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Klamath River salmon run hits another boom with more than 17,000 kings

Outdoor notebook -- Jan. 22, 2008 by

More than 17,000 fall-run king salmon migrated the length of the Klamath River in 2007-08 to Iron Gate Hatchery near Hornbrook, a clear signal the run has rebounded from low numbers in 2004-05, when 11,519 salmon reached the egg-collecting facility.

Salmon numbers historically have been boom or bust on the Klamath River. Department of Fish and Game statistics reveal that in 2001-02, more than 38,568 kings returned and in 2000-01, the largest migration ever recorded, more than 72,000 fish were counted. By contrast, the lowest recorded run occurred in 1962-63, when 1,339 kings came back.

Sturgeon tags

Anglers who fish for sturgeon in Bay-Delta waters are required to possess a sturgeon tag, available free from sporting goods dealers. The tag must be filled out each time a sturgeon measuring 46 to 66 inches is caught and kept. Sport anglers are allowed to catch three of the prehistoric fish per year.

Information: The Outdoor Sportsman, (209) 957-4867.

Invasive species found

Zebra mussels have been discovered in San Justo Reservoir near Hollister, the first time the destructive invasive species has been found in Northern California waters.

Last week, an angler fishing in San Justo reported hooking a clump of what was later verified as Zebra mussels, the state Department of Fish and Game confirmed. In January 2007, mussels were detected in the Colorado River and later in San Diego and Riverside county reservoirs and canals.

Anglers who accidentally catch the Zebra mussels are asked to call DFG's report line: (800) 440-9530.

Steelhead catch on rise

Anglers have caught more steelhead in 2007-08, according to a report by Fish and Game's Steelhead Fishing Report-Restoration Card program.

Biologist Terry Jackson said catch data gathered through the program show greater numbers of steelhead are being caught per trip on coastal waters. Anglers must return the card by Jan. 31.

No-gun law disallowed

In a unanimous decision, the California Court of Appeals on Jan. 17 ruled the city of San Francisco's handgun ban illegal under state law, upholding a lawsuit by the Second Amendment Foundation. In 2005, San Francisco voters passed Proposition H that banned ownership of hand guns within city limits.

Contact outdoors columnist Peter Ottesen at pottesen@recordnet.com.

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