Denis Peirce: Hunting season for doves: Sept. 1 |

Denis Peirce: Hunting season for doves: Sept. 1

Next Monday is the opener for the dove season. It is always on Sept. 1, nationwide.

There are quite a few of these birds in our foothill area in the last few weeks. The harvest should be good as long as the weather holds. A cold front passing through will send them heading south.

The key to good hunting is a location where the game is and hunting is still allowed. If you do not have access to private ground your best bet will be Spenceville Wildlife Area on the east edge of Beale AFB or the Oroville Wildlife Area south west of the City of Oroville. Spenceville is funded by upland game bird stamps and therefore has a budget for planting crops to attract dove.

Hunters interested in “Advanced Hunter Education Clinics” have two to choose from in September. On the Saturday the 13th, near Williams, Calif., the DF&G in conjunction with Wilderness Unlimited will conduct an all day upland game bird event. Topics will include history, habitat, food, range maps, equipment, and hunting with or without a dog. There will be dog demonstrations. The cost will be $40.

On Saturday Sept. 20 there will be a comprehensive waterfowl clinic taught by the assistant chief and a warden from the DF&G . Topics to be covered are concepts of decoy placement, blind design, ballistics, calling, duck ID, and safety. The fee is $40. For more info call: Susan Herrgesell 530-347-3980 or e-mail

For anglers looking for opportunities during the upcoming holiday weekend here are the best bets I have come up with.

For stream trout fishing the North Yuba continues to fish well for moderate sized fish. Ralph Wood from the C&R Guide Service reports that water temps above Sierra City are in the high 50s. The lower stretches below Downieville are in the high 60s. There are few insect hatches at this time of the year and the fish are responding to terrestrials such as ants and beetles. There are a few caddis in evidence and an Elk Hair Caddis is a good all around searching dry fly. The other standard searching rig is a Stimulator dry fly followed by a small weighted nymph.

Ralph commented that there were good numbers of anglers on the river through early August but recently the river has not seen as many fishermen.

For a day trip, Fuller Lake up Highway 20 was planted a couple weeks ago and has good numbers of fish. Jackson Meadows is another hours drive but also a good bet.

If you want to travel as far as the Carson River area near Markleeville, both forks of the river have been heavily stocked with trophy size fish. It is probably the best bet statewide for trout. Close by the East Carson is Heenan Lake up on Monitor Pass.

Heenan opens to catch and release fishing for Lahontan Cutthroat trout only Friday through Sunday from Labor Day weekend through October. This is the brood stock lake for these trout and the fall fishing can be good.

Steelhead are beginning to show in the Feather River near Oroville. During heat waves the low flow section temps will rise up to the 62-66 degree range. During moderate days the temps will swing between 59 and 62. Another factor affecting the bite is the water flow. There have been some flow increases on Fridays. If there has been a recent change in the flow, the bite will probably turn off. for a day. Check the internet before you drive there.

The steelhead and salmon on the Klamath are looking good. There have been two to three waves of half-pounder steelhead moving out of the salt into the estuary weekly for the last three weeks. The fish are in the first mile or two of the river for a short time before moving upriver.

The water temps range from 69 to 71 which is too warm for good catching. Another good sign was last Wednesday, when it rained all day, totaling a half inch. The storm was warm and did not cool the river, but it is a sign of things to come. I have heard unconfirmed reports of half-pounders all the way up to Orleans.

I did some research to look at salmon counts at Red Bluff back to 2005 for the end of August. I printed these additional counts to give some perspective to the current data. We are headed in the right direction.

Red Bluff Diversion Dam salmon count for the last three days =

August 24, 2008 = 78

August 23, 2008 = 41

August 22, 2008 = 76

Year to date 2008 = 3679 salmon

Year to date 2007 = 3405 salmon

Year to date 2006 = 2705 salmon

Year to date 2005 = 5789 salmon

* We are printing the salmon counts at Red Bluff as a indicator of the valley salmon run in general. Salmon fishing on the Sacramento River is closed until November.

Denis Peirce writes a weekly fishing column for The Union and is host of “The KNCO Fishing & Outdoor Report,” which airs 6-7 p.m. Fridays and 5-6 a.m. Saturdays on 830-AM radio. He may be reached via e-mail at

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