SO—season opened (or opens); SC—season closed (or closes).
C—clear water; D—water dirty or roily; M—water muddy.
N—water at normal height; SH—slightly high; H—high; VH—very high; L—low; R—rising; F—falling.
WT50—water temperature 50°.
FG—fishing good; FF—fishing fair; FP—fishing poor; OG—outlook good; OF—outlook fair; OP—outlook poor
This is an article from the Feb. 6, 1956 issue
TROUT: NEVADA: Walker Lake is still winter trout capital as water is clearing after floods in Walker River. Bud Hartnett took 13-pound 2-ounce cutthroat on wobbling spoon trolled near top off Pelican Point. Weather is warmer and with many fish in 6-to 8-pound class reported, OVG.
NEW YORK: Veteran Beaverkill anglers are alarmed at plans of Agriculture Department's Pest Control Division to spray entire watershed forest with DDT for gypsy moth control. Fishermen fear most insect life in Catskill Mountain streams will be killed off. resulting in dearth of trout food for several years. Insect control experts admit spray will kill large numbers of aquatic insects but say these will re-establish themselves within one or two seasons: meanwhile representatives of sportsmen's groups plan to meet with USDA people Feb. 8 at Jeffersonville, N.Y. to learn worst.
MONTANA: Yellowstone River agent says white-fish have been dying in large numbers since November, and investigating biologists believe trouble is malnutrition, probably due to a shortage of insect life in the river. They believe insects were killed by some chemical used to spray area for spruce bud worms. Very few dead trout have been found and specimens taken from river seem to be in good condition. If insects re-establish themselves in a reasonable time, thinning out of whitefish population may be beneficial to trout fishing. Local sportsmen and resort operators are keeping fingers crossed until next season reveals extent of damage.
ATLANTIC SALMON: NEW BRUNSWICK: At recent meeting of the 900-member Atlantic Salmon Association in Montreal, Association President Vernon Johnson of Montreal spelled out four immediate steps needed to preserve and restore Atlantic salmon in Canadian streams and protect the valuable sport fishery: research project that would lead to abandonment of the arbitrary uniform opening date of June 5 on salmon waters and the substitution of variable opening dates based on local river conditions; abolition of the early (May 15) opening date in Newfoundland and a closer alignment with starting date of the other four Atlantic salmon provinces; reform of the present sloppy warden system; study of the pollution problem and establishment of pollution abatement measures. Johnson told 75 members attending the meeting that the association would submit these recommendations to the Federal Minister of Fisheries and the joint committee of the federal and provincial governments. In addition the association will sponsor additional recommendations presented by Malcolm Neill, president of the 500-member Miramichi Salmon Association. The Miramichi group urged: an end to damming of rivers by industry without adequate fish ways and more careful control of bad forestry management practices; a proclamation of salmon as a protected game fish; control of mergansers and other predators, as is now being practiced experimentally on some rivers; withdrawal of certain stretches of rivers, particularly in upper sections, to protect early-run fish; placing of rivers under protection of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police instead of continuing present "grossly inadequate system"; banning of all fishing gear other than that normally used for surface fly-fishing; requirement of licenses for all salmon anglers. Johnson said that decline of salmon sport fishery has cut sharply into the tourist trade, quoted New Brunswick government estimate that rod-caught salmon are worth $7 a pound in revenue to merchants, camp operators and so forth, whereas commercially caught salmon are marketed at less than 50¢ a pound. Although there are many theories to account for the decline of salmon population in recent years, and no general agreement on any one, all those present at meetings agreed that if recommendations are accepted by the government marked improvement would result.
STRIPED BASS: CALIFORNIA: Sacramento still silty, but FF/G near Rio Vista, Decker Island, using bullheads and sardines. Frank's Tract in San Joaquin and Hog and Sycamore sloughs FF. Napa River slow but should improve. Anglers' success percentage high as unfavorable water conditions have scared off all but seasoned fishermen. Top bass last week was 30-pounder, with many in 10- to 20-pound bracket reported.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Tom Davis of Charleston set season record for Cooper River with 41-pounder that tried to eat his white bucktail last week. Other fishermen had good sport with trolled, jointed "pikies," and OG for Cooper River and upper basin of Santee-Cooper despite cold and wind.
STEELHEAD: WASHINGTON: Heavy take of Indian fisheries is all that keeps Nooksack from top status as steelhead river. Hot spots are main channel near Mt. Baker High School and Ritter Bar, Bass Bar and Frog Pond and Lynden area. Drifters scoring between Nugent's Bridge and Everson with large-winged bobbers and fresh eggs tied in cheesecloth sacks. Skagit. River L, C, too cold for top fishing but several steelhead over 15 pounds reported. Middle river slow but upper and lower areas stiff with fish. Hot spot is Mape's Place near Burlington, down river to Storr's Bar below Mt. Vernon. Sauk River spy says hottest spot is Tower Hole. Entire length of Green River FG with Hog Ranch Hole producing good early-morning catches but few over 8 pounds. Skykomish F, OG. Soleduck has new run with many fish in 10- to 14-pound class. Puyallup River banks lined with fishermen over weekend despite snow and cold. Toutle River FF, OG.
OREGON: FVP on all coast streams unless cold weather has stopped snow melting on coast range.
CALIFORNIA: Diehard anglers getting fair bait fishing at Sacramento tributaries such as Mill, Deer and Battle creeks, and clearing weather makes OG. Trinity, Eel, Gualala, Navarro, Ten Mile, Big and Russian roily or silty, with a few fish taken on bait and wobblers. Outlook improving, but only fair for next two weeks if no more rain.
BRITISH COLUMBIA: On Vancouver Island, Cowichan, Campbell and Quinsam rivers FG, Puntledge and Nanaimo FF. On mainland, lower Fraser River and Vedder Canal producing well on eggs. Silver, Stave, Coquitlam and Alouette good and improving.
BLACK BASS: FLORIDA: Lake Tarpon, last year's top producer, 20 miles northwest of Tampa, is in the news again as W. A. Witt, Tampa contractor, took 15-pounder on spinning tackle and live eel bait last Friday. Pat Mahan of Clearwater also-ran with 12-pounder on live shiner. FG and OG for Withlacoochee River 75 miles north of Tampa. In Tallahassee area 4 inches of rain last week raised lake levels and spirits of fishermen. In central Florida, Lake Harris at Howey is producing fair catches and area outlook is for steady improvement from now until June peak.
LOUISIANA: Duck ponds in the southwest Louisiana marshes below Lake Charles are yielding bigmouths to 5½ pounds on small-and medium-sized plugs fished fairly deep.
MISSISSIPPI: Clear water and mild weather brought a turnout of fishermen who found bass active in Rodney Lake, Claiborne County, Noon Lake in the north Delta and Lake Ferguson at Greenville. Other worthwhile waters are Chotard Lake near Vicksburg, and the Grenada and Enid reservoirs.