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December pig hunt is planned in Colusa County

By: George deVilbiss
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Wild pigs are considered a nuisance just about everywhere. They breed like the proverbial rabbit and tear up the landscape with their feeding habits.
They root with their snouts in search of tubers, acorns and grubs. If you’ve seen areas where they’ve rooted, it almost appears the ground had been plowed.
And therein is the problem. Once the ground is “plowed” from the rooting of these critters, invasive weeds take hold, replacing native species. Generally, the invasive weeds that take hold aren’t favored by wildlife, such as star thistle.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has land 20 miles west of Maxwell in Colusa County, and wild pigs have become too big a nuisance. The hunting territory is at and around East Park Reservoir.
Hunters won’t eliminate the population. The USBR just wants the population controlled.
So, in cooperation with the Department of Fish and Game, 24 hunters will be allowed access to the land. Late fall, throughout the winter and early spring are prime hunting times.
Pig, whether wild or homegrown domestic type, spoils rapidly and is extremely heat affected, so hunting them when the weather is hot isn’t recommended. Especially in the wild, getting the critter cooled down and in a meat locker can’t be done quickly enough.
The hunt is planned in December and has limited entry and access by permit only. That means there will be a drawing for the available permits.
It appears the hunt will only be open to hunters packing a muzzleloader rifle, not the standard-caliber, center fire-type rifle.
For application details and additional information, visit the DFG’s website at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/pig/specialhunts.html or call the DFG’s Wild Pig Coordinator, Marc Kenyon, at (916) 445-3515.

Salmon festival this Saturday, Oct. 16, in Anderson
I received an e-mail from James Smith, project leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Coleman facility, who related that there will be a full-blown salmon festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Coleman Hatchery in Anderson, between Red Bluff and Redding, about 2½ hours from Roseville.
There will be salmon spawning operations, and visitors can view a salmon aquarium and watch fish-tagging operations. There will be natural resource information booths, food and activities for children.
Admission to the festival is free, and there will be shuttles from the parking lot at the Wal-Mart Supercenter and Anderson Street Fair & Ride to the Coleman Hatchery.
For information, call the Coleman National Fish Hatchery at (530) 365-8622.

Current fishing
The weather is cooling, especially at night. In many areas throughout the Sierra, it has gotten downright chilly with temps dropping below freezing.
While few lakes have turned over, they soon will. The colder water nearer the bottom of the lake comes to the top and the warmer water is in the deeper range. Once lakes turn over, fish will be much more accessible, as they follow the cooler water.
All you need to do is dress in layers. It might be cool at first light, but as the sun gets higher, it can get warm.
Fort Bragg: It was reported here a couple of weeks ago that tuna were in, so in following the warm water currents that boats only had to venture three miles out. Besides all the party boats, Noyo Harbor launching ramps were jammed with lines of private boaters wanting in on the action. The nearby action, however, cooled off.
Lake Davis: Good for trollers and worth the try for the shore-bound caster. Trollers are hauling a variety of lures to nail rainbows to 18 inches. No boat? Concentrate your shore fishing around Fairview or at Mallard. Soaking a crawler or Power Bait should get you bites. Nearby Frenchman Lake is at only 40 percent capacity, but trollers are nailing rainbows by working the water around Crystal Point from the ramp to the dam and around Lunker Point. Work the 30-foot range of water with your lure of crawler down no more than 15 feet.
Loon Lake: It’s a long haul to get to this lake at the edge of Desolation, but if you go now, you can get into the feeding frenzy that has kicked into high gear. Limits are common. Further down the hill, the bite is slow at Union Valley Reservoir. You can put in time and find a mackinaw or two here and there, though. Ice House Reservoir, because of a plant, has been producing for shore casters and trollers.
Clear Lake: The major problem here is the lake gets a tremendous amount of algae growth in the warmer months because of its shallow depths. The good news is the lake is clearing. The bite is perking up for those tossing all kinds of hardware that include deep-diving cranks, ripbaits, chatterbaits and rattlebaits. It’s best at the northern end of the lake.
Camp Far West: Bass to 4 pounds have been nailed, chomping on plastic offerings. Head up into the Rock Creek arm. Put on the coat and light the lantern. Night catfishing is good. South shore gate is locked down for the season, and the North Shore now opens at 7 a.m.
Lake Pardee: Sunday, Oct. 31, is the final day of fishing until the lake reopens in February 2011. The opening date hasn’t been announced.
George deVilbiss can be reached at GeorgesColumn@aol.com.