Sportsmens Report
May 27, 2018
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Sportsman’s Report: Sturgeons and Salmon opener

By: Bill Hanson
April 27, 2018

This coming weekend April 27 and 28th are full ‘steam up’ days at the famous Sturgeons Mill. The restored mill is a working museum built from the parts of an old steam powered mill that was originally built in the heyday of steam power more than 100 years ago. The site includes other working segments, a steam powered donkey, not Eeyore, a huge fishing reel that ran cables down the steep canyons of coastal California. The donkey replaced oxen and opened up logging in the inaccessible canyons. Also, there is a fully operational blacksmith shop with real hot metal pounding smithies. There is also a working display of “hit and miss” engines. These old motors were the first to leave the factory to go directly to farm, industry and home. Some were used to power the first washing machines at great-grandma’s house. The site is nestled in a large grove of redwoods near Graton. The mill opens at 10 a.m. and operates until 3 p.m. when the twin whistles blow. Tours are docent led or free range as you choose. Admission is free and there is ample parking. To check out the map and details go If you can find Occidental Road or Graton Road you have it, the mill is on a mile long Green Hill Road between the two.

A decision has been made by the Department of Fish and Wildlife on this year’s salmon season. 

The recreational salmon seasons have been set for 2018 and it appears to be a mixture of good news and bad for California anglers. Klamath River fall run Chinook are likely to be one of the better fishing opportunities due to higher returns that will support both ocean and inland salmon seasons. But returns for Sacramento River fall run Chinook - the main stock of salmon supporting California’s ocean and Central Valley river fisheries - have been low for the third consecutive year, pushing them into “overfished” status. Here is an excerpt from the salmon web site:

The 2018 recreational ocean salmon season for the California coast is as follows:

In the Klamath Management Zone, which is the area between the Oregon/California border and Horse Mountain (40°05’00” N. latitude), the season will open June 1 and continue through Sept. 3.

The Fort Bragg and San Francisco areas, which extend from Horse Mountain to Point Arena (38°57’30” N. latitude) and Point Arena to Pigeon Point (37°11’00” N. latitude), respectively, will open June 17 and continue through Oct. 31.

The Monterey area between Pigeon Point and the U.S./Mexico border opened on April 7 and will continue through July 2

There are many more details than there is room. You can go to their web site or wait for the printed pamphlet outlining the specifics. 


Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Mycological Society. Look for his column each week in The Community Voice.