- Road Conditions
- Palace Repairs
- Guard Service
- Sizemore Guilty
- FB Panhandling
- Naked Idiots
- Little Dog
- Matt Muddlehead
- Yesterday's Catch
- American Collapse
- Marco Radio
- Russian Dressing
- Trump People
- Anger Ministry
- Low Fish Count
COUNTY ROAD CONDITIONS
(from The Mendocino County Transportation Director’s Report for next Tuesday’s Board Of Supervisors Meeting)
2017 Winter Storms - January 8, 2017, through Present
Mendocino County’s January 2017 storm damage sites are listed below:
Brooktrails Area: Mallard Street, County Road (CR) 621, Milepost (MP) 0.10 Closed
Laytonville Area: Laytonville Dos Rios Road, CR 322, MP 3.66 Closed
Shimmins Ridge Road, CR 310B, MP 2.70 Opened - one lane only
Coast Area: Albion Little River Road, CR 403, MP 0.50 Opened - one lane only
Windy Hollow Road, CR 508, MP 2.70 Opened - one lane only
Mountain View Road, CR 510, MP 17.50 Opened - one lane only
Spring Grove Road, CR 401, MP 1.5+/- Opened – drain culvert
Boonville Area: Peachland Road, CR 128, MP 0.95 Opened – limited to small vehicles
Ukiah Area: Orr Springs Road, CR 223, MP 39.20 Closed – constructing single lane bridge
Lake Pillsbury: Eel River Road, CR 240B, MP 6.00+/- Opened - one lane only local traffic only
All through access to Lake Pillsbury from Potter Valley is Closed
RECEIVER SEES FUTURE USE, NOT DEMOLITION, FOR PALACE HOTEL IN UKIAH
by Justine Frederiksen
After finding a ceiling in danger of collapsing and possible asbestos still inside, the receiver for the Palace Hotel is requesting nearly $500,000 for immediate repairs on the long-neglected building at 272 N. State St.
“The ceiling joists in several areas of the property are in imminent danger of falling through and all construction professionals have recommended immediate shoring of the ceiling joists at least on the first floor,” Mark Adams wrote in the report submitted to Mendocino County Superior Court this week. “Many (joists) have rotted away and pose a serious danger of the ceiling collapsing.”
Adams notes that he expects to pay $11,000 to $15,000 for that work to GCCI of Santa Rosa, a general contracting firm originally hired by Eladia Laines, the building’s owner.
“I checked their references and they appear well-regarded by all relevant parties regarding the property,” said Adams, who explained shortly after being appointed receiver that he intended to meet with most of the people who worked on the property in the past as many likely had valuable contributions.
As for the “troubling matter” of asbestos, Adams said he was assured by Laines and her representatives that “the asbestos was fully abated, but for whatever reasons no comprehensive certification of that has been provided by the owner.”
Adams said “several construction professionals … believe there is asbestos in the rubble in the second and third floors,” and that he believes “no lender will lend against this property without such a comprehensive certification.”
Adams requests $12,000 for a new abatement study and, “of course, if there is abatement to be done, that could require hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional funding in the future.”
The most expensive item in his budget so far is the seismic retrofitting two of the three separate buildings will need. The concrete structure built in 1929 doesn’t need it, but those built in 1891 and 1921 need retrofitting to ensure the “second and third floors won’t ‘pancake’ onto the first floor during a significant (earthquake).
“Even with more limited retrofitting, the cost of the two structures could be around $2 million,” Adams writes, adding that he is also concerned about the building collapsing in the short-term.
“Accordingly, I ask for $150,000 to commence (but certainly not complete) the remediation as is required to preserve all buildings in the short term and to begin work on the long-term plan.”
As for the roof, Adams is requesting $100,000 for a “temporary roofing membrane,” which was recommended to the city in 2015.
“While I want to do some further due diligence on this analysis, including assessing the cost of a more permanent solution, I do want to factor that amount into this budget,” Adams writes. “Of course it would have been preferable to get the roof protected before the recent torrential rains, but that could not be accomplished.”
Adams also requests $25,000 for a fire alarm system and $15,000 to acquire property insurance, which he said he was surprised to learn the building did not have.
“I will not be able to arrange the larger financing until property insurance is in place,” he notes.
As for his long-term plan for the building, Adams writes, “Demolition does not seem to be a feasible option,” given that the cost to demolish the building ($400,000) exceeds the ‘dirt’ value of the property ($300,000).”
And beyond the financial reasons, Adams describes himself as being “opposed to demolition of any building except as a last resort.”
And while he does not believe making all 60,000 square feet of the building usable again is feasible, Adams said his plan is to revive about a third of it by “developing a hotel usage for the 1929 concrete structure and retail/restaurant and bar usage for the entire first floor of all three buildings,” which amounts to approximately 20,000 square feet.
Assuming that the building could net $250,000 annual income, Adams estimates that he could borrow $2 million, which he believes is enough to complete construction.
When his draft report was sent to Laines for review, she agreed with much of the amounts he requested for repairs, but said more asbestos testing was unnecessary as she already had it performed and believes all “asbestos has been abated from the building.”
Her representative, Julia Butler, also notes, “We offered to provide you with the relevant testing reports to satisfy your concerns, but you declined our offer.”
Adams responded with, “What I’ve gotten is one report that some pipes were remediated, and then a later report that the debris on the second floor has been abated. I will accept a blanket report of no asbestos anywhere on the site or I will continue with my recommendation that I contract for my own asbestos report.”
ITEM ON NEXT TUESDAY’S Board of Supervisors Agenda: Approval of Agreement with American Guard Services, Inc. in the Amount of $93,312.00 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-17 for Security Guard Services at Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA); Authorize HHSA Director to Sign Any Renewals During FY 2017-18 and 2018-19 or Amendments that do not Affect the Annual Maximum Amount
Approve Agreement with American Guard Services, Inc. in the Amount of $93,312.00 for Fiscal Year 2016-17 for Security Guard Services at Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency; authorize HHSA Director to sign any renewals during FY 2017-18 and 2018-19 or amendments that do not affect the annual maximum amount; and authorize Chair to sign same.
Summary of Request:
American Guard Services will provide four (4) uniformed and supervised guards for forty (40) hours weekly at Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency Ukiah Social Services Campus (747 S. State Street), Fort Bragg Site (764 S. Franklin), Willits Integrated Services Center (472 E. Valley Street) and Ukiah Public Health Building (1120 S. Dora Street).
The County conducted a competitive bidding process (SS-16-003-RFP) for “Security Guard Service” that closed on June 1, 2016. The contract was initially awarded to New Era Security. The contract with New Era Security will terminate March 2017. American Guard Services, Inc. was the next highest scoring bidder and selected to provide security guard services for the remainder of the contract term.
SIZEMORE FOUND GUILTY
UKIAH, Friday, March 3. -- A Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations late this morning with guilty verdicts against Amanda Marie Sizemore, age 36, of Willits and Redwood Valley.
The defendant was found guilty of the following crimes: Count 1: aiding and abetting the manufacture of controlled substances, namely, butane honey oil, also known as concentrated cannabis, a felony; Count 2: possession of marijuana for sale, previously a felony but now a Prop 64 misdemeanor; Count 3: child endangerment, a misdemeanor; Count 4: possession of marijuana for sale, previously a felony but now a Prop 64 misdemeanor; Count 5: transportation of marijuana for sale, previously a felony but now a Prop 64 misdemeanor; Count 6: possession of methadone, previously a felony but now a Prop 47 misdemeanor; and Count 7, possession of methamphetamine, previously a wobbler but now a Prop 47 misdemeanor.
After the jury was thanked and excused, the prosecution's motion that the defendant be remanded into custody was granted. The case was referred to the Mendocino County Adult Probation department for a written background study and sentencing recommendations. The matter will be back before the court on March 30, 2017 at 9 o'clock in the morning in Department H of the Ukiah courthouse. Anybody interested in this matter is welcome to attend that sentencing hearing.
The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence and argued the case to the jury was Assistant District Attorney Richard T. Welsh. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, the California Highway Patrol, the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, and the California Department of Justice crime lab in Eureka. The Hon. John Behnke, presiding judge of the Mendocino County Superior Court, presided over the five day trial.
(District Attorney’s Press Release)
FORT BRAGG'S UNENFORCED LAWS
THE FOLLOWING PRESS RELEASE & BOOKING PHOTO Was Issued By The Humboldt County Sheriff Department:
"On Tuesday, February 28th, at approximately 12:16 pm, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) responded to Nob Hill Court, Shelter Cove in regards to information of possible theft of utility services. While deputies were conducting an investigation fugitive Aaron Ashley Arlotta, age 27, was contacted. Arlotta fled on foot from deputies. After a short foot pursuit, Arlotta was taken into custody without further incident.
"Arlotta was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility (HCCF) on three warrants that were issued out of the Humboldt County Superior Court. Arlotta was booked on fresh charges for resisting arrest and theft of utility services. Arlotta’s bail was set at $100,000."
BACK IN THE DAY, right here in the Anderson Valley, people regularly tapped the power lines for free juice. Anymore, at least according to a pal who used to do it, it can be done but PG&E, with all its fancy computerized tracking gear, quickly figure out that someone is freeloading, and just as quickly see whose property the power is being diverted to.
A READER WRITES:
My last dream this morning, after waking at 5 a.m. and thinking, hmmm, gotta read about the on-line ava, then grabbing my Little Dog and shoving him under the covers for heat and falling back to sleep, was about a wolf-like dog that flew out of a window in a large building and landed unscathed, a few yards away from me. I approached the dog, who had blue, blue eyes and who, a moment later, began a dog fight between 20-30 other dogs, mine included.
Your day by the bay sounds lovely. Ugh. Numero uno: people who have their dogs off leash should have total and perfect control over them (which would mean no dogs were ever off leash.) How many times have I heard, 'Doggie, come, come come COME! COME HERE! Oh please come here, come come!" as a dog approaches me and my dog-unfriendly dog who is on a leash and under my control. And then, "Don't worry, he's friendly." Yeah, well MY dog is NOT. At age 50 i realized that my days with multiple dobermans was over, at 55 that dobermans were not the breed for a little old lady. And now, I look to the little dogs, the under 20 pounders. The hubby is thinking more like 10 pounds. Why don't people have even a smidge of sense and humility? If they did, animal shelters might not be a necessity, and the human population would be a bit under control.
And then--when i was young and stupid (early twenties) and living in Berkeley, I found myself, on a lovely and warm New Year's Day, at a woodsy enclave somewhere in the Bay Area, with two friends. The day was warm and sunny, we were a bit hung over from New Year's eve reveries, and we decided to disrobe and allow the sun to dapple over our flesh. We thought we were alone. As Louise was hanging from a branch of a tree, naked but for her Earth Shoes (!) and Michael was lying about, we saw a cop approaching. Seems we were actually on public land, and had been spotted by the aghast parents of a family of young 'uns.
What were we thinking? Nothing, actually; the world began and ended with us. I see now, in MY dotage, how differently I understand what I see in my little world, and specifically, my place in it. I can recall back to my sense of bravado and my all-knowing attitude. It's embarrassing, but there it is.
Though your beach encounter sounds way creepy and sinister, I understand how horrified those parents were upon stumbling across three naked idiots.
As for creepy guys… let me tell you that growing up in nyc and having to take the elevated train line to high school and college, from the Bronx into Manhattan, I had plenty of depressing images of naked guys standing in all their glory before their unadorned windows; apartment buildings so very close to the tracks. And so early in the morning! Gack.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “This is a nice night to hit the library. Yup, we got a nice one right here at our place. My family goes way back in the county.”
THE NORTHCOAST'S MOST ANNOYING COLUMNIST?
I'D SAY a guy called Matthew Owen who writes an insufferably smug col for the Lost Coast Outpost, the smugness implicit in his title, Matthew in the Middle. Here he is this week about half way down through his usual recitation of received wisdom, Democratic Party division:
"How do you define progressive: social reform - political change? Is it someone who works hard, pays income taxes, gives generously of their time, labor and money to charities and volunteers to make our local community and country a better place for all? Then I’m definitely progressive. If you just want shit for free and don’t have a clue how to pay for it, then you’re not progressive, but a socialist. Margaret Thatcher once said, “Socialist governments do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money to spend.”
JEEZUS! Middle-of-the-road extremism is hardly rare on the Northcoast but this passage is a wowzer even for this guy. I love the way he defines "progressive" as himself, then cites, of all people, Margaret Thatcher on socialism, about which Matt in the Middle knows nothing, although he modestly tips us off earlier that he's a "history buff."
(Get back! We've got a history buff here!)
MATT IN THE MIDDLE took his history buffery to google a misplaced reference to Bernie supporters in a totally misunderstood reference to Hitler. I'm sure to the sage of Eureka any political figure to the left of Obama is a "socialist," of which there were once many in Eureka, several of them elected to office. These socialists were millworkers, loggers, longshoremen, working people generally, and not people who wanted freebies.
NOT THAT people like Matthew in the Middle are taking in any new information, but the mild socialism represented by Bernie, for famous example, is wed to democratic principles such as free speech and elections, believing that taxes from all people, especially the wealthy, should be used to make lives a little easier for everyone via housing, education, health care, public transportation and so on. Communists, of whom there are statistically none anymore, believed that all private property should be held in common.
PRETTY MUCH everyone in America, including the more intelligent rich people, once believed in high taxes on the super-fortunate; they included FDR on through Eisenhower, neither of whom were socialists. The rich then paid an average of 90% in taxes over, as I recall, about a hundred thousand in income. (Very few people made a hundred thou then.) Hillary herself called for an income tax a little over 30% on annual incomes over $300,000.
REACTIONARIES like Matt in the Muddle, and the ruling circle of today's Democratic Party, most of them multi-millionaires, in fact have more in common with people like Thatcher whom, apparently, Muddled Matthew, admires. As a Democrat of the type who thought Obama and Hillary were worth continuing in office, MM is apparently unaware that the just concluded fight for dominance in the party between Bernie Democrats and Thatcher-Hillary Dems was won by the Thatcher-Hillarys.
HERE ON THE NORTHCOAST, the Hillary Democrats are dominant. They not only occupy the elected federal and state offices, a handful of them decide who will occupy those seats. You don't have to be a socialist to oppose this rancid state of affairs.
NATIONALLY SYNDICATED COLUMNISTS deliberately conflate socialists and communists, and others throw in anarchists, all the terms being pejoratives. Locally, the boobery, people like Matt Muddlehead, don't know the diff.
NOT FAIR to get on the guy for his appearance, but Matt, with his '75 disco perm, looks like the really, really boring guy lying in wait at the end of the bar.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 4, 2017
CORREY ALCANTRA, Santa Rosa/Redwood Valley. Trespassing disturbing another by loud and unreasonable noise.
BRANDAN BRITTON, Willits. Attempted murder, arson, recklessly causing a fire of an inhabited structure, vandalism, probation revocation.
DUSTIN BRUCE, Willits. Suspended license, evasion, offenses while on bail.
CONLEY BUTLER, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
WAYNE GARLAND, Willits. Under influence.
JARED HODGE, Manteca/Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.
DOMIANO MASSAU, Coalinga/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MICHAEL NORTH, Lucerne/Ukiah. Parole violation.
NATHANIEL SIMERSON, Willits. Probation revocation.
THE BAFFLING STATISTICS SURROUNDING THE NON-WORKING POPULATION OF THE U.S. — An Important Explanation:
HUMAN POCKET SQUARES SQUARE OFF FOR CASH, PRIZES, POWER AND DAMES.
The recording of last night's (2017-03-03) slightly longer and maybe even a little bit better than usual KNYO (and, three hours in, also KMEC) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download for free and enjoy, via http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
Juanita had one of her projects lined up for early this morning so she had to be asleep by the time I started the show, so you hear me talking very quietly throughout with the mic gain turned up quite a bit. You hear in the background: the refrigerator clicking on and off, sirens pulling people over down on the street, toilets flushing elsewhere in the apartment block, the pet bird startling at a shadow on the blinds, Juanita softly snoring and every once in awhile waking up cold and using the hot air blower hose under the blankets (my portable radio studio is on a typing table next to the bed). Also, when I do the show from Juanita's house I'm in my socks, pajamas, t-shirt, knitted hat and dollar-store glasses, reading a stack of paper propped on a little wire easel under a swing-arm light. That's radio.
You can do that too, you know, or something entirely different. There's airtime available for you on KNYO. Contact Bob Young firstname.lastname@example.org and say you want to do radio, and that's really all it takes, because this is still America. There's even a performance space at the station if you want to do a live radio show of your weekly band practice or poetry reading or public meeting or candle-lit cult ritual (always be careful of fire); 1. think how cool it would be, 2. fondle the idea with the fingers of your imagination, and 3. contact Bob. Why wait?
Anyway, besides all that, at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find thousands of links to not necessarily radio-useful but certainly worthwhile items of kit to enrich your internal wunderkammer, such as:
Good habits and color-saturated body parts. http://boingboing.net/2017/03/03/ideal-boy-an-charts-from-ind.html
And this one-man band playing Black Dog with moxie and panache (fine names for a black cockadoodle and a feathery soft golden-brown long-haired mop dachshund with one gray ear). http://tinyurl.com/OneManBlackDog
Oh, not about KNYO or KMEC: there's a board meeting of MCPB (KZYX) at the Fort Bragg Senior Center, 490 N. Harold St, this coming Monday night at 6pm. I'm just so pissed off in specific at how they've treated me and my ilk down through the years, and in general at how they have lied and lied and lied some more and they just keep fricking getting away with it, but I'm going for the physical exercise of trying to contain myself, and for the free pimientos wrapped in prosciutto with a toothpick through them. I understand relentless-gadfly-to-crooked-nonprofits Scott Peterson will attend to give the trustees a flip-chart presentation deconstructing their most recent sloppy-on-purpose bookkeeping chicanery; something to do with the, ahem, misplacing of a CPB-grant-threatening sum of moolah. It's not poignant superheroes and alien helicopter chases but it should be entertaining, and it's at least pretend democracy. See y'all there.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
We needed new appliances for the house so I bought fridge, washing machine, dryer and dishwasher. What to do with the old stuff? round here you can’t just throw it on your front yard like they do in Maine. So I called a guy I met from when I was doing a lot of scrapping, this young guy who I’d see with his little boy. Sure, he’d be glad to come over. So he shows up in a battered ’94 Mazda truck that looked a lot like my old Ford Ranger. I notice a Trump sticker on the truck.
Yeah, he loved Trump. Why? Couldn’t really put his finger on it. He told me he was working 55 hours a week in a plant that homogenizes milk, deliveries Chinese food 3 nights week, and scraps about a single load per week. Life evidently is good. This guy was happy as a pig in shit. And it was uplifting seeing his little son try to emulate everything his dad did. We loaded all those appliances in the bay of that beat up old truck, and when he drove away I could see the Trump sticker on the stove in tail gate, receding in the distance.
These are Trump's people, busy working for a living supporting their families. There’s no time to be raising hell out in the streets. It looks like the real proletariet backs Trump. The intellectual elite, tenured Marxist bullshitters, campus snowflakes, parasites of all stripes, unfulfilled middle aged women on facebook and other useless eaters and wasters of good American oxygen support something else.
LOW NUMBERS OF SACRAMENTO AND KLAMATH SALMON POINT TO POOR FISHING SEASON
by Dan Bacher
Recreational and commercial fishermen attending the annual salmon fishery information meeting in Santa Rosa on March 1 received grim news from state and federal biologists – they will see reduced salmon fishing opportunities in both the ocean and the Sacramento and Klamath River systems, due to low returns of spawning fish to the rivers last fall.
The pre-season numbers unveiled by Dr. Michael O’Farrell of the National Marine Fisheries Service estimate only 230,700 Sacramento River fall run Chinook adults and 54,200 Klamath River fall run adults will be in the ocean this year.
Biologists noted that both forecasts are lower than those of recent years, with the forecast for Klamath fall run being among the lowest on record. Salmon originating from these river systems typically comprise the majority of salmon caught in the state’s ocean and inland fisheries. Ocean regulatory management for salmon fisheries on the ocean from Cape Falcon in Oregon to the Mexico-US Border is heavily based on these runs.
O’Farrell said the Sacramento Index (SI), 230,700 salmon is based on a 2016 jack (two-year-old) escapement of 15,056 fish.
This abundance forecast is reduced from 2016. It is based on targeting an escapement of at least 122,000 fish, a 47 percent escapement rate, he disclosed.
“If the 2016 regulations were in place, there would be a preliminary escapement prediction of 116,400 in 2017,” he said. “This is unlikely to constrain 2017 fisheries, even though it’s below the escapement of at least 122,000.”
Management for the winter-run Chinook salmon, an endangered species, will impact the Sacramento River ocean salmon fishery. Remember that this fish was once extremely abundant, with a run of 117,000 fish estimated in 1969.
By 1992, the run had declined to less than 200 fish due to water exports to corporate agribusiness and southern California water agencies and poor management by the state and federal water and fishery agencies.
“The maximum allowable age 3 impact rate is 15.8 percent,” he said. “With the 2016 regulations in place, there is a preliminary prediction of 11.6 percent.”
“The Council took the precautionary approach in 2016,” O’Farrell said. “The winter run is likely to constrain 2017 fisheries south of Point Arena to some degrees, as it did last year.”
In 2016, a total of 104,229 combined hatchery and natural fall Chinook salmon returned to the Sacramento River to spawn. This number includes 18,685 (18%) from the Upper Sacramento River, 61,671 (59%) from the Feather River and 23,873 (29%) from the American River, according to Venessa Gusman, CDFW environmental scientist.
The spawning escapement numbers of other Sacramento Chinook stocks were down also. A total of 4,637 late fall adults and 973 jacks, 924 winter adults and 622 jacks, and 7,689 spring adults and 54 jacks returned to the system in 2016.
Klamath fall Chinook return the lowest on record
The Klamath River abundance estimates are even bleaker. The return of only 8,615 three-year-old fall-run Chinook salmon between the Klamath and its largest tributary, the Trinity, was the lowest in 38 years, resulting in drastic cuts in the recreational river fishery and Tribal fishery last year.
The Yurok Tribe last year opted to cancel the commercial fishing season that many Tribal members depend on for income, due to the low numbers of fish. The outlook for this season’s river fisheries is even worse.
Based on age two returns of 2,786 fish, the estimated age-three forecast is only 42,026 salmon. The forecast for age-four is 1,558 and age-five is 1,662.
In 2017, the potential spawner abundance forecast is 12,383. The management must target an escapement of at least 11,379 (8.1 percent exploitation rate).
This means that regardless if there no fishing at all on the Klamath this season, the run wouldn’t meet the adult fall Chinook natural conservation threshold of 30,909 fish nor the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) of 40,700 spawners.
With the 2016 regulations, the Tribal harvest would be 50 percent of the total harvest, as it has been for decades, and river recreational allocation would be 15 percent of the non-tribal harvest. The natural area adult spawners prediction would be only 9,397 fish with an exploitation rate of 24.1 percent.
“The Klamath fall run will heavily constrain 2017 fisheries south of Cape Falcon, Oregon,” summed up O’Farrell. He noted that the Klamath would restrain the fishery progressively less and less as you work your way up and down the coast from the Klamath Management Zone, the area on the ocean centered around the mouth of the Klamath River on the Yurok Reservation.
Fishermen say poor runs are a result of poor management by state and federal agencies
“With a poor forecast for Klamath fall run and continued concerns over the winter run, California anglers will see reduced Chinook fishing opportunity as compared to last year,” summed up Brett Kormos, a senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), who moderated the meeting.
A news release from the CDFW noted that Chinook that will be harvested in ocean fisheries in 2017 hatched two to four years ago, and “were deeply affected by poor river conditions driven by California’s recent drought.”
“CDFW and federal fish agency partners have expended millions of dollars on measures to minimize the impacts of the drought. These efforts have included trucking the majority of hatchery salmon smolts to acclimation pens in the lower Delta, improving hatchery infrastructure to keep juvenile fish alive under poor water quality conditions and partnering with sport and commercial fishermen to increase smolt survival. Though all of these efforts helped, other environmental factors – such as unusually warm water conditions in the ocean – were beyond human control,” according to the agency.
Some fishery group representatives disagreed, pointing out the failure of management by the state and federal agencies.
“The fishery is in a desperate place and should be treated as such,” said Noah Oppenheim, the Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA), who attended the meeting with over a hundred other fishermen and agency staff. “The situation is clearly the result of poor water management inland by the people in the room representing the state and federal agencies.”
“There are plenty of hard working fishermen and women who are going to see yet another disastrous season. Fishermen can only take so much before we have to demand real change and not just platitudes from the water users. Salmon are the original water users and it’s high time that West Coast water policy takes them into account,” he emphasized.
Commercial and recreational fishermen made recommendations on the seasons, as they normally do at the meeting every year.
“We need to keep the minimum length at 24 inches – one of the drawbacks to going up to 26 inches is that you see increased fish mortality,” said Roger Thomas, skipper of the Salty Lady sportfishing boat, and Board Chairman of the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA).
After the meeting, Rick Powers, owner of the Bodega Bay Sportfishing Center, said, “There are definitely some serious problems with the fishery. I’m hoping that feds will craft a season that will give everybody an opportunity.”
Dick Pool, Administrator of water4fish.org, emphasized, "2016 was a record low year for many salmon runs and fish harvest. It is urgent that the fish and water agencies accelerate the activity dealing with water flow, habitat and predation in order to begin to turn the situation around."
The 2017 forecasts, in addition to information on endangered Sacramento River winter Chinook, will be used over the next two months by state and fishery managers to set recreational and commercial fishing season dates, commercial quotas, and size and bag limits
The Pacific Fishery Management Council and California Fish and Game Commission Season dates and other regulations will be developed over the next two months. For more information on the salmon season setting process or general ocean salmon fishing information, please visit the Ocean Salmon Project website at: http://www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/%20regulations/salmon or call the salmon fishing hotline at (707) 576-3429.
Some good news — Tribes and fishermen win two lawsuits
In some good news for the future of the fishery amidst this year’s dismal salmon outlook, the Hoopa Valley Tribe, Yurok Tribe, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA), Institute for Fisheries Resources, and the Klamath Riverkeeper won two major lawsuits over the past month.
On February 8, a U.S. District Court judge ordered federal agencies to immediately take steps to protect juvenile coho salmon after several years of deadly disease outbreaks in the Klamath River. Klamath River coho salmon are listed as threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. Salmon are central to the cultural identity and survival of Tribes along the river. The Klamath is also California's second biggest salmon producer for the commercial and recreational fishing industries.
The Hoopa Valley Tribe, who initiated the lawsuit, welcomed the decision challenging the government’s inaction given two years of high disease rates and poor adult salmon returns. The Tribe’s reservation is located on the Trinity, the main tributary of the Klamath River.
“The Hoopa Valley Tribe depends on salmon for our livelihood and will not stand idle while our people’s culture is jeopardizes,” said Ryan Jackson, Chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe. “This decision is a win for the Tribe and all communities that depend on Klamath salmon.”
In his ruling, Judge Orrick directed the Bureau of Reclamation to implement flow measures that were developed by the Tribe and supported by the best available science, according to Jackson. These include having more frequent peak flows and higher spring flows that are the components of a more natural hydrology for the Klamath River.
“This ruling will give the Klamath salmon a fighting chance until we can get the lower four dams out,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr, Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “Untold numbers of juvenile salmon died from this disease in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and this judgment will help us to protect fish stocks from another serious outbreak. The Court recognized that scientifically supported decisions in favor of fish are not only legally required, but that the tribes should have a primary role in working with the government in reaching those decisions.”
Then on February 20, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit broadly upheld the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s ability to provide additional flow releases in California’s Trinity River to protect salmon. The agribusiness-dominated San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and Westlands Water District sued the Bureau, which controls water releases both from Trinity Reservoir to the Trinity River and to the Lower Klamath River in Oregon.
"Commercial fishermen, Tribes and communities rely on healthy rivers and healthy salmon populations,” said Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman, who represented the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “We welcome the court’s strong opinion upholding the Bureau’s ability to protect these resources and we hope this will put an end to Big Ag’s long-running and misguided water grab.”