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 River Viewing Egg Taking Hatchery Building Fry in Troughs Administration Building oa d er R Pelti d r r d e e f f o o k k c c L o o L d. d. po R g e R Acam dbr id o o W Rd. e g d i r e e r r db Woo R i i v v ne e R Victor Victor Rd. er t Turn kford S Loc LODI LODI e n L an lema t t e K To Stockton Camanche Reservoir Dam Clements Clements ad dt Ro Bran Mokelumne Mokelumne River Lodi Lodi Lake Lake mn u m k k e e l l u o o M M Stillman Magee Co. Pk. Galt & Sacramento McIntire McIntire Rd Rd Entrance Plaza Parking g g h h S S l l o o u u t t n n J J a a h h a a To Mokelumne Day Use Area Fish Fish Ladder Ladder ne ey La Harn Camanche Dam Camanche Dam to to Lodi Lodi Lake San Joaquin Joaquin County County San To Stockton Fishing Notes Fishing Notes • Rainbow Trout and Steelhead fishing is best in the stretch from below the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery to Clements. Trout can be caught caught throughout throughout the the 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 anglers using 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. Henderson Camanche Dam to Elliott is • The major run of King Salmon usually moves into this stretch of river after when it it is is closed closed to to all all fishing. fishing. The The river river from from below Camanche Dam to Peltier Road Road is open 'Village open to steelhead fishing from January through March and from the fourth in May through October 15, 1 with a limit trout of 1 or hatchery trout or to fishing from January 1 through March 1 31 and from the 31 fourth Saturday in May Saturday through October 15, with a limit of hatchery steelhead. Expect steelhead. 16 through Oct. 15, the because river is open salmon fishing. both salmon From and July steelhead runs to increase 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 summer months. months. 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 stakeholders. “The Mokelumne is one of the success stories in bringing back fisheries, “ said Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing 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 Chinooks. shows that 13.7 miles of Photo by ERIC WEBB. Fish Hatchery Mokelumne River Mokelumne River 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 September. 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 waters. 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. To Jackson MOKELUMNE FISH HATCHERY HATCHERY MOKELUMNE RIVER RIVER FISH 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 hatchery steelhead 17 Jan 3-17, 2020 MAP FEATURE VOL.39 • ISS. 2 Mokelumne River above Pardee show the potential to support both spawning and rearing of chinook salmon: https://fishsniffer. com/index.php/2019/03/18/ study-shows-potential-for- restoring-mokelumne-salm- on-to-their-historic-spawn- ing-habitat/ 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. hatchery steelhead. The limit is one hatchery trout or one For more information, call the hatchery steelhead. Mokelumne River Hatchery, (209) Then from July 16 through October 759-3383. 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