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Salmon season opens Sunday on Sacto River


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It’s too early to tell how good it might be, but the Sacramento River salmon season opens Sunday.

Early reports indicate that numbers would be down for those fish returning to spawn. Recent reports from ocean fishing show good catches by party boats out of San Francisco, Half Moon Bay and north of Santa Cruz.

The early run salmon will move fast through the river due to warm water temperatures. Most early run catches are usually made by guides working above Sacramento as the fish seek cooler water.

The water level and temperature continue to rise at New Melones Reservoir. This will move most fish to deeper water, especially trout and kokanee.

Rainbows have been found near the dam and along Rose Island in the main lake at depths from 55 to 65 feet.

Most anglers are trolling kokanee gear in hopes of finding the scarce landlocked salmon, and are finding that rainbows will hit those lures. When a kokanee turns up, they are bigger than past years, up to 17 inches.

On the bass front, fishing guide John Leichty finds topwater action early mornings and late evenings and goes to soft plastics later. Leichty can be reached at (209) 743-9932.

Night fishing is becoming more popular to beat the heat. Submersible lights will attract baitfish which, in turn attract larger fish, including trout, crappie, or catfish.

At Lake Don Pedro, the trout bite has been a bit slow, causing anglers to put in more time and try different locations.

Guide Monte Smith recently fished until after 1 p.m. to put two limits in the boat, up to four pounds, trolling custom made spoons.

Lake Pardee is putting out good numbers of kokanee and they are bigger this year.

They will continue to get plants of rainbows from the Mt. Lassen Hatchery every other week through September.

For more information call (209) 772-1472.

In the Ebbetts Pass area (Highway 4), access is open to the Carson River and Lake Alpine is free of ice. The road to Spicer Lake is also open.

Along the Highway 108 corridor, the middle fork Stanislaus River is still running high and fast but anglers are finding fishable areas from Kennedy Meadows down to Dardanelle.

Small spinners or similar lures work in these conditions.

The same scenario is on the South Fork at Strawberry as the water is released from Pinecrest.

One fishable area is along the meadow in Old Strawberry.

Trout plants by Moccasin Creek Hatchery this week are as follows: Middle, North, and South Forks Tuolumne; Middle, South, and Clarks Fork Stanislaus.

The South fork will be planted in the Old Strawberry meadow area as well as near the Highway 108 bridge and at Frazier Flat; Lyons Canal; Power House Stream; Moccasin Creek; and Pinecrest Lake.

Have a big fish story? Contact me at lenack1@yahoo.com.