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Klamath River story

by 'Stosh'

This link is the best one I have read to date and brings me up to date on this ancient and historic ‘fish channel’. The present dilemma is the timing of dam removal and the amount of mud and sediment that will fill and choke the lower river where the tribal fishermen can take an X number of pounds yearly, what they got this year  is 1/3 and the fish are trapped in low warming water. The water behind Iron Gate dam is shallow and warm and the surface is covered in green algae, all to be flushed downstream. A careful dismantling and timing with the winter rains to flush out the sediment as quickly as possible and then wait for the river to heal itself again.  We carefully un-do what was a bad idea in the first place.

https://www.hcn.org/issues/53.9/indigenous-affairs-dams-will-klamath-salmon-outlast-the-dam-removal-process?utm_source=wcn1&utm_medium=email

Dam work is due to start next year….it has been postponed before, it’s a very complicated operation politically and logistically and humanely.

ssr

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Klamath farmers grow fish to quell water war

by Steve Rudzinski referencing LA Times article

Farmer Tracey Liskey believes his efforts to save the endangered sucker fish will help end a conflict over water on the California-Oregon border.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

BY ANITA CHABRIA, HAILEY BRANSON-POTTS
JULY 22, 2021 5 AM PT
TULELAKE, Calif. — It’s a strange place to find fish, deep in the high desert, where drought-baked earth butts against scrubby mountains.
But water spews from the hot springs on Ron Barnes’ land near the California-Oregon border, pure and perfect for rearing c’waam and koptu, two kinds of endangered suckerfish sacred to Native American tribes.

Barnes, who holds an advanced degree in aquaculture from UC Davis, has dug dozens of ponds on his property and filled them with thousands of young suckerfish. He hopes raising and releasing them into the wild will end the region’s epic water wars — or at least get federal regulators out of the mix before his neighbors descend into violence.

“We have to take a pragmatic view of this thing,” said Barnes, standing near his black-bottomed lagoons under an intense morning sun. “The single most effective way to get the government off our backs is to restore the fish population.”

The suckerfish, which are on the endangered species list, are at the heart of a rancorous water controversy. They typically spawn in nearby Upper Klamath Lake, an agricultural reservoir that is growing increasingly dry and toxic. To ward off their extinction, federal regulators have cut off every drop that normally flows from the lake to the Klamath Reclamation Project, a federally built web of irrigation canals that once held the promise of almost limitless water for nearby farms.  …

Article:  https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2021-07-22/klamath-farmers-bank-on-fish-california-drought-conflict

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Gill Net Buy-Back In California

by Bob Garbarino

In the California budget for 2021-2022, $1.3 million is allocated to pay each commercial fishermen $110,000 in exchange for turning in their gill net.   Gill nets are huge nets (up to one mile) suspended in the water column that ensnare any fish or mammal that gets entangled in the net.  Sea turtles, whales, sea lions and dolphins are some of the sea creatures that have been trapped in the nets.  California state law mandates that all gill nets be phased out by 2024.  Deep set buoy gear is the new method that is suggested to replace gill net fishing.  As expected, some commercial fishermen are resisting the change, claiming that gill nets are not as harmful as claimed by the NOAA and Oceana.  The fishermen also say that alternate fishing techniques are not commercially viable.  

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Pebble mine update

Our club’s  financial support has helped this campaign and one of our former ‘in person’ presenters at the Aptos Grange Hall, who lost his life on a sweeper tree on the American Creek AK, was our incentive to act for the noble causes to save the last non-dammed rivers in the North West and especially the greatest fisheries for commercial and sport salmon fishing in the  world. Pebble Mine is the big challenge and we must keep opposing them.

Dear Bristol Bay supporters,

We have exciting news to share with you! Yesterday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reported that the Bristol Bay’s 2021 sockeye run reached the largest on record with 63.2 million fish returning to the bay. The 2021 run broke the 2018 standing record at 62.9 million fish returning to the region.

Thousands of years of Indigenous stewardship and 100+ years of sustainable commercial fishery management made this year’s record-breaking sockeye run in Bristol Bay possible. Science has shown that clean water and healthy fish habitat will continue to support this world-class fishery that produces roughly 50% of all sockeye salmon on the planet.

Even though the fishery’s biggest threat- the proposed Pebble mine– was denied the key federal permit last year, Bristol Bay isn’t safe yet. The region still needs durable and permanent protections to ensure that Pebble, or another mining company, won’t come back in the future. Join us in asking decision-makers to advance permanent protections for Bristol Bay today.

Both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Congress have the opportunity to establish safeguards that, together, would protect the fish, people, and fish-based industries in Bristol Bay. They need to hear from people in Bristol Bay and beyond that this is a national treasure that requires permanent protection. Take action here. 

The 2021 run record is just one reason why Bristol Bay needs greater protection for the years to come. It’s another reason we say “No Pebble Mine– Not Here, Not Ever.” And it’s why our work doesn’t stop until we can fully assure that we will never have to fight this irresponsible mine plan again. Help us continue our work in Bristol Bay by making a donation today.

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Lahontan trout stocking in Lake Tahoe

by Steve Rudzinski

Article from https://www.facebook.com/LahontanNFHC

Our first two stockings of the 2021 season in Lake Tahoe are complete! This week we stocked 5,083 10 inch Pilot Peak Lahontan Cutthroat Trout on the Nevada side. To monitor and evaluate Pilot Peak LCT growth, survival, and movement around the Lake, 30% of those trout were FLOY tagged with a unique ID and phone number so that anglers can report their catch and help us collect this vital information. Thank you to the Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the U.S. Forest Service-Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit for the ongoing collaboration in providing a native trout for recreational angling opportunities in Lake Tahoe.

​Fun Facts:
-Lahontan Cutthroat Trout are the only trout native to Lake
Tahoe.
-Lahontan Cutthroat Trout is the state fish of Nevada.
-Lahontan Cutthroat Trout are the Largest inland cutthroat trout in the world.

(Photo Credits USFWS)

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17 Million Chinook Salmon Release In California Bays Planned

by Conservation Contributor Bob Garbarino

It is estimated that up to 95% of wild salmon habitat has been wiped out by damming of rivers in California. Hatcheries have helped make up for the impact of dams.  Now amid the ongoing drought, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has launched a program to release 17 million Chinook Salmon smolt into San Francisco Bay and others—including Monterey Bay. The fish are being loaded in trucks from hatcheries and transported to the bay and released. Historically, the fish have been released into rivers and streams.  But, with drought-induced low flows coupled with warmer temperatures, the survival rate is extremely low. The hope is that more fish will have a better survival rate (estimated to be about 80%) which could provide some support for the $900 million commercial and sport salmon fishing business in the state. For more information, check out the web link.

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After 10 years of Decline The Klamath River Headed for Recovery

by Mark Rockwell, President, NCCFFI

The Klamath River was once the third most productive salmon & steelhead river in the lower 48, but more than 100 years ago four dams were built on it that blocked 250+ miles of spawning & rearing habitat. The license to operate those dams has now been transferred from PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of Berkshire-Hathaway, to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) and the states of Oregon & California.

The license will transfer solely to KRRC later in 2021, and dam removal work will begin in the summer of 2022. The Kiewit Corporation will start decommissioning in January 2023, with all four dams removed by Fall 2023. Resource Environmental Solutions will implement & monitor restoration work after removal.

The Northern California Council of Fly Fishers International participated in early Klamath discussions in 2003; in 2004 Tribes, State & Federal agencies and other NGO parties joined the formal negotiations that will culminate in new spawning & rearing habitat and a healthy river.

 

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13 Day Fly Fishing trip through Montana

by 'Conservation Slim'

I really enjoyed this video and it was a wonderful escape to the days of  late 20’s early 30’s where dragging an inflatable raft down trails and rock to the river. The boys purchase a short size school bus and turn it into the camp out king on a small budget.  They drive north to Montana and fish the Madison and Missouri and another feeder stream. The guys are full of adventure, humor and the cooking will convince you that hungry fishermen will eat anything and say ‘yum’.  I hope you will sit back and enjoy the 13 day fishing trip.

Locally, good news for salmon fishermen on the bay, the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project have contracted Fish and Wildlife hatchery trucks to deliver a full load of 60K chinook salmon smolt’s. Again the truck will just drop the fish from the roadway level into the bay. (May 25).

Lakes all over the state are down to levels that have launching boats impossible. The only 2 lakes (Eastern Sierra) that have launch ramps in operation is at Lake Davis and Frenchman’s. Some have the docks alongside the ramp and others do not so check ahead if you are pulling a boat. Float tubers never have to worry about that.

I guess we all know the drought has hit us again this winter. I measure 12.60″ only from this rainy season.  I cannot find a year except in 06/07 where we had 11.40″ locally in Santa Cruz/Soquel. We can expect this fire season will be constant till the rain returns in Nov/Dec. We can all do our part by saving water and shower with a friend.

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A Dam Close to Home

by Conservation Contributor Bob Garbarino

OK, this may not be big news like the dams being removed on the Klamath river, but it is in our own backyard. The Sempervirens Fund has received a $550,000 grant to remove an abandoned 110 year old dam on Mill Creek. The creek feeds the San Vicente watershed between Bonny Doon and Davenport. By removing the dam, both Coho salmon and the water customers of Davenport are expected to benefit. The fish are expected to have improved spawning habitat and access to more of the creek. The water quality for the 950 customers downstream will be improved by allowing more erosion of granite.

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MBSTP (Monterey Bay Salmon & Trout Project) update

by Sam Bishop

Since the big fire last year, things are moving along with the hatchery rebuild. Fundraising efforts to rebuild are underway from many sources. They include the need to replace the upper bridge for full access to the hatchery.

A few orders for the first phases of the rebuild have been placed to re-plumb the intakes and drains for tanks which survived last year’s fire more or less undamaged. Once we get the tanks re-plumbed and recirculation running, we will be able to receive this year’s production of our fish (Coho) back at the hatchery. It is not likely we will be able to actually spawn fish this year, as there are contamination and potential blockage issues from fire debris. The post-fire effects on the environment around the hatchery are not attractive for now.

Our Chinook releases (smolt hatched elsewhere) from the Santa Cruz and Monterey wharfs will have happened by the time this is published. We make a direct release into the Bay, well after dark. This has been quite successful from the Santa Cruz Wharf, as the birds, seals and sea lions are pretty much asleep and don’t seem to realize the giant feast being dumped in a few feet away! Sorry, but we could not publicize this in advance for the public to watch due to concerns about crowds and Covid restrictions.

For those not acquainted with our history of the Chinook releases; for years they were put into a big pen in the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor (also sometimes Moss Landing and Monterey), then released from there. Problem was that they acclimated to the Harbor and came back later when they grew up. That created problems with too many people coming in to fish, trespassing on boats, fishing where prohibited, and of course even more sea lions came in to feast.

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Artificial light and the decline of salmon smolts

by Conservation Slim

“Slim report”

Spring is here and fishing has been favorable for those who drove eastward to Pyramid Lake and especially the timing of our annual club fish-out which could not have been any better planned. My tenth year at the lake with the club and we all agreed that this is the grandest year for the fish and fishing as the bays filled with thousands of large trout all in spawning mode moving past our feet by the dozens and all day long.

The old pro’s in our group said the (4) of them conservatively landed over 500 fish that 6 days sitting on the platform chair.  I enjoyed all the friends and activity but had to slip away to a south lake beach to be more remote and fish deeper water from shore. Never before have I had multiple double digit fish days and landing more than one fish in the teens in a single day. The unusual thing was the high numbers of fish foul hooked this year. It was more likely your fish was foul hooked than legally hooked and even when you were trying not to set the hook too hard or too soon. Even small midges like the albino wino was hooking the fish in the fins more often than not.

News flash: Pyramid Lake, Pilot Peak fish up to 16 lbs are now being counted as they pass the fish ladder on the Truckee River. The hatchery folks (Lahontan National Fish Hatchery, Gardnerville NV) monitoring the fish as they pass are marking and numbering these spawners. It will be an exciting river to fish once the cutthroat trout establish themselves again.

An interesting article appeared in fishreport@fishbio.com on the subject of artificial lights along the Sacramento River and how that affects the salmon smolts as they travel at night downstream to the sea. Predators like the striped and black bass use the added light to spot and feed on the smolts which in the distant past would use the dark nights to slip past these predators.  Full article can be found at:  https://fishbio.com/field-notes/the-fish-report/smolt-spotlight-effects-artificial-lighting-salmon-survival

Locally, as was in the local news and ‘Slim’ was not aware of the coho salmon planting into Scott Creek from our local Kingfisher Flat hatchery in Swanton. NOAA has control of this and has their own crew of workers. The low rivers was the reason to release the fish early. These fish survived the wildfire that heavily damaged the hatchery infrastructure and killed about half of last years hatched fish. The hatchery access was burned and destroyed (2 bridges over the creek). There is still no timeline as to the replacement of bridges and plumbing and tanks.  (Photo taken years ago of salmon smolts entering salt water for the first time, the jumping part ended when they started adding salt to the water in the tanker trucks prior to being driven to the harbor from the Feather River Hatchery).

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Good Bye Jon Baiocchi

by Stosh

‘Cal Slim’ remembers the time when he arrived at Lake Davis and Jon was standing in front of the fishing camp he set up for his clients at Grasshopper campgrounds. He was smiling and waived to us like he expected our arrival and we may need some info. He said the lake was fishing very poorly and that he was driving to Frenchman’s daily to be catching small but scrappy rainbows. He had that smile and penetrating eyes that made you feel comfortable and at ease being around him instantly. I know many of our members know what I mean and have fished with Jon and or followed his posts on Facebook.

I will always remember that campground as Baiocchi Flats from now on,  Life is so precious, It is very sad to realize he is gone but not forgotten.

 

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‘Conservation Slim’ Report

by Steve Rudzinski

April is just around the corner and many of us are counting the days till the annual FishOut at Pyramid Lake NV. Those of us who experienced last years closure of the lake at the time the club was renting the trailers from Pyramid Lodge as Crosby’s Lodge sold to the Paiute tribe last year.  My latest adventure (2/28-3/3) was very slow in the north half of the lake while the southern beaches were producing only one or two fish days with the rare individual who found the right spot and used the right color and fished hard all day would nail a half dozen fish with one over ten pounds.

By the time we meet in April the water will warm and more insects hatching, the numbers of fish inside casting range will increase as fish turn to eat more bugs than tui chubs. Joe Contaldi posts client catches daily on Facebook, most fish are in the 5-8 lb. range. Joe sets them up with indicators and flies like the albino wino about 6′-9′ under the surface using 2 fly set ups.

In the news from the Pebble Mine/Save Bristol Bay program, the new head of the EPA is Michael Regan. The promoters are very happy with this appointment and along with Congressmen DeFazio and Huffman (sub committee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife) who sent a letter immediately to him (Regan) to support  his ending any possibility for mining in that region using the authority under section 404 of the Clean Water Act.   Thank you to all members for allowing us to donate yearly to this great cause in the memory of fellow fisherman and guide who perished on the American Creek in AK only a month before his scheduled speaking engagement at the Aptos Grange in 2018.  John Squires was the one who donated his speaking fee to the Alaska Fund for Trout Unlimited. We continue to donate in John’s name.

Locally, the latest report from MBSTP and the hatchery at Kingfisher Flat in Swanton says, A setback due to water problems, a large portion of this years hatch of coho salmon were lost. Still about 35,000 fish will be transferred to our hatchery from the Warm Springs hatchery in the Russian River district. The hatchery is going to com through this all, even though it did not capture any steelhead this season as the rains did not allow any operation to exist.  I will let the club members know when there is a call for volunteers to help carry buckets of fish to release in the Scott Creek watershed.

Local supervisors are agreeing on taking action to clean up illegal camps along the San Lorenzo River. Fishermen especially  see the problem close up, it’s disgusting and painful to realize there is such disregard for beauty in nature. As a former information/referral operator at SWITCHBOARD 426-LIFE (1970-75) or until Governor Reagan took office, we existed on a bare bone budget from the State of CA.  I personally know the homeless problem began as soon as the mental hospitals were closed and inmates put on the streets.  Vietnam Vets suffering severe PTSD were 70% we had walk in the office daily, all we could do was show where the bridges were located to sleep. If we can’t offer a real mental health solution, the issue will not change no matter how much money is diverted.  We have to get the schools involved. Children are the best to grow a new generation who care about the environment.    Fish-On Everyone, Best to all,

Not So-Slim

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Klamath River Restoration

by Conservation Contributor Bob Garbarino

As fly fishermen/women and conservationists, what comes to mind when we think of dams?  We all, to some degree have learned about the harmful effects they can have on fish. I found this statement on the americanrivers.org website that captures the negative impact of dams on the environment:
“Few things have such a fundamental impact on a river as a dam. Dams block the movement of fish and other aquatic species, inundate river habitat, impair water quality, and alter the flow regime necessary to sustain river life. As dams age and decay, they can also become public safety hazards, presenting a failure risk and a dangerous nuisance.”
One important example of dam removal is the long debated plan to remove four dams on the lower Klamath river in California and Oregon. This $450 million project—if it comes to fruition—will be the largest of its kind in US history. Oregon, California and the utility PacifiCorp, which operates the hydroelectric dams and is owned by billionaire Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway, will each provide one-third of the additional funds. The current plan calls for the dams to be removed by 2024.
If completed, the decimated Chinook and Coho salmon as well as steelhead populations are expected to increase their numbers significantly.

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MBS&T Project April Update

by Sam Bishop, MBSTP Treasurer

In Coho program news, there was a major facilities problem at the NOAA FED laboratory last month, where this year’s spawning class is being incubated and ponded. Flow was lost to two of the incubator stacks that contained a large number of eggs and post-hatch fry, leading to the loss of a big portion of this year’s cohort. This was a huge let down, especially after all the hard work we put into spawning our fish at Warm Springs this season. Our production numbers are much lower than we anticipated after completing spawning.

We’ll be returning fish to our own facilities at Kingfisher Flat (the name of our hatchery) soon. These are the fish that survived the CZU fire and were moved out after the fire. it’ll be a huge accomplishment (and relief) to see these fish released to their home waters of Scott Creek. We’ll also be bringing up the ponded fry (young of year) from the NOAA lab later this summer, but sadly reduced in number due to the aforementioned loss incident at the NOAA facility.

Everybody involved with the Coho program wants to see our hatchery again capable of spawning and incubation, hopefully  this winter.

Steelhead conservation program still on hold due to threatened species legal issues way beyond our control.

Our Chinook releases from Monterey & Santa Cruz into Monterey Bay should be mid to late May, same as last year.

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Microplastics In Monterey Bay

by Conservation Contributor Bob Garbarino

In considering a relevant conservation topic close to our home waters, I decided to look into what is going on at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, more commonly known as MBARI. I found an article from June 2019 about a study that found microplastics throughout Monterey Bay. Most all of us have heard about the “Great Garbage Patch” in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii. You probably have seen television programs and photos of all sorts of plastic items floating in the ocean. I have heard some mention of microplastics, but was not aware of their widespread presence in Monterey Bay. According to the article, a microplastic is plastic debris less than 5 millimeters across.


The study found microplastics present in Monterey Bay from just below sea level all the way down to 1000 meters. The team carrying out the research used MBARI’s underwater robots to collect seawater samples. They found that the highest concentration of particles was at a depth of 200-600 meters. They also checked for the presence of the particles in two filter feed marine animals—pelagic red crabs and giant larvaceans. All of them tested were found to have microplastics in their system. The red crabs and giant larvaceans are consumed by other animals. For instance, the red crab is eaten by  bluefin tuna, humpback whales, migratory birds like albatross. The most common types of plastics found were PET, polyamide and polycarbonate—all found in consumer products like plastic drink bottles and to-go containers. One of the researchers suggested that some of the plastic moved into the bay by way of ocean currents.
Interesting—but perhaps not surprising—is that of the five top rivers that produce the most plastic trash, four are in Asia and one in Africa.
I’ve just touched on the tip of the iceberg of a huge complex problem that covers the globe. What can we as individuals do? Find and use alternatives to single-use disposable plastics is the number one recommendation.

Trash and marine debris on a beach near Tulum, Mexico.
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MBSTP (Monteret Bay Salmon & Trout Project) update

by Sam Bishop"

Hi everyone,
I have been asked to start a newsletter section on a great organization that SCFF has supported financially and physically for decades, the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project (MBSTP). Over the years many of us have volunteered to help in fin clipping, clean ups, repairs, releasing fish into the San Lorenzo River, Scott Creek, trapping Steelhead at the Felton Diversion Dam and so on. I am the volunteer Treasurer for this charitable organization.
There is no way I could do a short paragraph or two and bring everyone up to date on the MBSTP history and what it does today. For that I must ask you all to go to our website, www.mbstp.org.
The challenges we have faced have been daunting, yet there it is, our hatchery right here in Santa Cruz County, dedicated to (1) the preservation of the southern strain of endangered Coho Salmon and (2) ditto Steelhead, (3) coordination and facilitation of the release of millions of King Salmon smolt into Monterey Bay (they are raised in a different hatchery) and (4) STEP – an education program for youngsters that was started and flourished primarily due to the efforts and dedication of our long time SCFF member Barry Burt.
This complicated hatchery (burn damage severe this summer), with a half million dollar budget is run by only 3 paid employees, a Hatchery Manager (whose home burned to the ground this summer), a Fish Culturist (moving away, so we are recruiting) and an Executive Director.
Here is where we stand right now:
HATCHERY: Post fire cleanup is finished at Kingfisher Flat (the name of the hatchery), we’re starting to wrap our heads around the rebuild process/timeline. We are working on a procedural guide to get the facility back in operation, contacting agency funders and private donors re: the rebuild expense. There’s a ton of work to be done, and it’s not going to be cheap.
CHINOOK releases: We expect to be hearing back about CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) processing for Santa Cruz wharf very soon, then it goes through the 30-day public comment before being officially given the go-ahead. Monterey is all set to go for the release. We’re expecting that release in late May/early June.
STEELHEAD: Lack of rain has prevented our ability to trap and count Steelhead. The Felton diversion dam has to be inflated and the stream flushed before that can happen.
STEP (Salmon & Trout Education Program): An application to the NOAA BWET grants program for the funding of STEP has been filed which would come online next year. This grant would pay for the creation of videos and digital content to supplement STEP in a distance-learning format.

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Iceberg A-68

by Steve Rudzinski

I’m running late again in submitting a worthy article this month although what has my interest the last 2 months is this massive iceberg that has broken off Antarctica that is a little over 100 miles long and about 35 miles wide.  Large icebergs are named by the US National Ice Center who gave it the identification  A-68.

I found it when watching a nightly weather and news program, (Above Ground World News). Mike Morales does a weather report that the networks would never allow, using NASA technology and satellite imagery EOSDIS, RAMMB, Mike was commenting on this iceberg one night and I have been following it since. The iceberg was drifting NE and directly at the S. Georgia and S. Sandwich Islands in the southern ocean about SE from Tierra Del Fuego at the tip of S. America. A-68 was on a collision course with the main island, on the satellite the iceberg was almost exactly the same size as the main island.

Cloud cover hid the activity for days but I took digital photos of the screen and posted on FB for some friends who were interested like me. A-68 got within 35 miles of the land mass and the currents or actions by man turned it south and a 35 mile chunk sheared off in almost a perfectly straight line A-68A was born. The smaller part stayed in the area of the Sandwich Islands while the 70 mile long ‘mother berg’ drifted south and within days, a long narrower part broke free A-68B which is now well over 100 miles north of the S. Georgia/S. Sandwich Islands and heading for warmer water north.

Note the ‘frequency clouds’ north of the Sandwich Islands that may have something to do with the breaking up of this massive berg. I was surprised something like this event was never mentioned in the usual media sources. My thought right away was how many million gallons of fresh water was in this massive chunk of ice melting into the sea.

Wikipedia search ‘Iceberg A-68’ for info on it’s source calving away from the Larsen Ice shelf.

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Hatchery report and more 2021

by Conservation Slim

Hatchery Report for the Swanton Road facility: As of 12/18 I just got the letter from Ben Harris as to the status since the fire damaged most of the outdoor tanks and infrastructure. Currently they are working with county OES/environmental health department to arrange clean up of the site under Phase 2 (public option) to save money on labor, public contractors will take care of hauling away the tanks and debris. Two bridges need to be built over the creek and permits needed to be approved still. Work is expected to begin before Jan 1.

Volunteers are always treasured and deeply appreciated and January is a busy month where the Warm Springs facility expect the spawning will be in full swing the second and third week of January. Permits are in place to capture fish at the Felton dam fish trap. They are going to have Gordon explain how the trap works as you work 8 hour shifts during the prime time when fish are moving upstream, day and all night. This is hard work and not for everyone, die hard fishermen usually love this stuff.  You will need to sign a waiver and get training and have a fishing license to register.

Fish and Wildlife say they plan to release Chinook salmon smolts again in Santa Cruz and Monterey in 2021-22 releasing 120,000 at each site. Last spring was the first time fish had been dropped off the wharf and bypassing the small craft harbor for the first time. I would try fishing off the wharf for salmon in a couple more years as they return to the source of their entry to the sea. The sea lions will be on the scene but we caught some big salmon mooching off the wharf, sea lions get their share. Ben Harris director says he is asking for more releases but the fires and funding has affected operations at the Mokelumne Hatchery. Low flows and numbers of native fish has greatly reduced production of smolts this year.  Fish are released from Fort Baker to other locations south to Monterey.  This project has been my passion over 10 years when we received fish at the Harbor launch ramp and tended a sea pen to feed and fatten fish to be released after 5 days in the pen. It was a ton of work assembling and storing the sea pen and now they just drop them 40 feet off the wharf and they do fine. (we hope)

Since our club does not have our own conservation projects it is interesting and fun to help out other local groups like MBSTP or Coastal Watershed Council as a representative of SCFF.  The Hatchery staff have asked us for help many times and we always send a few who make the difference in a successful effort like fin clipping parties at the Felton Hatchery to taking water samples at the annual ‘First Flush’ storm sewer analysis where it meets rivers or shoreline.

Contact: www.mbstp.org for information or call or write me.

PS. Thanks to all who attended the casting clinic at Jade St Park in Dec. I think at least 25 came throughout the afternoon, this will happen again in 2021 or  when the current stay at home for 100 days is over.  I am asking for help in posting conservation articles for 2021, Thanks to Bob Garbarino for his help this month.

‘Be the Bug’.  Stosh aka (Con-Slim)

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Coho Salmon Die-Offs May Be Linked to Tire Particles

by Conservation Contributor Bob Garbarino

A team of university, state and federal researchers from Washington and California together with Canadian scientists have identified a compound that is formed when a component in tires reacts with ozone is washed into creeks and streams during storm runoffs. They concluded that the toxic compound is deadly to the endangered Coho. The research was conducted in streams in the Puget Sound vicinity.

The culprit turned out to be related to a chemical called 6PPD, which is essentially a preservative to keep car tires from breaking down too quickly in the presence of ozone. When 6PPD hits the road and reacts with ozone gas, the chemical transforms into multiple new chemicals, including a compound known as 6PPD-quinone.

Hopefully the outcome of this research will result in changes in the chemistry of tire design that will eliminate this Coho killer. Undoubtedly, this could be a long uphill battle against the tire industry. My thanks goes out to those committed to science and conservation of our wildlife!

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Pebble Mine Update.

by Conservation Slim

In August we thought it was ‘Smooth Sailing’ for saving Bristol Bay as the Army Corps of Engineers, in all their wisdom, could not permit the plan as stated by Pebble Mine Inc. The Army set the bar so high that the corporation would never be able to show it was safe from future flooding and releasing the toxic chemicals into the watershed. Pebble ‘brushed off’ the Army’s letter promising a response which now the Army is not sharing with the public so there is a mystery as to the details.

Much of the problem is due to the silence coming from both Senators Murkowski and Sullivan who Trout Unlimited
Alaska Fund representatives report have not fully put their support behind saving the fishery once and for all. Both claiming that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) needs to be using their authority under the Clean Water Act to veto the permits sought by Pebble Mine proponents Northern Dynasty Mining Inc.

TU says to write the Senators now and tell them to say ‘NO to the Pebble Mine’.

Lisa Murkowski 302 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 www.murkowski.senatte.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Dan Sullivan 202 224 3004 (same address as Murkowski) email: www.sullivan.senate.gov/contact/email

I want to send out a special thanks to our members who joined up with the Salinas Fly Fishers and TU to do a couple days of clean up along the Salinas River where the RR tracks and Hwy 1 cross the estuary and where club members put in small boats and float tubes to fish for Striped Bass. Photos show a huge dumpster on site filled with mattresses, tires, furniture and trash galore.   Special thanks to volunteers, Sam Bishop, Jeff Sloboden, Jeff Gose, Scott Kitayama and any others I missed.

I am preparing for the Covid Casting Clinic this Wed and meeting our new ‘Weather Guy at large’ Lee Solomon from KSBW newsroom. We will let Lee decide what to call his new position on the board. eg Weatherman at large or Meteorologist at large, however he decides we want to welcome him this week at the clinic and hope he can find a minute to log into our Wed general meeting Dec 2.

On Dec 5th the following Saturday at 2 PM I will have another casting clinic for those who cannot attend the Wednesday mid week events due to working for a living.  This will be the last casting event till Spring so please RSVP me if you plan to attend and or bring a guest caster friend or relative.

Happy holidays to everyone, please be healthy wealthy and wise and be kind to everyone. 2021 is going to be more topsy turvy than 2020 is my guess.  Let’s all get through this and keep our sanity.  Peace,   ‘Cal Slim’