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Pig hunts to be offered in Yolo County

By: George deVilbiss/Special to Gold Country News Service
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California is home to many wild pigs, and farmers aren’t happy with the damage the porkers do in their rooting for foodstuffs. Essentially, wild pigs aren’t much more than four-legged plows.

Wild pigs aren’t native to the state. While there are hunting clubs up and down the state that have imported exotic species such as the Russian boar, most are the old-fashioned type, domestic pigs gone wild.

In the frontier days of yore, people flocked to California. Some came in search of gold. Others, like my family, were farmers and ranchers.

Some made it. Others didn’t. When those that didn’t abandoned their lands, they also abandoned many of their animals. The rest is history.

To hunt any pig species in California, the Department of Fish and Game classified them as big game. While year-round hunting for them is allowed, the department requires hunters to purchase and tag the critter similarly to deer.

Pigs are lower-elevation animals and found mostly on private properties. There are nominal populations on state lands such as the nearby Spenceville Wildlife Area.

In July, the DFG secured a $500,000 federal grant to support the creation of additional public hunting and fishing opportunities through the SHARE Program (Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement).

SHARE offers incentives to private landowners who allow hunts on their property. With SHARE in place, the department is offering wild pig hunts on the Bobcat Ranch in Yolo County, located in the Vaca Mountain foothills just west of Winters.

There will be eight permit-only hunts for 64 hunters between Oct. 24 and Nov. 18.

Applications will be accepted for parties of up to two licensed hunters for the archery and general hunt periods. You can apply for every hunt, but you can only be drawn for one.

The deadline for filing an application is 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. Additional information and the application can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/share/index.html.

Current fishing

Lake Pardee: It’s a pay-to-play lake, owned and operated by the East Bay Municipal Utility District, and every year, Pardee shuts down, primarily camping and fishing. This year, the lake is slated to close at the end of the day on Sunday, Nov. 6.

As of this writing, the lake, as with many throughout the state, remains in phenomenal condition, only four feet from full. The best rod-bending action is going to be for those bobbing around in boats. The eastern side of the lake, from Sugar Bowl through the Narrows and a bit beyond Mel’s Cove, is finding the best action trolling. Some troll from the mouth of the river arm and work their way up to Twin Coves and beyond.

Lake Amador: We’re a month or two away from the start of the trout-planting program. It will take a rainstorm or two to drop the air and water temperatures. In the meantime, bass, crappie and bluegill are biting. With the bright moon, the nighttime bite was outstanding for those tossing Brush Hogs. If you’re camping, head for the boathouse docks once the sun goes down. Worms and jigs are attracting crappie and bluegill. Float a light, though.

Local salmon: Salmon numbers are picking up, but it can still be a waiting game. Some troll; others anchor. Put a Kwikfish or any of a variety of salmon spinners in front of a salmon as they make their way up the river, and you just might get bit. But, there are definitely more triers than there are fish being netted.

Lake Berryessa: The landlocked king salmon and kokanee salmon fishing continues to be hot with some hitting 19 inches. Work the edge of the channel off Skiers Cove and around the deep points south of Skiers Cove. Smallies and largemouth are banging drop-shot Robo Worms for those working the points.

Collins Lake: While fishing for trout is considered somewhat slow, some limits are being netted and most are stringing up two or three ’bows. For the best action, head to the lower end of the lake, around the dam. If you hit the free range campground area, hit the shoreline after the sun sets. Those dunking cut bait or crawlers have been tallying good numbers of catfish to more than five pounds.

Clear Lake: The lake is famous for its summer algae blooms. This lake is just not that deep, and when the water really warms, the algae spreads like wildfire. The good news is much of the algae is now clearing. Stay around the middle section of the lake and a variety of hardware can get you bit, such as jigs and cranks in crawdad colors. It wouldn’t hurt to toss a Brush Hog either.

Boca Reservoir: Unheard of this time of year, but the lake is still at 95 percent. You can get ’bows to 16 inches simply by dunking Power Bait from shore. Early mornings and just before dark will be the best fishing times.

Frenchman Lake: The lake was dropping quickly, but it’s been holding in the high 80-percent level. Trolling has been slow, but shore action has been decent, especially around Lunker’s Point or Crystal Point, for those soaking a crawler, salmon eggs or Power Bait.

Fort Bragg: Salmon fishing has been sporadic at best. One day, the salmon are in the region and boats find a decent bite; the next day, no fish. The only thing saving the day right now is that albacore are close. The warm water currents have moved closer, and boats only have to make maybe a 13-mile run to get into the bite. That mileage is nothing when boats in the Bay Area commonly make a two-day trip to get to the school.

Contact George deVilbiss at GeorgesColumn@aol.com.