Salmon season opens April 2
Fishing and Hunting
Yes. There will be a king salmon season off the Sonoma Coast this year, and it will open Saturday, April 2. The California Department of Fish and Game voted Monday, March 14, to open the ocean salmon season with a seven-day-a-week sport fishery with a 24-inch size limit.
Capt. Rick Powers, of Bodega Bay Sportfishing, said he will be booking party boats for the season opener and beyond. Prices for the big party boat are $90 a day, bait included. Rick also books the smaller “six-pack” boats for $125 to $150 an angler a day. You can reserve a spot by calling him at 875-3344.
This is the first time since 2007 that our local coastal waters will have a full, “normal” sport-salmon season. The reason for the change is that early fish counts show that the number of Sacramento River run chinook salmon has increased to the point that a normal spot season can be sustained.
There is no final word yet on what the river season might be.
Few, if any, anglers went out on the Bay this week. The rain and winds kept most fisher-folk indoors by the fire. The few who did venture forth, did so from the relative safety of the banks of the Petaluma River, Napa River, Napa Slough and off the shore at China Camp.
Joel Sinkay, at Leonard's Bait Shop at Port Sonoma, said he had quite a few guys come in and buy pile worms and eel for bait. They had some fair to good luck in Napa Slough and off the bank near his bait shop. Joel is getting a new shipment of grass shrimp and pile worms in this week and will be well stocked for the weekend. Call him at 762-7818.
Lake Berryessa, Clear Lake and Lake Sonoma were lonely waters this week, and I saw no current reports of anyone fishing successfully on them. The Department of Fish and Game did plant rainbow trout in Santa Rosa's Lake Ralphine this week, and will put another load into Bon Tempe Lake in Marin next week.
The big rivers, like the Sacramento, are all virtually blown out. So if you want to fish, put on a warm coat and hat, go see Joel at Port Sonoma for bait, and find a good spot on the bank. The fish are there.
This weekend, the 2011 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Program is being hosted in Sonoma Valley at CornerStone Gardens, 23570 Arnold Dr., by Sonoma Birding (sonomabirding.com). There will be lots of federal and state VIPs there. Expert judges will select California's “best of show” on Friday afternoon for five age groups in grades kindergarten to 12th.
A festival with art, activities and displays is slated for today (Friday), and tomorrow, Saturday, March 26, to celebrate the 2011 winners and the mission of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The event is free to the public. For information call Sonoma Birding at 939-8007.