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DFG regulations now in effect on Klamath River
Don Terbush For the Times-Standard 9/15/05
Klamath River anglers caught their quota of adult fall-run Chinook salmon on the river's lower 40 miles by sundown Saturday (Sept. 10). That closed the lower river to the take of adult fish as of Sunday (Sept. 11), according to the Department of Fish and Game (DFG).

Klamath anglers downstream of the Highway 96 bridge of Weitchpec (confluence with the Trinity River) are able to continue fishing for "jack" salmon, 22 inches or shorter, until the lower river reopens to the take of adult salmon more than 22 inches on December 1.

Fish and Game biologists checking fish landings earlier this month said their projections were that reached the 631-fish "impact quota" or adult Chinook salmon by the end of September 10. The amount represents half the number of adult fish allotted to recreational anglers for the entire Klamath-Trinity river basin.

The remaining 631 adult salmon are available to recreational anglers on the Klamath River above the Highway 96 bridge, and on the Trinity River.

Anglers are reminded that Chinook salmon which are 22 inches total length or larger may not be retained on Tuesdays or Wednesdays from September 1 through November 30 from the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec to Iron Gate Dam, and in the Trinity River from Hawkins Bar Bridge (road to Denny) downstream to the mouth of the Trinity. In addition, anglers may not retain any salmon more than 22 inches total length on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from September 15 through November 30, in the Trinity River from Old Lewiston Bridge to the Highway 299 West Bridge at Cedar Flat. The Hoopa Valley Tribal Fisheries Department (HVF) will assist the DFG with angler creel surveys to estimate Chinook salmon harvest in the upper Klamath River and lower Trinity River as it has for the past six years.

Meanwhile, guide Rich Mossholder reports fishing has slowed down on the Klamath River the past couple of days. "There were a few nice fish today (Tuesday)," he said. "There were some nice adults turned loose. There may be a new run on the way."

Rich added that flies and Glo Bugs have been working on the steelhead. Puffballs, spinners and Quikfish are attractive to the jacks.

Back trolling plugs has been producing numbers of steelhead on the Trinity River. Salmon are averaging 6 to 12 pounds and are a little dark fish in the lower river are fresh, however. A good push of salmon is anticipated.

Sport salmon action has been relatively slow at Shelter Cove, according to Ken Vallotton. "There are small pockets one to three miles off the point. Even the commercials have been getting just a handful or so a day. He pointed that just a week or so before, Pacific halibut in the 60s and 70-pound class were being brought in.

The last day of the sport salmon fishing season in the Klamath Management Zone brought a windfall off Eureka, according to charter boat owner Larry Williams.

"It was the best day of the season. It was beyond belief," he commented. "We had limits of 12 fish up to 20 pounds every time out. It was a wide open bite. We fished in 70 feet straight off the stacks."

Fall salmon fishing continues to build from Anderson Balls Ferry (Barge Hole area) to Hamilton City, reports guide Hank Mautz. A fish per rod is very common with more boats of king salmon being reported daily. Fall-run kings are averaging 15 to 25 pounds with an occasional 30-plus pounder being caught on K-16-K-15 Kwikfish lures with a sardine wrap. Back bouncing roe and side drifting roe with a Quickie or the Kwikfish are the three top methods.

The number of fish counted passing the Red Bluff Diversion Dam from May 20 to the present 13,650. Last year for the same period the count was 9,544. Last year most of the salmon were in the 5 to 8 pound range. These are adult fish with very few jacks.

Tip of the Week: Lure turning: Be sure to tune your lures before and after wrapping with a sardine. If the lure swims to the right, slightly turn the eyes to the left and vice versa. A true turned swimming Kwikfish can produce an awesome salmon bite. And remember fresh sardine wraps produce a lot more bites.

While trout fishing is excellent on the Sacramento River, most anglers are now pursuing the salmon. Everybody wants to catch the "big" one.




Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM  Pacific

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