Friday, April 22, 2011

Salmon Season in Sacramento

It will be a very good year, as the Sacramento Bee reports.

An excerpt.

“Tackle shops are restocking custom lures, guides are booking trips, and anglers are getting ready: Salmon are coming back to the Sacramento Valley.

“It has been four years since the region enjoyed full recreational fishing access to the majestic chinook salmon, a result of cutbacks caused by a steep decline in the fall run.

“Today in Sacramento, the California Fish and Game Commission is expected to reinstate normal fishing rules in the Sacramento, American and Feather rivers for the first time since 2007, thanks to a rebound in the population. That means six months of fishing, starting July 16.

"I'm excited," said J.D. Richey, a longtime salmon fishing guide based in Sacramento. He pondered the awful prospect of quitting the business when the season was closed in 2008 but held on by offering more trips for other species, including non-native striped bass.

"I'm already getting calls from people wanting to go salmon fishing and get on the schedule," Richey said. "I'm excited about the prospect of going back salmon fishing and going back to work."

“Fisherman's Warehouse in Sacramento, a major tackle retailer, is restocking its salmon wall with specialized gear to serve anglers.

"It means a lot," said John Bedwell, the company's general manager.

“Fisherman's Warehouse closed its Rocklin store in 2008 when the salmon season was closed, costing four jobs. Seven other people were laid off at the remaining stores in Sacramento, Manteca, Fresno and San Jose.

“All that, said Bedwell, was directly related to the shutdown of recreational salmon fishing across the state. About half of the business, he said, is dependent on salmon fishing.

"The day they announced closure of salmon fishing, we pulled the plug on that Rocklin store and erased it. It was gone in two weeks," Bedwell said. "The economy is horrible for business, but the worst thing possible is no fish."

“The Department of Fish and Game, which advises the commission, estimates the Central Valley in-river salmon fishery generates at least $20 million annually in economic output for the state.”