Oroville Reservoir Fishing Report

Lake Oroville - Oroville, CA (Butte County)


8-28-2008

by Steve Carson

Dove season opener is Monday

Monday September 1 marks the opening day of dove hunting season in the western United States, traditionally one of the largest participation sporting events in the nation. As many as one million hunters may be afield across the west, particularly because it falls on a holiday this year.

Good results are expected for this years' opener, primarily due to the warm weather that continues in the area. "Hunters who have been out scouting report that they are seeing a lot of birds", said Dave Ebright at Chico Sportsmen's Den. "I have personally seen a lot of doves in all of the traditional areas. This will be the first year that the invasive Eurasian collared dove species can be taken; they are different from the native mourning doves."

Local Butte County Department of Fish and Game warden Lt. Sam Castillo added, "The Eurasian dove issue is a concern this year. Hunters need to be mindful of any bird that they shoot, and make certain that it is one that can be harvested legally."

There will in fact be no limit on the Eurasian collared doves, as they are considered an invasive nuisance. The Eurasian species is relatively easy to identify, as they are about twice as large as mourning doves. The daily bag limit on mourning doves is 10 birds, with a 20-bird possession limit allowed after opening day.

The first half of the season will end on September 15. A valid California hunting license with Upland Game Bird stamp is required. Also required is the Federal Harvest Survey, which is available free at authorized hunting license dealers. Ebright at the Chico Sportsmen's Den cautioned, "Be sure that you have the Federal Harvest Survey in your possession, you'll get a ticket if you don't!"

Lake Oroville

Anglers heading out to Lake Oroville for the holiday weekend should steer towards the evening hours, according to Fil Torres at Oroville Outdoors. "Go nocturnal", quipped Torres. "With the current heat wave and big Labor Day holiday weekend crowds, night time will be the best choice for bass fishing.

"There will be a short 30 to 45-minute topwater bite right at sundown, then a lull for about an hour. Once the fish are acclimated to the darkness, fish with crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs in dark colors. Most of the bass are in the 12 to 15-inch slot, with the occasional three to four pounder.

"Fish shallow and look for areas of big chunk rock in the main lake from the dam up to the mouth of the north fork. If you do this regularly, there is also the chance for a large channel catfish."

Raptor relocates

Local anglers who love the feel of a custom-crafted fishing rod should take note, as custom fishing rod maker Raptor Rod Works is moving from its' current location on Highway 32 in Chico. "We are changing from our traditional retail storefront", said owner Jim Clarkson. "I really wanted to get back to my custom rod-building roots after a six-year experiment with retail.

"Our new location will be primarily a design and fabrication studio, but will continue to handle all fishing rod-related services at the retail, wholesale and contract level. We hope to network more closely with the local tackle shops and fishing clubs to facilitate a pickup/dropoff program."

Clarkson advised, "The studio will be open by appointment, with a phone call or E-mail contact ahead being necessary." Contact Raptor Rod Works' new studio at jim@raptorrodworks.com or 894-2062.

Trout plants

The DFG planted catchable-size trout this week in the following area waters: Tehama County- Deer Creek, South Fork Battle Creek; Shasta County- Baum Lake, Fall River Lake, Grace Lake, Hatchet Creek, Kilarc Reservoir, lower-upper Burney Creek, middle-upper Hat Creek, Montgomery Creek, Nora Lake, Upper Bailey Creek, Whiskeytown Lake. Send your outdoor news items to Steve Carson via E-mail at scarson@sunset.net

***DAVE, EXTRA CONTENT BELOW INTENDED FOR ONLINE EDITION***

Huge marlin

Globetrotting big-game angler Bob Crawford of Chico just returned from Hawaii, and reported that he caught monstrous 564-pound blue marlin. "We were fishing off the north shore of Oahu aboard the charter boat Foxy Lady", related Crawford. "The bait was a three-pound live skipjack, and the fish hit less than 30 seconds after we put the bait out.

"The marlin fought for about 30 minutes on 130-pound line, and when it came up it only looked to be about 250 pounds. When the crewman tried to gaff it by himself, it thrashed around, tore the gaff out of his hand and made another run away from the boat. The next time it took three of us to subdue it."

Crawford added, "My son Anthony and I also caught five yellowfin tuna in the 50 to 60-pound class, and Anthony nailed a 45-pound mahi-mahi.

Striper lawsuit

Three fishery groups issued statement this week regarding the re-filing of a lawsuit blaming striped bass for the decline of chinook salmon and delta smelt. The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Striped Bass Association and Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers are united against a collation of Central Valley water agencies.

The water group "Coalition for a Sustainable Delta" filed a lawsuit in January of 2008, claiming efforts by the DFG to support striped bass accelerated the demise of endangered salmon and smelt. The lawsuit was dismissed on July 24, but was amended and re-filed on August 22.

Experts disagree with the coalition's premise for the lawsuit, especially since the delta smelt, salmon and striped bass had successfully co-existed for more than a century. Conversely, the smelt and salmon have shown continuous long-term declines since the late 1960's, when state and federal water projects began exporting water.

The California Striped Bass Association maintains that the Coalition is most interested in maintaining their historic allotment of taxpayer subsidized water exports.

The Central Valley water agencies admit the lawsuit is in response to US District Court Judge Oliver Wanger's recent decision to protect salmon and smelt by limiting water exports from the Delta.

Ongoing information on the progress of the lawsuit is viewable on the websites of all three fishery organizations.

Chico Bass Club

The Chico Bass Club will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 PM on Wednesday night at Candi's Delicatessen, 2625 Aztec Drive in Chico, just off Hegan Lane near UPS. The club welcomes new members. Contact club president Jim Carr at 877-0912 for more information.


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