July 8, 2008

DFG Says Applications for Big-Game Tags on Rise

By Peter Ottesen, The Record, Stockton, Calif.

Jul. 8--Applications for big-game hunting tags in California increased dramatically during the past decade, according to the Department of Fish and Game's License and Revenue Branch.

Deer tag applications jumped from 38,533 in 1997 to 53,826 in 2007. At the same time, elk tag applications increased from 12,531 to 26,585, and the demand for 20 bighorn sheep applications rose from 4,493 to 10,234.

More than 110,000 hunters applied for 2008 big-game hunting tags. Successful applicants, selected through random drawing, are listed on the DFG Web site (dfg.ca.gov) and following links to the hunting page. Some tags have been received by successful applicants. Information: (916) 928-5805.

Record brown trout

A 15-pound, 3-ounce brown trout has been pulled from Lake Tahoe, setting record for the lake. The monster trout hit a gold/black F40 Rebel Minnow doused with Pautzke's Liquid Krill fish scent.

The previous brown trout record was 14-3, set in 2006. Spring and early summer have been a productive time for large browns that typically weigh 4 to 8 pounds. Information: (530) 541-5448.

Longfin smelt listing

California Fish and Game Commission is considering a petition filed by the Bay Institute, Center for Biological Diversity and Natural Resources Defense Council to list longfin smelt under the state's Endangered Species Act.

The longfin smelt is a small native fish that migrates from salty water to spawn in fresh water and is found mostly in the Bay-Delta system. The smelt's abundance has declined since monitoring began in 1959 and has been at record-low numbers since 2000.

Public comments about the petition and the status of the longfin smelt must be submitted by Aug. 1 to: Marty Gingras, DFG, 4001 N. Wilson Way, Stockton, CA 95205.

Boat access improves

The water level has risen at Spicer Reservoir, east of Arnold, covering the public boat launching ramp and allowing the dock to float. There are no entry or boat launching fees at the popular reservoir, which is known for excellent trout fishing.

Spicer is reachable off Highway 4 via Forest Service Road 701N. Information: (209) 795-1686.

Giant kokanee

New Melones Lake boasts some of the largest kokanee salmon (landlocked sockeye) in the state. Recently a 21/2-pound, 183/4-inch kokanee was netted by Warren Cooper of Elk Grove, who fished with Bruce Hamby of Sierra Sportfishing. Information: (209) 599-2023.

Advocates honored

Milo Vukovich of Rancho Cordova, Ken Jones of Lodi and Bill Bernard of Stockton were honored recently by the Recreational Fishing Alliance for their volunteerism and advocacy for saltwater anglers and divers, and development of the Marina Life Protection Act.

The RFA's mission is to safeguard the rights of salt-water anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs and ensure the long-term sustainability of the nation's marine fishieries. Information: (707) 357-3422.

Contact outdoors columnist Peter Ottesen at [email protected]


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Copyright (c) 2008, The Record, Stockton, Calif.

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