Volunteer Opportunity: Help stock Hot Creek, electroshock Mammoth Creek, Sept. 26-Oct. 6


Hot Creek

HOT CREEK has been a mecca for fly fishers for decades, and now is in trouble. (Courtesy California Fly Fishing)

Note: This is from Pasadena Casting Club, but has broad appeal to the fly fishing community. — Jim Burns

Dear PCC members,

As you probably know, Hot Creek has essentially crashed over the last year or more: few fish, small fish.  Recent DFW electroshocking bears this out.

Dr. Mark Drew, eastern Sierra CalTrout Headwaters project director, told us at our September meeting that a perfect storm of factors is probably responsible.  He listed the opening of Hot Creek to winter fishing without the promised Department of Fish and Wildlife annual health monitoring, the prolonged drought and the concomitant 50 percent decreased in the flow of the spring that feeds the stream as probable causes.

This year for the first time in memory, Mammoth Creek dried up briefly.

DFW has done a quick study and finds no issues with water quality or food availability.  Under pressure from the community that would suffer economic loss if the fishery does not recover, they have decided to stock HC with diploid rainbow trout, which can mature and reproduce.  CalTrout and DFW are asking for our help.  Here are the details.

Monday, Sept. 26 through Friday, Sept. 30:  help electroshock Mammoth Creek.

Thursday, Oct. 6: help with the placement of 6,000 fish in Hot Creek.  (They plan to place 12,000 per year for several years, and do electroshock surveys to see how the spawn is doing.)

If you can participate in either or part of these scheduled tasks, please contact Dr. Mark Drew at mdrew@caltrout.org

or call him at (760) 709-1492.  He will provide snacks and lunch.

Also please let me know if you are participating.

Thank you.

John Tobin

Conservation Chair

pmd6x@yahoo.com

Volunteer Opportunity: Fish Willow Street this Wednesday with FoLAR


DSC_5695 Long Beach Fish Study May 13 of 2014 photos by William Preston Bowling

ALL IN: Are you ready to discover fishing in a restricted area of the river in Long Beach? (William Preston Bowling)

If you are free to help fish Willow Street in Long Beach on Wednesday from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m., please let William Preston Bowling at FoLAR know by RSVPing wpb@folar.org. He’ll fill you in on the particulars, including where to meet. 

The group will  walk the bike path with elected officials to show them that recreational fishing around Willow Street is possible, and instead of using their imagination it would be awesome for them to look down and see a bunch of anglers enjoying recreational fishing.
Catch & release only.
See you on the river, Jim Burns

Third annual Off Tha’ Hook is ‘bass in action’


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MARY JANE GARCIA gets little help from her brother as she poses with her trophy and bling. (Jim Burns)

On a cloudy Saturday, the third annual Off Tha’ Hook fishing throwback got off to a solid start as 20 adult anglers descended the riprap to the river. What happened to the additional 17 fishers who signed up is anyone’s guess, but some speculated that the change of location, from North Atwater Park to the Bowtie Parcel could have contributed.

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WINNER KEN MORRIS contemplates which  Trout Unlimited flies he received as gifts for joining the organization will match river aquatics. (Jim Burns)

Whatever the reason, action started early when Chris Manno of Los Feliz hooked a beautiful largemouth bass with his spinning rod and lure. He looked to have it going on into the home stretch until Ken Morris, also of Los Feliz, also hooked a bass, which, when inspected by the biologist Rosi Dagit, turned out to be 2 centimeters longer as well as heftier in the midsection. Morris also landed another bass and two green sunfish.

If we were horse racing, it would have been a win “by a nose.”

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A BASS gets measured before being returned to the river. (Jim Burns)

This was a first, in that carp have won the grand prize the last two years.

Meanwhile, the kids event really took off this year, perhaps doubling in size from 2015. A hundred children and teenagers had to go through four checkpoints with their parents before getting a rod and heading down to the water.

In the kids’ division, Mary Jane Garcia, 9, of Koreatown, caught not one, but two small carp.

When asked what her spinning rod bait was, her father gave a knowing look. After all, he’d nearly landed a carp earlier in the adult division.

“Tortillas,” he said, “just plain tortillas.”

Yes, the tried and true LA River carp elixir.

Meanwhile, Elijah Rodriguez, 16, of Los Angeles also won in the kids division for a beautiful, large tilapia.

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IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY to get in some casting practice, especially in matching blue T-shirts. (Jim Burns)

Also, this year, besides being at a new site, three fly fishing clubs supported the tournament, Pasadena Casting Club, Downey Fly Fishers and the Southwestern Council, which is actually composed of more than 20 area fly fishing clubs. PCC again donated a box of flies; and Downey was busy tying flies for the kids to use on the river. Patagonia donated more than $700 in gear, and Harley Davidson also contributed prizes this year as well.

Trout Unlimited provided lots of fly casting instruction, in which the object was to get the unhooked fly to set off a mouse trap. TU’s Bob Blankenship and Drew Irby are men of infinite patience, setting and resetting the traps, as well as untangling more than a fair share of birds’ nests.

Finally, Ken Jarrett, of Morro Bay, netted a minuscule Mississippi Silver Sides, winning the “rarest species” award.

“That’s the first time we’ve found one of those in the LA River,” Dagit said.

Below is video proof that there’s really nothing like catching your first fish. This video, taken by Bradley Martin, shows his son Wyatt hooking a fish for the first time.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Calendar Item: Off Tha’ Hook fishing throwback returns Saturday, Sept. 3


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August is my least favorite month in L.A.: It’s hot under that super-heated cloudless sky; there are wildfires burning, scaring us all and further fouling our air; and I’ve finished bing-watching “Scarier Things” on Netflix.

Even without Netflix, things begin to pick up for me with USC’s first game (and now the Rams, yippee), going back to teach journalism and getting to participate in our own home-grown L.A. River fishing event, Friends of the Los Angeles River’s Off Tha’ Hook.

Each year, this festival geared around what our river is — and what it could be — grows, from its first “Hey, Martha” moment in 2014 (as in, “Hey, Martha, can you believe what they’re doing down there …), to this year, the first at the notable Bow Tie location. The water is deeper here than North Atwater Park, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the adult division anglers catch.  Sign up for $35 here and read more about the contest. (This is a price reduction from last year; also, if you help out with the kids’ fish, you’ll receive a $10 discount)

Off Tha' Hook

ONE OF LAST YEAR’S WINNERS Issaih Salgado, 15, of Palmdale (left) hangs with event organizer Bill Bowling. (Jim Burns)

Much as I enjoy watching the fishers catch, and then being part of the “bucket brigade” that brings the fish to biologists to weigh and measure, the best part — the part that sustains me throughout the year — is the kids’ fish. For many youngsters, it’s their first introduction to our favorite sport, and this year the Los Angeles Rod and Reel Club will once again be on hand with kid-friendly rods and their expertise. And, it’s free.

So for all of you hiding out inside, binge-watching Netflix, please join us early next month. It’s one of two days you don’t need a fishing license to legally fish. I think you’ll really enjoy it. Like I said, it’s one of the fall treats I look forward to every year.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

 

 

Calendar Item: Tenth Annual Frogtown Artwalk slated for Saturday, Aug. 13


image1 This year, Frogtown Artwalk, 4 p.m.-10 p.m., is dedicated to the vision of Lewis MacAdams of the Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR), now in its 30th year of protecting and restoring the natural and historic heritage of the LA River. At the Artwalk hub, the Frogspot, an award ceremony at 6 p.m. will honor MacAdams for his work; CD13 councilman Mitch O’Farrell will also be thanked for his involvement in the Artwalk. See you on the river, Jim Burns

‘Clean up river once and for all of us,’ writes LA Daily News


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STEELHEAD imagery abounds on the Los Angeles River. (Jim Burns)

This thoughtful piece takes us out of hand-wringing mode about the Heal the Bay study, and, instead calls for a total clean up.

“Should the news released last week, after a Heal the Bay study, that the river is still polluted with harmful levels of fecal bacteria cool our optimistic jets about its restoration? It should not.”

Definitely worth a read.

See you on the river, Jim Burns