VALLEJO, Calif., — August 30, 2021. To better provide public and firefighter safety due to the ongoing California wildfire crisis, USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing a temporary closure of all National Forests in California. This closure will be in effect from Aug. 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. through September 17, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. This order does not affect the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, which is not in the Pacific Southwest Region.
“We do not take this decision lightly but this is the best choice for public safety,” said Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien. “It is especially hard with the approaching Labor Day weekend, when so many people enjoy our national forests.”
Factors that led to this decision include:
1. By temporarily reducing the numbers of people on national forests, we hope to minimize the likelihood that visitors could become entrapped on National Forest System lands during emergency circumstances.
2. The closure order will also decrease the potential for new fire starts at a time of extremely limited firefighting resources, and enhance firefighter and community safety by limiting exposure that occurs in public evacuation situations, especially as COVID-19 continues to impact human health and strain hospital resources.
3. Due to state-wide conditions, any new fire starts have the potential for large and rapid fire growth with a high risk to life and property. The Forest Service and our partners are absolutely doing all we can to fight these fires and will continue to do so, but the conditions dictate the need for this region-wide closure order.
4. Forecasts show that conditions this season are trending the same or worse as we move into late summer and fall.
5. Although the potential for large fires and risk to life and property is not new, what is different is that we are facing: (a) record level fuel and fire conditions; (b) fire behavior that is beyond the norm of our experience and models such as large, quick runs in the night; (c) significantly limited initial attack resources, suppression resources, and Incident Command Teams to combat new fire starts and new large fires; and (d) no predicted weather relief for an extended period of time into the late fall.
When I first started this project, I made a decision to self-publish. This book means a lot to me having spent over twelve years documenting the river. By self-publishing, I felt I could maintain the creative control necessary to tell the story of the river in a way I thought it deserved.
But in order to afford the printing costs, I need to sell as many copies as I can ahead of time. I have tried to keep the prices as low as possible and still cover my costs.
I will be sending to the printer in September and should have copies to deliver by the middle of November, just in time for the holidays (should make a great gift).
The book looks beautiful, I think everyone will really like it. Thank you so much for the support.
PRESS RELEASE: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is asking recreational anglers to voluntarily change how, when and where they fish to minimize stress and mortality among fish populations suffering from drought conditions.
CDFW is advising anglers not to fish past noon on certain inland waters as even catch-and-release angling during the hottest parts of the day can greatly increase fish stress and mortality.
“Many of our inland fisheries that rely on cold water habitat will likely be significantly impacted in the short and long term,” said CDFW Inland Fisheries Manager Roger Bloom. “California’s drought cycles have required us to learn to manage fisheries with extreme variations in water flows. The last drought resulted in significant effects to fisheries that took years to recover from. We hope the self-imposed Hoot Owl restrictions by anglers will help mitigate those effects.”
Coldwater species such as trout, salmon and steelhead have the greatest likelihood of being affected by the drought this year but low water levels and high-water temperatures can potentially affect all inland aquatic species.
CDFW has introduced a series of voluntary angling recommendations – so-called “Hoot Owl” Restrictions – that directs anglers to focus their fishing during the cooler “hoot owl” periods of the day when water temperatures are lowest. A watchlist of specific waters anglers should avoid fishing past noon is included and will be updated as conditions change. Sustained afternoon water temperatures exceeding 67 degrees Fahrenheit for trout fisheries could trigger addition to the list.
Currently, the list of waters include:
Lower Owens River (Pleasant Valley Dam downstream to Five Bridges) in Mono County
Hot Creek in Mono County
Mill Creek (Walker Basin) in Mono County
Lower Rush Creek (Grant Lake to Mono Lake) in Mono County
Bridgeport Reservoir in Mono County
Deep Creek (San Bernardino County)
Crowley Lake (Mono County)
Truckee River (Lake Tahoe to the Nevada state line) in Nevada, Placer and Sierra counties
Elevated water temperatures, lower oxygen levels, disease, low flows and low water levels are among the drought-related effects impacting many of California’s coastal waters and inland fisheries.
CDFW offers a number of other angling tips to reduce fish stress during the drought:
Minimize the time you spend “fighting” the fish and any hands-on handling.
Use rubber or coated nylon nets to protect a fish’s slime layer and fins.
Quickly remove the hook with forceps or needle-nosed pliers.
Minimize the amount of time the fish is exposed to air, especially when the weather is warm.
Keep your hands wet when handling the fish.
If the fish is deeply hooked, do not pull on the line. Instead, cut the line as close as possible to where it is hooked and leave the hook so it can dissolve.
Allow the fish to recover in the net before you release it.
If the fish does not stay upright when you release it, gently move it back and forth.
Avoid fighting fish from deeper, cooler waters and bringing them into warmer waters at the surface if your intention is to release them.
Target fisheries that have stable water levels and species that are more resilient to elevated temperatures.
While theses best practices may not all apply to anglers interested in harvesting their fish to eat, mortality may result from non-targeted species caught and released or fish outside of legal size limits that must be returned to the water.