Len Ackerman

My son Bob and I had put in several hours of fishing over three days at New Melones without success.

We decided to give it one more try on Dec. 31, the last day the 2017 fishing license could be used.

Another strike against us was the full moon.

We were on the water at 8:am.

And at 9:am, Bob hooked a fish which turned out to be a five-pound rainbow.

After another hour in the same area we moved near Rose Island where I hooked one that was four pounds.

The fish are well scattered.

These are holdover rainbows from the past two to three years and most have averaged two to six lbs.

Most productive lures have been spoon type, such as Needlefish, ExCels, and Speedy Shiners.

On the duck hunting scene, it appears the biggest number of the birds are staying in the Sacramento valley where they have rice fields to feed.

Gary Anderson has been bagging limits at the Colusa Refuge.

Averages in the area show Colusa at four birds per hunter; Delevan Refuge at 3.2. In the Los Banos area North Freitas had 4.5 and Gadwall 3.7.

All units further south had fewer than two birds per hunter.

For information on the Los Banos Complex, call 209-826-0463.

Among the threats to hunting are habitat loss such as urban development and expanding communities; anti-hunters, including environmental groups dedicated to stop all hunting; predators, including mountain lions which contribute to the loss of deer herds, as well as coyotes and others; poachers ,who are not hunters, but are criminals who should be reported; politics - lawmakers seem to constantly pass laws to make it more difficult for hunters.

Non-lead ammo is now required for all hunting on Department of Wildlife areas when taking upland game birds, except dove, quail, snipe and any game birds taken on a licensed game bird club.

On July 1, 2018, non-lead ammo will be required for all hunting in California.