Monday, June 27, 2022
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Angling Restrictions Extended on the Russian and Eel Rivers Experiencing Prolonged, Low-Flow Drought Conditions


The following is a press release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

[Image provided by CDFW]

The California Fish and Game Commission has adopted emergency regulations allowing the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to extend low-flow related fishing restrictions on portions of the Smith, Eel and Russian rivers and a number of other coastal rivers and streams through April 30 if needed to protect runs of salmon and steelhead.

“We’ve observed extended periods of drought and warming climate trends over the past decade,” said Jonathan Nelson, environmental program manager for CDFW’s Anadromous Fishes Conservation and Management Program. “The added flexibility to manage the health of our fisheries through extended angling restrictions on coastal waters when low flows create potentially lethal conditions is paramount to the long-term survival of our salmon and steelhead populations.”

The emergency regulations took effect January 31, 2022. Prior to the change, CDFW was allowed to enact low-flow specific angling closures on coastal rivers in Del Norte and Humboldt counties including the Smith, Mad, Eel, Van Duzen and Mattole rivers through January 31 of each year and in Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties including the Gualala, Russian, Napa rivers and several others through March 31 each year.

The emergency regulations have been added to the 2021-2022 California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations (PDF)(opens in new tab) online. For a complete list of the coastal rivers subject to low-flow restrictions, please review the California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 8.00(a) and (b).

CDFW will make information available to the public by a telephone recorded message updated, as necessary, no later than 1:00 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, as to whether any river or stream will be open or closed to fishing. It is the responsibility of the angler to call and obtain information on the status of any stream.

For information about coastal rivers in Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties, call (707) 822-3164.

For information about coastal rivers in Marin and Sonoma counties, call (707) 944-5533.


  1. “The added flexibility to manage the health of our fisheries through extended angling restrictions…” And, that’s about all the California Department of Fish and Game does. The department’s head is a political appointee, and it’s all down hill from there. Creative replenishment of fishing stocks, even in times of low water, do not exist. News flash: an emerging theory for fewer and fewer salmon and steelhead in our rivers and streams—tires. Car tires, truck tires and that which wears off them flushed into waterways to impinge upon the tiny gills and oxygen flow of juvenile fish. Save the fish? Get rid of your car.

  2. Take the long way home
    So you don’t believe in climate change
    Watch the planet getting rearranged
    Pack your go bag now pack your go bag now

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
Picking Brains—Baring Bones—Paying it By Ears: I'm a reporter in Mendocino County and the Founder of MendoFever.

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