View Full Version : DFG Sturgeon Tagging Trip

10-20-2005, 06:17 PM
Wow, I have to say, that was one of the best outings I've had. My dad and I went out to Vallejo and met up with Marty and the crew aboard the New Alosa at about 7:30 this morning after a pleasant drive up. Marty, John (DFG biologist and trainee), the Captain, Mike, and Trisha, the DFG tagger made up the crew.

We got out of the berthing station at 7:40 and the ride to the San Pablo Bay fishing grounds was awesome. Quite a bit of the stuff we saw was old, from the 40s to the 60s and earlier. Mike was really informative about the stories behind all the older stuff, how it got there and how it was used. It was all fogged in most of the morning, but made for an eerie sight to see all the cranes and things doing nothing.

By about 8:10 we had the first setting of nets in place. It was cool to see a pair of sea lions swimming around the net, looking for a potential easy meal. It was cool for a while anyway. At about 8:30 we pulled up the first setup to a nice number of undersized and a few legal sturgeon, about 13 for the set. After it was completely pulled up, we turned around and set up again. After pulling the net up about a third of the way, we realize that one of the two sea lions was caught in the net. Apparently, a salmon or 2 was caught in the net and the sea lions, being not the smartest animals, tried to eat them away from the net, getting caught in it themselves. From what Mike said, he only heard of it happening one time in the 22 years that he's been working with the DFG. I didnt think this little endeavor was too funny, even though after a while, they freed it, I was still relieved to see it swim away. This thing tangled the h*ll out of the net so Mike and John were busy for 15 minutes trying to take all the kinks and knots out of the net. After a while, they got it caught up and brought in a few more good sized sturgeon, leopard sharks and small bat rays. After this, we decided to try to lose the sea lions and try a different area, since this time only brought out a few fish.

We got to the new area at around 10:30. Set out the net and chatted it up for 15 minutes or so. We start to drag the net up and a third of the way up, we had brought in one sturgeon, undersized. That same dam sea lion, or its buddy, was now caught in the net once again, chasing salmon. We see it diving in and out of the net, chomping down on the salmon. It frees itself and we pick out the half of a beautiful chinook left for pickin's. We brought up a couple more leopard sharks, bat rays and one nice striper, 6 lbs maybe.

Since it was starting to get late, about 2:00 in the afternoon, Mike decides to take us back to where we were doing better. We get there at around 2:20 and have the nets out again at 2:30. They start to bring the net up at 3:00 and we get into about 9 sturgeon, 4 legals and 5 undersized. Marty wanted to get the net up in order to put it out one last time, going on a hunch that fishing would be better the other way around. Those silly sea lions were out again and we brought in 2 great looking chinook salmon, dead by sea lion, bleeding all over the place. I noted them and they tossed em overboard in that same set.

Then we set the line out the last time, waited about 20 minutes, and started the line up. In that line, 14 sturgeon came up, majority undersized, but a few really close to oversized. One greeny also came in on the set. The biggest sturgeon of the day came in on the last set, round about 69.5 inches. I got to tag 2 of them, great experience. The majority of the legal sized for the day came in between 55 and 64 inches. The total number of tagged sturgeon for the day was 36, one of the best days DFG has had tagging this year. The total caught in the net was 38.

I want to personally thank Marty Gingras and the crew aboard the New Alosa for taking us aboard today and showing us what DFG really does. They are worthy of a lot of respect in the fishing and hunting community for their hard work. Now that I know my license dollars are going into programs such as that, I dont feel so cheated anymore. Once again, I want to thank and give my best to Mike, John, Trisha, and Marty.

What a great day!! :)

10-20-2005, 06:23 PM
that sounds awesome!!! i would have loved to have been there to see that first hand! musta been something

10-20-2005, 07:47 PM
8)Sounds like a great time even withn the sea lions. So know that you have gone do you know know the value of the trip, and why all wanted to win it..If you ever get to go again it wont be the same as the first. And where else can you put your hands on 38 sturgys in one day without a pole. 8)

10-20-2005, 11:47 PM
Fisherman4life,sounds like it was very educational besides fun.One of the BEST prizes of the tournament(along with all night sturgeon trip for two with FISHKILLER a close 2nd).You gave us the statistical amount netted and sizes of fish,I was just curious if all the netting was done in San Pablo Bay,or did you go to Napa River,Sonoma Creek,the Brothers & Sisters,China Camp etc.and at what depth???

10-21-2005, 03:27 AM
8)Sounded like closer to Mare Island area. 8)

10-21-2005, 06:16 AM
It was past Bouy 12, way past. All in San Pablo Bay, as killer said. PM me if you want the way points I noted.

10-21-2005, 07:57 AM
Sounds like a great day on the water, the best you can have without a rod and reel in hand. I'd bug ya for waypoints but that's a little farther than I usually fish! ;)

10-21-2005, 09:50 AM
OOPS, forgot to note, there are some 20, 50, and $100 tags out there. We happened to pull up one that had been tagged 2 days earlier in a different area, so if you catch them, send the tag into DFG along with any way points you may have marked as well as what species (green or white). The info is helpful. PLEASE release legal fish after harvesting the tags, those are the breeders that keep the population going.

Thanks all,