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Emergency regulations to close angling now in effect

The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) this week approved emergency regulations adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission on Feb. 5 to close some waters to angling in response to severe drought conditions throughout the state.

The following closures are now in effect:

  • Closure of the American River from Nimbus Dam to the SMUD power line crossing at the southwest boundary of Ancil Hoffman Park until April 30.
  • Closure of the Russian River main stem below the confluence of the East Branch of the Russian River until April 30.
  • Extension of the low flow restrictions angling closures for the north coast and central coast areas In the South Coast District (i.e., San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties), close all portions of any coastal stream west of any Highway 1 bridge until April 30.

The above regulatory actions were approved by OAL and became effective Feb. 19. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) learned about OAL’s approval.

Also, CDFW has closed some waters to fishing in order to protect native salmon and steelhead from low water flows in California streams and rivers that have been significantly impacted by drought. These closures are within CDFW’s authority under Title 14 and did not need Commission adoption.

A map of the closures can be found here: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/biogeodata/gis/fishing_closures.asp .

CDFW has the authority under Title 14, Article 4, Section 8.00(c) to close south central coast streams to fishing from December 1 through March 7 when it determines that stream flows are inadequate to provide fish passage for migrating steelhead trout and salmon.

As a result, the following waters are closed to angling until March 7 or until stream flows are sufficient to allow fish passage for returning adult steelhead and salmon.

To determine whether or not these waters are open to fishing, please call the south central coast closure hotline at 831-649-2886:

  • Pescadero Creek and all anadromous reaches of San Mateo County coastal streams normally open for fishing, from Elliot Creek through Milagro Creek.
  • The San Lorenzo River and all its tributaries, as well as all anadromous reaches of coastal streams normally open for fishing in Santa Cruz County from the San Lorenzo River on North through Waddell Creek.
  • Aptos and Soquel Creeks (Santa Cruz County).
  • The Pajaro River and Uvas, Llagas and Corralitos Creeks (Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Clara counties).
  • The Carmel River and those sections of San Jose, Gibson, Malpaso and Soberanes creeks west of Highway 1.
  • The Big Sur River and those Big Sur area streams from Granite Creek to Salmon Creek west of Highway 1.
  • The main stem of the Salinas River below its confluence with the Arroyo Seco River and the Arroyo Seco River (Monterey County).

In addition, CDFW has the authority under Title 14, Article 4, Section 8.00(a) to close north coast streams to fishing when it determines that the flow at any of the designated gauging stations is less than minimum flows stated in regulation through Jan. 31.

The OAL approval extends the end date of that authority to April 30. As a result, the following north coast streams will be subject to angling closures until April 30.

To determine whether or not these waters are open to fishing, please call the north coast closure hotline at 707-822-3164:

  • The main stem Eel River from the paved junction of Fulmor Road with the Eel River to the South Fork Eel River.
  • The South Fork of the Eel River downstream from Rattlesnake Creek and the Middle Fork Eel River downstream from the Bar Creek.
  • The main stem Van Duzen River from its junction with the Eel River to the end of Golden Gate Drive near Bridgeville.
  • The main stem Mad River from the Hammond Trail Railroad Trestle to Cowan Creek.
  • The main stem of the Mattole River from the mouth to Honeydew Creek.
  • The main stem of Redwood Creek from the mouth to its confluence with Bond Creek.
  • The main stem Smith River from the mouth of Rowdy Creek to the mouth of Patrick Creek (tributary of the Middle Fork Smith River); the South Fork Smith River from the mouth upstream approximately 1,000 feet to the County Road (George Tyron) bridge and Craig’s Creek to its confluence with Jones Creek; and the North Fork Smith River from the mouth to its confluence with Stony Creek.

Under Title 14, Article 4, Section 8.00(b) the following central coast streams are subject to angling closures through April 1. Today’s OAL approval extends that end date to April 30. To determine whether or not these waters are open to fishing, please call the central coast closure hotline at (707) 944-5533:

  • Sonoma Creek (Sonoma County), and all streams tributary to the Pacific Ocean (and its bay) in Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties, except the Russian River.
  • Napa River (Napa County) between Trancas Avenue in Napa and Oakville Cross Bridge near Yountville.

These closures listed above represent only about 5 percent of the fishable rivers in the state. There are still plenty of opportunities for California anglers to catch fish in the state’s rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs. Additionally, California’s coast offers substantial ocean fishing. All are subject to current regulations already in place.

For more on fishing in California, please visit http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/ .

CDFW low flow closure hotlines:

North Coast: 707-822-3164;
Central Coast: 707-944-5533;
South Central Coast: 831-649-2886.

 

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