|Solid numbers for ocean salmon
The Sportsman’s Report
Initial counts of ocean salmon are showing numbers as good as last year. Fresh sea run salmon are a hoot to catch and excellent eating.
Salmon season is nearly upon us, so get your tackle out and tuned up. Pacific halibut season kicks off in May. Halibut is another tasty fish, but when you hook one, you are in for a battle supreme…great stuff. The odd winter seems to have kicked lake and stream trout in the pants, as counts are some of the best in years.
On the hunting scene, turkey season ends on Cinco de Mayo, so you have only a couple days to bag a gobbler.
Deer season is months away, but planning ahead is getting close to the deadline. Pick up your registrations or go to the Department of Fish and Game web site for details.
In any case, buy your first deer tag, fill in the forms and send it off in May to participate in the drawing for the primo hunts. At the very least, you will accumulate a point for trying. Eventually, your points will greatly improve your chances for a hunt in some of the better zones.
On the mushroom front, the only one showing is the morel. For those tasty mushrooms, you will need to visit a burn zone from last year, travel to the Sierra for ‘naturals’ in the spring fed meadows or check the logging sites. Morels respond to trauma, so look in the tire tracks from logging equipment and in the slash piles for the dark, tasty morel.
Camping right now is excellent in the high Sierra, as evenings are cool and daytime temperatures are moderate. It is nearly too late for camping in the Central Valley zone, unless you thrive on hot and sunny weather, then you will likely be in your element.
A stockbroker (or is he a financial consultant?) responded to my enthusiastic description of remote camping in the desolation wilderness west of Lake Tahoe by saying, “Camping? You mean in the dirt?” At that point it is best to smile, agree camping in a hotel or condo is the only way to see the outdoors and slowly back out the door, keep smiling.
Time for clams
Some of the best low tides of the year, at least during the daylight hours, are on tap for May and June. So, plan a clam dig/picnic to the tidal zones. Plan on being in the water at least an hour before the adjusted low tide prediction.
Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.