Last year’s volunteers: back; Dan, Judie, Mike, Bob S, Nhan, Chuck, Hunter; front Bob M, Shiz
(not in photo: Larry Mehringer and Chris Jamison)
On this year’s National Coastal Clean-up Day the Flycasters Conservation Committee is organizing a clean-up of the clubs adopted section of Los Gatos Creek adjacent to the casting ponds between Lark Avenue and Camden Avenue. The clean-up will start at 9:00 AM on Saturday, September 15 and we will all gather back at the casting ponds at 12:00 noon. The sponsors, Santa Clara Valley Water District will provide the trash and recycle bags and well as gloves, if you need them. The Conservation Committee will provide some trash pick-up tools, “grabbers” and small rakes, for your use for ease of recovering trash. We are not allowed to get in the water. During our clean-up last year, we recovered an estimated 180 lbs of trash and recyclables. We will provide water, coffee and donuts to get you “kick” started for the morning clean-up.
Bring your fly rods and do some practice casting at the ponds after the clean-up. If you would like to help, contact any committee member or Chuck Hammerstad.
Last Updated (Friday, 27 July 2012 14:13)
by Dan Bacher
From IMC IndyMedia website
Over 300 people, including fishermen, environmentalists, family farmers, and a large contingent of members of the Winnemem Wintu, Pit River, Hoopa Valley and Miwok Tribes, protested Wednesday's announcement by Governor Jerry Brown and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to fast track the plan to build the peripheral tunnels around the California Delta.
During a press conference at the California Natural Resources Agency Building in Sacramento, Brown announced his plan for the construction of two peripheral tunnels with a capacity of 9,000 cfs that would take water from three intakes on the Sacramento River near Courtland and Hood to deliver water to corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and southern California water agencies.
The peripheral tunnels are the latest incarnation of the peripheral canal plan that was decisively defeated by California voters in November 1982.
Brown shocked the Capitol press corp when he stated, "I want to get s--t done," in defensively responding to press questions. He indicated he would study reports including the groundbreaking economic cost-benefit analysis of the peripheral tunnels plan by Dr. Jeffrey Michaels of the University of the Pacific in Stockton that stated that the cost of the project would outweigh the benefits 2.5 times, but in the end, needed to take action.
"Analysis paralysis is not why I came back 30 years later to handle some of the same issues," Brown said. "At this stage, as I see many of my friends dying - I went to the funeral of my best friend a couple of weeks ago - I want to get s--t done."
Brown claimed the project would further both ecosystem restoration and water supply.
"A healthy ecosystem and reliable water supply are profoundly important to California's future," said Governor Brown. "This proposal balances the concerns of those who live and work in the Delta, those who rely on it for water and those who appreciate its beauty, fish, waterfowl and wildlife.”
Tunnel opponents strongly disagreed with Brown's contention that the project "balances the concerns" of ecosystem restoration and water supply, citing the “fatal flaws” of the twin tunnels they said would damage water, the environment, fish, and farming and impose billions of dollars of increases on water ratepayers.
Restore the Delta, local, state and federal elected officials, the Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, the Planning and Conservation League, the Environmental Water Caucus, Friends of the River, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, Golden Gate Salmon Association and other groups responded to the Governor's announcement by launching their campaign against the “peripheral tunnels” with a 12:30 p.m. rally at the State Capitol in Sacramento.
"Today’s announcement is a disappointment," said Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis). "For the past six years, the BDCP has stumbled badly – it is unaffordable, unworkable and scientifically unjustified. Today, instead of seizing the opportunity to recognize the flaws and set a new course, the Governor and the Interior Secretary have once again put plumbing before policy and asked us to trust them."
"This plan justifies tremendous risks to the people, economy, and ecosystem of this extraordinary estuary in order to appease the excessive demands of a select group of politically powerful water interests,” Wolk said. “It will also use billions in higher water rates and taxpayer borrowing to build the largest, most expensive state-sponsored water project in half a century, even before we know if it can be used. We are supposed to trust that a project with no legislative oversight, no public accountability and no budget control will be built without waste, tax increases, costly overruns and errors. California can’t afford that multi-billion dollar gamble.”
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, said, “We oppose the rush to build a project that would exterminate salmon runs, destroy sustainable family farms and saddle taxpayers with tens of billions in debt, mainly to benefit a small number of huge corporate agribusinesses on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. This proposal is fatally-flawed.”
Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, who wore her traditional white ceremonial dress and tribal regalia, noted that she and other tribal members went to hear Governor Brown and Secretary Ken Salazar speak about the proposal to ship the Delta waters south down the twin tunnels at the news conference, "but they said we had to be invited."
"I asked why I wasn't invited?" she stated. "After all we are a part of the Department of Interior."
Sisk emphasized that the Tribes are covered under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which declares that the indigenous people must give their "free, prior, and informed Consent" for the use of the waters downstream from their historic homelands.
“We have not given our "Free, Prior, and Informed Consent" for the California Governor to divert water destined to the estuary or US Government to build the Shasta Dam higher,” said Sisk. “These are 'rights protected' under the 'UN DRIP' that President Obama signed. I don't know a single tribe that has given their 'Free, Prior, and Informed Consent!' Stop the California Water plans to destroy all the salmon, fish, and ground water systems!"
"The common people will pay for the tunnels and a few people will make millions. It will turn a once pristine Delta waterway into a sewer pipe. It will be bad for the fish, the ocean and the people of California," said Sisk.
Tunnel opponents slammed the failure to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the proposal, emphasizing that the costs would fall on water ratepayers, particularly those in southern California.
Kristin Lynch, Pacific Region Director for Food & Water Watch, said, “This project would cost billions upon billions of dollars to give ever-increasing amounts of taxpayer and ratepayer subsidized water to corporate agriculture and real estate developers to make millions upon millions in profits. It is the ultimate fleecing of ratepayers and taxpayers."
She explained, "The special interests argue this is the only way to secure reliable water for southern California. This is false. California will not go dry without these tunnels. This is a fallacy that those moneyed special interests use to try and create an artificial rift between the north and south."
"There are no guarantees that southern California residents will receive more water. As an indication to the contrary- LA Dept. of Water and Power is already projecting increased rates for decreased water consumption. How much will rates need to increase if this project moves forward?" Lynch concluded.
Jim Metropulos, senior advocate for Sierra Club California, said the the public needs to know upfront what the impacts of the project are and how they are going to mitigate these impacts or to actually improve conditions for fish.
"The plan states that some species, like the winter Chinook salmon, would be harmed by the construction of the tunnels. Their own studies show there could be species decline and extinction, and the project could make things worse than not doing anything at all," Metropulos stated.
"But after they spend billions building new tunnels, the pressure would be overwhelming to maximize water exports no matter the consequences on the fish," he stated.
Zeke Grader, representing the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and the Golden Gate Salmon Association, emphasized the impact the canal would have on the recreational and commercial salmon fishing industries - and criticized Governor Brown for his "tunnel vision."
“History clearly shows those who covet salmon water in California will take as much of it as they can get away with. They’ve done it time and again. They’ve been reined in a bit since pumping restrictions designed to keep salmon and other fish from going extinct went into effect starting in late 2008."
"The agribusinesses have been in court ever since trying to get these pumping restrictions thrown out. Thankfully, no court has yet granted their wish but they clearly would crank the pumps as high as they’d go if allowed. This is what they did between the year 2000 and 2006 when they set all time high pumping records," Grader said.
Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and longtime Delta advocate, delivered one of the most fiery speeches at the rally.
“Fisheries that God created and nurtured over millennia are being destroyed by greed in mere decades," said Jennings. "The public trust is on the scaffold and water speculators have seized the throne. California is in a water crisis because the state has over promised, over-allocated, wasted and inequitably distributed scarce water resources. The Delta is in a biological meltdown because the estuary has been deprived of more than half of its historical flow; its hydrograph has been turned on its head and its waterways used as a sewers."
"But the architects of greed are insatiable: they want more. And so they proposed BDCP: a $50 billion scheme to divert the Sacramento River around the estuary to irrigate the parched impaired soils of the South Valley. The collective scientific community scathingly characterized their Effects Analysis as junk science; and said that it would hasten extinction rather than restoring species. You can’t restore an estuary hemorrhaging from pollution and lack of flow by stealing more fresh water from it. That’s a death sentence for the Delta," he continued.
"In desperation, the Governor and Secretary went down the rabbit hole and came forth with a Mad Hatter scheme of building it now and figuring out how to operate it later," Jennings quipped.
Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) criticized the Bay Delta Conservation Plan proposal for the damage it would cause to the Delta, jobs and water rights.
"Today I flew back to California to make it clear to state and federal lawmakers where I stand: the 9,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) conveyance facility being proposed could wreak havoc on the Delta and the jobs it sustains and put existing water rights in the Delta and Northern California at risk," said Garamendi. "It is possible for California to solve its water problems, but the Delta and Northern California counties must be at the table, and it will take a comprehensive, multifaceted approach, not just a piece of plumbing in the Delta."
"We must address the needs of all Californians by prioritizing storage, conservation, recycling, levee improvements, and habitat restoration. A BDCP without these elements is incomplete at best," he said.
In spite of a series of requests by Garamendi and other Northern California Representatives to delay the controversial tunnel plan, Governor Brown and Secretary Salazar announced Wednesday that "the parties" expect to issue a draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan and corresponding Environmental Impact Report//Environmental Impact Statement for public review "this fall."
Other speakers at Wednesday's rally include Assemblyman Bill Berryhill; Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston, Löben Sels, Chairman, Five Delta Counties Farm Bureau Caucus; Nick di Croce, Environmental Water Caucus; Bruce Reznik, Executive Director of the Planning and Conservation League; John Herrick, South Delta Water Agency; and Mark Wilson, Mark Wilson Vineyards.
For more information about Restore the Delta, go to: http://www.restorethedelta.org.
Last Updated (Monday, 07 January 2013 16:59)
Marty was born in New York, N.Y. and raised in Bayonne, NJ. He acquired his love of fishing as a child on his grandfather’s farm in the Catskills in upstate New York, where he learned to “tickle” trout at an early age, but did not get serious about angling until after he moved to California in 1955.
Marty joined the Army after high school and served from 1946 to 1948 in the U.S. Army Occupation in Germany just after WW II and then attended Columbia University, NY and graduated in Electrical Engineering. He became a computer engineer with IBM, Poughkeepsie, NY and he helped produce the first two modern production room-sized main-frame business machines. In 1955, he left IBM to take a position in a family-owned aerospace engineering company in Southern California. His wife, Rita, and daughter, Janet, left New York in their covered-wagon, a new Pontiac sedan, on their migration to California.
Marty started bait/spin fishing after he bought his first home in Grenada Hills, CA around 1957. On one of his first fishing trips, off Zuma Beach, he broke 6 inches off his rod tip and he was towed around in the rented skiff for almost a half hour against changing currents before he realized that he was snagged on the bottom and not into a 200 lb. sea bass. Other early trips took him out afternoons at 3:00 PM with light spinning gear around the bait barges off the Santa Monica pier to catch small sand sharks.
In 1960, Marty was transferred to Sunnyvale by his then employer Link Aviation of Binghamton, NY and in 1963 he joined Varian Associates which later became CPI. After a long career in a broad range of microwave electron device engineering, management, marketing and program management positions, Marty retired from Varian in April, 1992, with over 29 years of service. He continued to have an office and work as a consultant for another 12 years.
He fished extensively in Northern and Central California waters as a spin fisherman and started writing newspaper columns for Pacific Out of Doors and the Valley Fisherman in the late 1960’s. In 1970, Marty became President of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited and was a founding Director of California Trout. From 1970 to 1972, he was on the task force to establish the South San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. He started fly fishing and joined Flycasters, Inc. of San Jose in 1971 and quickly became involved with conservation activities of the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) in 1972. He held the positions of VP of Conservation with the Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers (NCCFFF) from 1973 to 1976; an executive for the International FFF and from 1976 to 1986, as Executive VP for Resource Development. From 1972 until his passing he was on the Flycasters Conservation Committee and served as Co-chairman in 1992. During the 1970’s and on, he was on the California Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead; Chairman of Save our Peninsula Creeks Committee; member of the Sierra Club Task Force on Pyramid Lake, Nevada; Secretary and then President of California Fisheries Restoration Foundation; Vice President of Klamath/Trinity River Coalition and co-founder and first treasurer of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), as well as several other organizations. Marty was the FFF representative to the International Wild Trout Symposiums and has been on the organizing committee for every symposium from the first symposium in 1981 until the latest symposium in 2010. He has a Wild Trout Symposium scholarship award in his name; the Marty Seldon Scholarship Award to a student in Fisheries Biology.
During his many years of service, he has received numerous awards which include the NCCFFF Award of Excellence, Field and Stream Environmental Award, recipient of the first Wild Trout Symposium, A. Starker Leopold Award for Long Term Service to the Cold Water Fishery Resource, FFF Man of the Year in 1981, the highest FFF award, the Lapis Lazuli Award in 1992 and in 2006, Marty was inducted into the NCCFFF Hall of Fame. Marty held an FFF Life Membership and a Flycasters Life Membership.
From 1900 to 1992, he was on the Financial Development Committee and Grant Writer for the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project. From the 1990’s until his passing, Marty continued as Senior Advisor to the FFF, on the NCCFFF Board of Directors, and a very active member of the Flycasters Conservation Committee.
Although Marty bought his first fly rod, a yellow Grizzly FF-79 Fenwick rod, soon after he moved to the Bay area, he did “spring-worming” for small native trout (and rattlesnake avoiding) in the steep canyons of Mt. Hamilton’s Smith and Isabel Creeks above San Jose. It wasn’t until about 1970 that he took fly casting and tying lessons with co-worker Jake Takata, through Santa Clara Parks and Recreation. He soon was enjoying fishing in California’s spring fed Fall River, the upper and lower Sacramento River, winter and spring fishing in Pyramid Lake for giant Lahanton cutthroat trout and Montana’s Missouri River. He enjoyed fishing for Striper bass in the S.F. Bay Delta and the spring run of American Shad in the Sacramento River system.
Marty’s long involvement with the Federation of Fly Fishers has taken him fishing from Canada to Alaska, to England’s Test and Itchen, to Iceland’s Laxa-i-Adaidal, France’s Charentonne River, the Austrian Gmundener Traun , Costa Rica’s Rio Colorado River, and from the holy waters of the AuSable River in Michigan to the location of the origins of USA fly fishing in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Marty was far from a professional level fly fisher but he enjoyed every angling experience. Marty’s 40 year connection with the FFF and fly fishing provided him the opportunity to meet and make many hundreds of friends and many outstanding anglers throughout the world. He believed that fly fishing is the glue that binds us together into an international family.
Marty passed away on December 28, 2011. He is survived by his wife Rita, a son Jeff, living in Eugene, OR, a daughter Janet, living in San Francisco, CA and three grandchildren, Tevah, Jamil and Jordon. Marty was fishing and actively involved with the Flycasters conservation fundraiser until shortly before his passing. We have lost an avid conservationist and ambassador of fly fishing. He will be sorely missed by his family and the fly fishing community around the world.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 04 January 2012 13:12)
Argument for no felt soled wading boots
By Chuck Hammerstad
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) have been invading our waters throughout the world at an alarmingly rapid rate. There is major concern regarding the spread of AIS as States have begun to ban the use of felt soles on wading boots. Felt soles, which have long been hailed for their anti-slipping, sure-footed properties, have been found to offer a mode of transport for aquatic invasive species like Didymo (rock snot or slime), New Zealand mud snails, whirling disease and zebra and quagga mussels from one body of water to another. There are other ways of transport of AIS from one body of water to another, though there is sound scientific evidence which demonstrates that felt soled waders provide the means of transport by imbedding themselves in the felt bottoms. It has been proven that felt is the biggest culprit as shown in the following reference: http://www.stopans.org/Science_of_felt.php. Research has shown “that felt trapped 100% of the whirling disease spores that it was exposed to while rubber trapped none. This is dramatic evidence that felt soles present a much greater risk of transport than rubber soles.”
Although felt soles are known to be a major culprit, it is important that anglers clean their wading gear after spending a day in the water. Scientific evidence has demonstrated that anglers move large amounts of sediment between waters every year. A study by Kiza Gates at Montana State University in 2007, “revealed that anglers’ boots were responsible for moving over 6000 pounds of sediment between access sites in SW Montana alone and that non-resident fisherman carried more than 1600 pounds of sediment out of Montana.” As a result of these studies, there became a focus on cleaning fishing equipment after use to avoid the spread of aquatic invasive species. Felt is much harder to clean than rubber materials and even after disinfecting felt, which is difficult to do, felt still spreads aquatic invasive species.
Tips for Careful Cleaning
Many fishermen understand how important cleaning is and are taking these three simple steps: Inspect, Clean and Dry.
Inspect waders, boots and other equipment. Separate all individual components such as insoles, sock, booties, gravel guards, and laces. Look for plants and other visible substances.
Clean. Wash all components inside and out with water. Make sure you remove all dirt, plants and other visible substances and be sure the boot treads, seams, and any creases or crevasses are completely clean. Use a small brush.
Dry. If possible, thoroughly dry everything before you reassemble the components.
Other equipment such as reels, landing nets, lines, gear bags, etc. need to be thoroughly washed to remove dirt, plants and other visible substances. Ideally, completely dry them in the sun on a hot day.
Heat and cold can kill many invasives and can be used to supplement careful inspection and cleaning. Drying kills most invasives. High temperatures and low humidity are deadly to most AIS. Do everything possible to expose your equipment to hot and dry conditions for as long as possible.
Where to Clean is just as important as how to clean. If possible, clean your gear on-site at the end of your trip. If you wash off any invasives at the water you have been fishing, you will just be leaving them where you got them. Don’t’ let them hitchhike away from the site. Never clean at the launch point for a new trip. Chemicals are not recommended.
For more detailed information and information on cleaning pets, boats and trailers go to: http://www.stopans.org/Presentations/Tips_Careful_Cleaning.pdf.
In 2008, Trout Unlimited requested the elimination of felt by 2011. The response to this requested was varied. Many companies such as Simms Fishing Products came out with new non-felt rubber soled wading boots. In New Zealand, Didymo was discovered where it had never been found before and it was determined that it had been spread by felt soled waders. Since 2008, New Zealand has banned felt on waders. Thus far, Maryland and Vermont have banned felt soled waders and Alaska is soon to follow. Montana will inevitably be joining other states in outlawing felt.
Although boot manufacturers are still making felt soled boots, most have curtailed the manufacturing of felt soled waders. Some fly fishing shops have stopped selling felt soled waders. “Many anglers are embracing the new rubber soled boots and believe if protection of our waters means giving up felt, they are fine with the trade. Others are not so accepting, citing cost and the belief that the new wadeing boots don’t work as well in certain water types as reason they oppose the switch.” Companies have recently offered new materials and sole designs, such as adding studs, to increase the efficacy of non-felt soles so that there are more options out there.
For more information on felt-soled waders, the debate and their ramifications, visit: www.stopans.org and www.tu.org.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 12 October 2011 21:58)