The Fish Sniffer - Upper River Will Close To Fishing
Upper River Will Close To Fishing

Written By: Dan Bacher, February 16, 2014
Species: Steelhead Trout
Location: American River - Lower,

The California Fish and Game Commission on February 5 voted to close fishing on the American River from Nimbus Dam to the SMUD power line crossing at the southwest boundary of Ancil Hoffman Park until April 30 in order to protect steelhead in the low flows.

“The snowpack is only 12 percent of normal and Folsom Lake is only 17 percent of capacity," said Stafford Lehr, Fisheries Branch Chief of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, "We are trying to maximize the protection of as many wild fish in the American and other rivers as possible.

Lehr added, “We are fully aware of the impacts these closures will have on anglers and related businesses. However, anglers have overwhelmingly supported the decision to close fisheries because they are the original conservationists. They understand the severity of this drought.”

The closure will become effective upon approval by the state Office of Administrative Law (OAL). At the earliest, these emergency regulations will become effective in mid to late February.

Meanwhile, Nimbus Fish Hatchery continues to trap and spawn steelhead. “We spawned 14 pairs this week,” said Gary Novak, hatchery manager.

Hopefully, the rains the region received over the weekend from February 6-9 should prod more steelhead to move into the river. The Bureau of Reclamation raised flows from 500 to 1000 cfs on Sunday, February 9 for "Nimbus flood control."

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