Yes! We made it. My fellow purveyors of the long rod, we made it through winter's darkness. It is time to stretch out thy rod and thy staff as daylight has returned and our rusty casting skills need honing for big fish this year. So, start coming a little early and bust the work doldrums with casting therapy.
Some of you might have heard that Barry Burt and I contributed to an article in the Good Times last week. It turns out the GT staff didn't think there were fish in that river anymore. One of the writers got a hold of Elaine, who then got a hold of me. And while I'm usually shy about these kinds of opportunities that article helps us continue to raise awareness about the need to pay close attention to our home waters and their health. Some of you were concerned about an article that might bring droves of fishermen into our hallowed lairs, but were relieved, somewhat, that the article came at the end of the season. If you haven't read the article, I still have 100 copies Barry and I can autograph for you.
The riparian habitat of the San Lorenzo continues to improve and many are coming to its rescue committed to being a voice for the river and take action. The battle, if there is one, will be the work to keep a healthy flow in the river from July through September, when everyone wants a drop. And with all the Starbucks going up everywhere and no sign of slowing, it will be a challenge.
The other battle, equally significant is "illegal" marijuana grows (wait, I can't believe I'm actually writing that - illegal?) which are slashing mountainsides, polluting the ground and water with fertilizers and just plain making a disastrous and dangerous situation for the environment and those enforcing it. What's happened in the last couple years in northern CA would literally take your breath away. The fourth "State of the San Lorenzo Symposium" held on the 17th of March showed us a pretty bleak picture of what "illegal" pot is doing to the landscape. Thanks to CWC for organizing and moderating this informative event, bringing all these agencies and people together to learn about the river, its importance and to do something about it. CDFW, CalFire, RCD, City of Santa Cruz, USGS and others provided some excellent presentations about restoration, preservation and historical work going on in our watershed.
I'm excited it's Spring, and we've had some nice late season rains. The river is once again running around its 81-year average CFS, and we didn't have any significant storms to mess things up!
If you're not quite sure you have your rod and reel set up right, and/or you need help working out some bugs in your casting, bring your rods to the meetings and let's have some fun getting dialed in for the seasons ahead.