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Outdoor Notes / Pete Thomas : Bigeye, Yellowfin, Albacore South of San Diego

September 04, 1987|PETE THOMAS

San Diego's overnight sportfishing boats may not be able to reach the albacore in the quantities available off the Central Coast, but the recent appearance of bigeye and yellowfin tuna has increased the enthusiasm of anglers and skippers making the venture south.

"We're catching bigeye, yellowfin and albacore all together, which is unusual," said Ross Hecht, manager of Point Loma Sportfishing in San Diego. "And the fish are just so much bigger than usual. The bigeyes are averaging 100-150 pounds, the albacore 40-45 and the yellowfin about 45-55 pounds."

As of 1 p.m. Thursday, 17 anglers aboard the New Lo-An, skippered by Nick Cates, had already caught 16 bigeye tuna, some in the 150-pound class, in addition to five albacore.

The boats are finding the fish 75 miles south of San Diego.

Assembly Speaker Willie Brown last week called for a legislative investigation into charges of favoritism and mismanagement in the Department of Fish and Game.

Brown assigned the investigation to the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee headed by Assemblyman Jim Costa, (D-Fresno), and the Governmental Organization Committee chaired by Assemblyman Gary Condit (D-Ceres).

Assemblywoman Doris Allen (R-Cypress), who has accused the DFG of favoring commercial fishing interests at the expense of sportfishing, has also been asked to join the investigation.

The original request for the investigation was made by Condit, in a letter to Brown Aug. 17.

Condit said his office has received complaints about the DFG, among them a charge that friends of some commissioners have been awarded deer hunting tags in Lassen County outside the framework of the lotteries used to determine which hunters get licenses.

Condit's letter also mentioned complaints from sport fishermen about the DFG's alleged partiality to commercial fishermen.

It attacked the state's "Ranch for Wildlife" program, under which ranchers and other landowners agree to carry out DFG-approved animal management plans on their property. In return, landowners are allowed to sell hunting rights on their property outside regular hunting seasons.

The "Ranch for Wildlife" program is also under attack by Lt. Gov. Leo McCarthy, who has charged that it opened up "private hunting seasons for the rich." McCarthy has asked for an investigation of the program.

The Eastern Sierra buck season opens Sept. 12 and the DFG is predicting a successful hunt, even though the kill is expected to be considerably lower than in past seasons.

Wildlife biologists in Inyo and Mono counties requested a reduction in permits from last season in newly established zones x9a and x9b, and in zone x12. The reduction of permits will account for a substantial change this season.

Biologist Ron Thomas said deer populations are scattered throughout the 5,000- to 11,000-foot elevations, and that forage is fair.

A total of 390 largemouth bass were planted in a Palo Verde Valley irrigation canal last week, the result of a court-ordered restitution for fish loss caused by a crop duster's over-spray.

Joe Cyr, 43, owner and chief pilot for Cyr Aviation of Blythe in Riverside County, was charged by DFG warden Jim Worthington of polluting state waters in January.

Worthington said that over-spray of an insecticide Cyr was spraying reached a branch of the Main C Canal north of Blythe.

Cyr pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $750 in restitution for the loss of bass, carp and catfish.

Briefly California hunting regulations, Part II for resident and migratory game birds other than waterfowl for 1987 are now available at DFG offices and sporting goods dealers. . . .Waterfowl hunting reservations for the Pintail Slough Unit on Havasu National Wildlife Refuge will be accepted beginning Sept. 21. For more information call (619) 326-3853. . . . Rick Pasquale, owner of Fly Fishers Retreat in Great Falls, Mont., will be the guest speaker at the Downey Fly Fishers monthly meeting Sept. 15 at 7:30 at Rio San Gabriel Park in Downey.

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