The Meandering Angler: Lots of salmon, Sept. 6

It’s been one of the best ocean salmon seasons in memory off the Sonoma Coast so far this year, and now those same fish are starting to impress anglers in the Sacramento River.

Kirk Portocarrero, who guides on several northern California rivers including the Sacramento, reports excellent salmon fishing on the river this week near Redding. The biggest catch so far is 27 pounds. Kirk says there are a lot of fish in the river. Call him at (530) 515-5951.

Local anglers are also catching salmon in San Francisco Bay in the straits near Tiburon.

I mentioned last week that trout living near the salmon spawning grounds are also happy about the large numbers of spawning salmon. They simply wait a few yards downstream from the salmon redds (their gravel spawning beds) and feast on the many that drift away with the current.

Trout fishermen, using fake eggs, can then catch lots of trout.

“Circle of life” tales like this are also playing themselves out in the ocean near the San Juan Islands off northern Washington State. There, a potential controversy is brewing because a group of southern resident orcas, killer whales, that have taken up residence there, are feeding almost exclusively on salmon. This has prompted some wildlife advocates to push to stop salmon anglers from fishing in that area so as not to deprive the orcas of their food.

The big question is, of course, is there enough salmon for the orcas and the humans that fish for them?

I prefer to let the orcas have their way, while I cast my line in fresh water rivers far away from the San Juans.

Now that we’re into September, trout fishing on the Sacramento River near Redding has been getting better every week. The upper Sac is also starting to improve, as is the Truckee River, where the water this fall is higher than it’s been in several years.

Matt Koles of Gilligan’s Guide Service, (775) 351-6665, is a good contact for fishing the Truckee. He’s been hitting the river west of Reno and finding big fish.

Guide Hogan Brown reports excellent trout fishing in the lower Yuba River east of Marysville. There to, spawning salmon are turning on the trout and fattening them up. Call Hogan at (530) 514-2453.

Hogan also is guiding on the Sacramento River near Chico where the striped bass fishing has been excellent.

If you’re looking to fish closer to Sonoma, I’ve seen reports that angles trolling Lake Berryessa are catching nice limits of Kokanee salmon. New Melones Reservoir and Lake Comanche are providing excellent largemouth bass fishing right now as well.

San Pablo Reservoir in Contra Costa County is a good place to take kids and grandkids fishing. There are a lot of bluegills, bass and trout in the lake and access is easy.

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