat Improvement – EBMUD and DFW have spent nearly two
decades developing and implementing a plan to improve spawning and
rearing habitat in the river below Camanche Dam.
The Mokelumne River (San Joaquin Co,) is open from Camanche Dam
to Elliot Road from Jan. 1 through Mar. 31 with a limit of 1 hatchery
trout or 1 hatchery steelhead.
It reopens from Fourth Saturday in May through July 15 with a limit of
1 hatchery trout or 1 hatchery steelhead.
From July 16 through Oct. 15, the limit is 1 hatchery trout or hatchery
steelhead and 2 Chinook salmon.
From Elliott Road to the Woodbridge Irrigation District Dam including
Lodi Lake, the season is from Jan. 1 through July 15 with a limit of 1
hatchery trout or 1 hatchery steelhead,
From July 16 through Dec. 31, the limit is 1 hatchery trout or hatchery
steelhead and 2 Chinook salmon.
The section between the Woodbridge Irrigation District Dam and the
Lower Sacramento Road bridge is closed to all fishing all year.
The Mokelumne River and its tributary sloughs downstream of the
Lower Sacramento Road bridge and east of Highway 160 and north of
Highway 12 from Jan. 1 through July 15 has a limit of1 hatchery trout or
1 hatchery steelhead.
From July 16 through Dec. 16, the limit is 1 hatchery trout or hatchery
steelhead and 2 Chinook salmon.
From Dec. 17 through Dec. 31, the limit is 1 hatchery trout or 1
Jan 3-17, 2020
VOL.39 • ISS. 2
Mokelumne River above
Pardee show the potential
to support both spawning
and rearing of chinook
Anglers are currently
Hundreds of steelhead are showing at the Mokelumne River
gearing up for the steelhead Fish Hatchery this season.
opener on the upper section
Photo by DAN BACHER, Fish Sniffer Staff.
of the Mokelumne below
the hatchery. The season is from Jan.
15, the limit in this section of river is two
1 through Mar. 31 and again from the
Chinook salmon and one hatchery trout or
Fourth Saturday in May through July 15.
The limit is one hatchery trout or one
For more information, call the
Mokelumne River Hatchery, (209)
Then from July 16 through October
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