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Lake Almanor 2020 and more

by 'Conservation Slim' (Steve Rudzinski)

I attached a letter from the Wild Salmon Center thanking me (Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen members) for our donation to help save the fishery at Bristol Bay AK and to stop the Pebble Mine plan to create the worlds largest open pit copper and gold mine, destroying the last source of the only truly wild river producing  2/3 of the world wild salmon to market.

We had scheduled John Squires to speak again at the club in October 2018 and while guiding clients on the American Creek in Alaska in August, his pontoon boat struck a fallen tree and all were in the water, the clients lived a harrowing day and night on the opposite banks before getting help but John was never found.  We donated his speaking stipend to the TU Alaska fund to saving Bristol Bay as he told me to do prior to booking him for our meeting.

Two nights ago on June 25th, while float tubing and fishing the famous ‘Hex Hatch’ at lake Almanor with an armada of other fly fishermen, there were 2 guys in a boat, the only boat in our area and I was chatting a little with them every time I kicked by. The last time the older of the two asked me if I knew the Santa Cruz fly fishermen and Steve Rudzinski?  I never saw them before and said that I was he and had no idea that it was about.  Apparently their mother was the widow of John Squires and she said they should try to find me and thank me for honoring their father.

Now sometimes things happen in very mysterious ways as they had no idea what week we would be there and I almost fished another spot and changed my mind at the last minute, almost like being directed by an unknown source. Dan and Joe offered me a beer which I accepted and we toasted their father who must have been present in some way as we told a few stories out there bobbing in the waves.

As far as conservation issues, I am finding that most agencies and programs and even the courts are on hold from making any decisions while the Covis-19 shutdown is still in force. I did not see many masks in northern CA and in Chester and the surrounding area, only 2 cases reported up in the county according to the management at North Shore Camping where I camped for five nights with 2 other club members. The fishermen I met all thought this was a poor week to fish for the majority and me included by landing only one very nice brown trout and a few big bass. The Mayfly hatch was much less than in previous years I recall and the surface temp was 73/74 degrees all week and getting warmer. We did not see much surface action although the bats showed up after dark, the ospreys got a few fish and the western grebes were mating and in large flocks following schools of pond smelt. One lone loon calling in the darkness it’s lonely shrill sound.

Till next month, be safe and be kind to each other, it’s tough for us all living in fear and uncertainty or at least confusion as to ‘what’s next’?


Conservation Slim.

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While we were distracted, the word “Conservation” itself was broken into a thousand pieces.

by 'Conservation Slim'

When I came across this startling list of Federal agencies either left unfunded or so seriously broken it cannot serve the people who set these laws and regulations in place to protect the land, sea and air. Sacred places like the headwaters of Bristol Bay salmon runs where the Pebble Mine Co. nears the long awaited access to dig the largest open pit gold and copper mine in the world. Agencies like the EPA, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act are all quietly going away, no big news shows on TV announcing this outrage and we wonder why that some of the best conservation efforts are at best treading water and not making any headway against such heavy odds this current administration is creating daily.

It may only be a matter of time when local funding for NOAA and marine sanctuaries are a thing of the past. I think we can all agree that due to the overwhelming news on every station directs us where they wish, Every news show reads from the same script, we all have to inform ourselves and look to other sources thanks to the WWW which is still relatively free unless you are distracted by fly line ads and a better float tube fin bootie. Slim suggests writing a letter or an email to one of the congressmen or women working for us, or volunteer to do something you have a passion to learn or to teach others.

I’m getting packed to hit the O’Neill ForeBay tomorrow and then off to the Hex hatch at Lake Almanor on the 20th, my fathers day present to myself.  Also a proud grandfather who saw his grandson graduate online from Stanford University on June 14th in a live feed.

Please drive safely this summer and don’t do anything stupid, see you all at the BBQ at the hall in August.

Peace, Slim


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Chinook Salmon delivery to Monterey Bay

by 'Conservation Slim' (Steve Rudzinski)

Local news: Fish and Wildlife tanker truck was in town on May 13 and under the cover of darkness, dropped its load of 160,000 Chinook salmon smolts off the Santa Cruz wharf and a drop of about 30 feet did not bother these fish at all, in fact the mortalities were low, the gulls and cormorants already roosting for the night, the same with the sea lions and harbor seals said the crew who were there to watch. Because the stocking was so easy, there was no need for volunteers like in the past where we would transport large heavy sea pens to the harbor and assemble in place, the yearly event lasted 2 weeks, fish were fed in the sea pens and released after about 5 days on the outgoing tide. Problems arose when the fish returned to the harbor and caused an influx of sea lions and fishermen along the banks trying for a 30 lb. fish, some of the kids landed the fish of a lifetime while the boat owners worried about damage to boats and lines wrapped around props and docks.

The fish were delivered to Santa Cruz first and on May 20th the same amount was released in Monterey, the mission is to enhance the fishery more than to expect these fish will spawn locally and the biologists tell us that Santa Cruz is too far south in the range for successful spawning of this species,  Coho salmon are this far south but success for their returning in numbers again seems doubtful as the weather and river water gets warmer and the flows diminish in drought years.

Opening salmon season I noticed the boats returning to G-3 Dock had an equal number of wild and hatchery fish missing that little Adopal fin clipped at the hatchery.  Some fish may have a tiny wire in the head that can be scanned and reveal data for the biologists. Volunteers at the launch ramp would ask to remove heads from hatchery fish. (not the wardens).

The changes to the salmon release has removed the need for volunteers from the Fly club to meet with Salmon and Trout volunteers. This was  a good way to combine energies for the greater good and health of the bay and salmon fishing in particular. also we had fun and lots of laughter. The public came to the sea pens and we would let the kids toss fish pellets to the school inside the pen. The education factor is lost but the savings of running that operation was a lot and now 2 people can put a pipe over a railing and turn the fish loose.

I included photos from previous years salmon delivery to the harbor pen and the dark drop off the wharf photo is thanks to Sam Bishop, former Club president and now treasurer for MBSTP (salmon and trout project).

Slim says: If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own. (smiley face)  I sure hope the world opens up soon and we can resume our lives to some normalcy. Be good to yourselves and the earth.  Slim

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‘Conservation Slim’ Report

by 'Conservation Slim'

“Slim blog” #1

I am not getting any local reports during our ‘mystery-demic #19’.

I just drove/delivered a new Honda truck with AWD from Phoenix area back home and it was like the 60’s as far as number of vehicles on the road. I-40 as far as I could see was only semi truck travelers. The very pleasant trip back was spoiled by my passing the foul and totally disgusting smell from the Harris Ranch feed lot alongside I-5 in Coalinga. The smell permeated this brand new vehicle and lingered for miles beyond, the acres of moving cattle and dairy cow heads as far as I could see and for maybe a mile along the highway.

I could not help but think of this lot as a holocaust for cows standing in the filth. This is not an ad to become a vegan, however, my re thinking of supporting Harris Ranch products is the only way to get their attention. I located the property:  Harris Feeding Company 29475 Fresno Coalinga Rd. Coalinga  CA 93210 or call 559-884-2435.    An idea just occurred is to post a sign after you pass the compound with the phone # so drivers can bombard them with complaints.  If a virus could attach to the smell, all the thousands of vehicles driving by are smelling the same stench and being infected. (just a notion as virus’s do not move on their own).  I bet drivers would pull out their phone and call the # immediately.  The cows were standing in black goo.  Time for us to rethink the hamburger and one fast food franchise already has.

The FDA office in Fresno 559-261-1082  I will find out what they say about the problem, the run off from this area when it rains has to flow downstream into a watershed and well water.

Other issues of concern is the high levels of aluminum in the air soil and water, analysis from the jet aerosols you see turning the blue sky into a hazy white that grows throughout the day. Official NASA reports its for reflecting sun rays to avoid the planet from warming, Cloud seeding is another use, the military uses it for ionizing the atmosphere to aid 5G and weaponized lasers for defense, other studies show the alumina is inside all of us, the 1 or 2 micron sized particles. Barium and strontium also measured from soil samples. This haze is also suspected in the reduction of many insects and hence birds and other prey animals including fish. The Mt Shasta area and the Redding Board of Supervisor meeting of scientists and experts attesting to the problem up to 5% soil sample includes aluminum which does not occur naturally anywhere.

I’m curious as to who reads our newsletters so please say something pro or con as I would love to provide links to help support ‘Conservation Slim’s’ position.   (photos of feed lots not allowed for some reason, I pulled off the web).

Till we meet again……CS.

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‘Conservation Slim’

by 'Conservation Slim'

My first attempt to navigate the new system and thanking Vicki for patience and giving me an idea for a new name for my title and position with the organization.

I wanted to share the letter I got from the volunteers and friends who are working hard to save the last wild river system all the way to the headwaters where the largest open pit copper and gold mine is slated, approved and rejected and near approval again and up to Washington at this stage. Our members approved a donation to saving Bristol Bay and also honoring the name and legend of a fallen friend, guide and fisherman who lost his life in Alaska rafting a wild American Creek, he was not found and we donated his speakers fee to the charity in his name, This is for you John Squires and your wife Vicki and children and giant dog who miss him very much.

Other news is that although listed as being in our county off Laurel Glen Rd, the new 5 G tower was rejected by residents in the area I learned but calling the glass studio next door to where the tower was said to be located the owner said its not going up now.  Santa Cruz County is so far opposed to the spread of 5G at this time. Nearest tower is across from SJ City Hall or Hollister. Fresno seems to have the most activity in CA at this time.

As Scoop once said at the end of all his years of alternative radio news, “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own”.  Peace and stay well,  ‘Conservation Slim’

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by Conservation Director Steve Rudzinski

I was nervous tonight (2/5/2020), it was serious for me, I didn’t look up enough and Adam Schiff would shake his head a little but I did get applause which I never expected at all. I was sure it would be pretty silent and you know what? I don’t care, I have the floor. I explained to everyone that it was a historic week/day and all our hard work since my childhood, I saw the “Clean Water Act” signed as law and my home Hudson River slowly cleaned up to attract striped bass again and the “Love Canal” toxic site was exposed and the residents helped.

Rolling back laws on the books just because you can and it upsets conservationists is even more reason to sell out our precious Interior lands to mineral extraction and fracking for natural gas. Putting a label on what political party is better for the environment is a lopsided one and this current administration only caters to the corporate giants, Coal ash not okay to dump into waterways once forbidden under previous laws has been lifted and the die off of fish was as expected, fatal for aquatic life. This is not on any normal TV news show. There’s a lot of truth out there that most of us are unaware or don’t care.

As the Conservation chairman, I perhaps broke a rule, written or assumed, but I don’t care, I have the seat, impeach me. I have the votes, I heard the applause, If I want to present a show on the REAL cause of “global warming”, showing that CO2 is actually a very positive thing for the planet and all plants and trees. CO2 is GOOD but what the sky shows us daily is a haze when there should be the bluebird blue sky of our youth. The aerial aerosols cloud the sky as the jets lay down even patterns and grids, turning on and off the spraying, it’s quite a show, many think of it as normal and not at all questioning what we see is not normal at all.

My message was a hope that we will not let dirty corporations supported by a dirty government spoil our heritage and our children and grandchildren to avoid this new world order plan, Agenda 21 Agenda 2030. Not the rantings of a novice seeker, I have studied as much as I can stand but none of it is very positive for our future. No “Pollyanna” pie in the sky fixes, the UN Agenda is well under way to completely ionize our upper stratosphere with metallic dust that will remain there and aid the 5G coming to a telephone pole near you.

Please Impeach me, let me go.

This is the last Newsletter from our beloved Pat, my friend and co-conspirator and a sister to whom I always can speak my truth. It’s important to be able to find that person who does not judge but listens and learns and comments and shares their ideas on the subject. What I learned as jumping from Facilities board member to the President for three years and now Conservation is that having to report on only local issues that affect us here at home may not be what I am not most good at providing. There is so much more out there to study, I feel the club would be overwhelmed.

Since I heard applause, please send me your thoughts, I know members want the truth and it is important, the links I used for my reports I check out and will send to you if you ask. If my report was offensive to my more conservative friends I am not sorry at all, my job is to report on what I feel most passionate about and will affect the most of us no matter what political opinion exists.

This being the last chance to blog on the SCFF Newsletter I wanted to speak out and say thanks to those who supported my very nervous presentation which I wish I had practiced it first. I welcome any emails or calls and remain your Conservation Chair. Thank you, Pat, for all your hard work, and it was a pleasure working with you when I was president for three years. You rock, and have been a real sister to me. Much loud applause.

Peace, Steve/Stosh Rudzinski 2/6/2020