Lackluster opening day of salmon season near Colusa

While salmon season opened for inland sport fishermen on Sunday, the Sacramento River near Colusa wasn’t exactly teeming with boats or salmon – but that won’t come as a surprise for the area’s anglers.

Salmon season around Colusa won’t begin in earnest until mid-August, and the number of salmon in the system are typically at peak levels until early September. Still, some anglers went out and tried their luck on opening day. The results weren’t good. Staff at Kittle’s Outdoor & Sport said that they hadn’t heard of any salmon being caught on this stretch of the Sacramento River on Sunday.

“I got zero report on this stretch of the river for salmon,” said Pat Kittle. “One of the guys that used to work here fished the Feather River, and caught a salmon on a Blue Fox Spinner (blue and chartreuse). I saw a couple of guys out on the river near Colusa today, but they were out looking for big striped bass.”

Kittle’s employee Don Black said the lead-up to opening day was lackluster in terms of sales of tackle for salmon fishing.

“You know, I’ve gotten a few phone calls – I don’t know how the rumor got out – but quite a few people called and said that they somehow heard that salmon season would be closed,” Black said on Friday afternoon. “Of course, we had to dispel that rumor. There are some people that are going to be going out that we talked to, but I would say it was probably a little less than normal.”

Again, it’s too early to determine how salmon season will play out on the Sacramento River, but if the results from the bay and the ocean are any indication, it could be a good one.

“That’s the message I’ve been passing on,” Black said. “I go to these regular websites, and I checked that all this morning. They interviewed any number of guides who thought the Sacramento might be at least better than last year, because of all the fish they’ve been catching around the bay.”

“We’ve got reserved expectations that are positive, based on what we’ve heard form recreational fishermen in the ocean and the bay. There are numbers out there being caught, and some of those will make it up the river for sure,” Kittle said. “The higher water levels in the river this year should be conducive to a good season. As long as those stay consistent and the water stays relatively cool, we’re definitely looking at having a better season than the last one.”

Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at