Thursday, August 13, 2009

Salmon Fishing

We are very fortunate to live in an area where some of the best fishing in the world is just a few hours away, as reported in this article from the Sacramento Bee, and though our local salmon fishing is not doing well right now, there are options, and a major option is to expand the hatchery technology which is already playing a major role in the salmon fishery.

American River salmon are a central part of the allure of the Parkway but with the settlement of people in the valley and the continued growth of our region; the need for dams to hold back the flood waters and provide for additional water storage became a priority, and to retain the salmon in the river, hatcheries are used.

While it is understandable—considering that many folks romanticize wildness—to revere the wild salmon over those from the hatchery, the reality is that hatchery salmon, as with most species helped by human beings throughout history, have become an important part of the aquatic ecosystem and readily breed with the wild salmon, resulting in time—one assumes—in a stronger and more adaptable species that has learned to live within the world man has shaped by his need for water, the same water so beautifully populated by salmon—wild and hatchery

Here is an informative post on the impact of hatcheries.

Here is an excerpt from the article from the Sacramento Bee.

“Our guide uttered the magic words on the drive home from a lackluster striped-bass fishing trip on the Sacramento River.

“For my boyfriend, Hank Shaw – who is obsessed with cooking – the abracadabra moment came with a description of the fish: "They're so fat it's like they come with their own butter."

“I was hypnotized by a description of the river: "The water is so clear you can see 20 feet down. Sometimes you can see the fish coming in to take your bait. And some days you don't see anyone else on the water."

"We're in," we told Jon Harrison of Five Rivers Guide Service in Orangevale. We were going salmon fishing on the Trinity River.

“Salmon fishing was becoming a distant memory for us with the unexpected collapse of the Sacramento River Chinook salmon run in fall 2007. The fish count inexplicably plunged to barely half of what was needed for a sustainable population. State and federal agencies responded by drastically curtailing salmon fishing in 2008, and again this year.

“But salmon runs on the Klamath River and its tributary, the Trinity, are in better shape, so riches await anyone willing to make the 3½-hour trip north. And for Harrison, nothing compares to the Trinity.”