By LEN ACKERMAN
For The Union Democrat
With all the water runoff from snowmelt, New Melones actually dropped a few feet last week due to increasing the outflow which makes its way through Tulloch Lake, Goodwin Dam and on to the rivers and canals, much to the delight of farmers and other water users.
The lake is now eight feet from full capacity.
Night fishing is now popular and more trout are turning up this way with the use of submersible lights which also attract catfish and crappie.
Most daytime anglers are still targeting kokanee salmon which have slacked off on the bite this past week, possibly due to the full moon and changing weather patterns which affect barometric pressure.
Most kokes are now showing from 45-to-60 feet with some as deep as 70 feet.
Last week, local guide Danny Layne took three generations of the Niebauer family out on Lake Don Pedro.
Grandpa Dick, grandson D.J., and great-grandson Aric. They had a great time boating some kokanee up to 18 inches and two pounds.
This year the kokanee at Don Pedro are turning up, perhaps fewer in numbers, but much larger.
Dick Niebauer, a retired firefighter, has lived in Mi-Wuk for many years and recently lost part of his home to a fire.
He is now residing in Oakdale with a daughter, pending repairs on his home. Knowing Dick, he is not about to give up fishing under any circumstances.
Stan Blanchard and Chuck King, both of Sonora, were out on Don Pedro on that day and they took limits of the kokes from 16-to-17.5 inches.
Back at New Melones, Chris Limas, of Manteca, won the Big Catfish contest at Glory Hole Sports — again — with an 8-pound, 11-ouncer caught with nightcrawlers near the dam. It appears he is enjoying that free deli lunch almost weekly. He must have a knack at finding the big ones.
In the Stanislaus Forest Recreation area, most fishing is happening at Pinecrest Lake since the rivers are running so high. Shore anglers do well with Power Bait and salmon eggs and favorite areas are at the inlet or the dam. Boaters are trolling flasher/worm combos or small lures such as Needlefish, Excels, or Little Cleos.
For information, call the Pinecrest Marina at 965-3333. For information on river flows on the Middle Fork Stanislaus and Clark's Fork call Kennedy Meadows at 965-3900 and for the South Fork call the Strawberry Store at 965-3597.
Trout plants are ongoing at Lyons Reservoir but there is a lot of debris on the water. Only shore fishing is allowed and the entry gate is open from sunrise to sunset.
There is no report this week from the Ebbetts Pass area but all major lakes are open and streams are running high. For information go to www.ebbettspasssportinggoods.com.
A group of youths, under the Sonora Police Explorers program, last week assembled at the Mother Lode Gun Club for an introduction to shotgun shooting.
Under the direction of program coordinator Glenn Roberts, with assistants John Pinckney and Rick Roberts, they participated in shooting at the fast-flying clay birds.
The Explorers participating were: Quintin Perry, Everett Tanksley, Glen Perry, Matthew Roberts, Tyler Pincksley, Samantha McKinney, Kayla Gladysz, and Robbie Roberts.