An Historical Review of the
Fish and Wildlife Resources of the
San Francisco Bay Area
by John E. Skinner
WATER PROJECTS BRANCH REPORT No. 1
Page 3 of 6
Striped Bass Pages 71 - 83
Sport Fishery (Continued)
The party boat fishery is a small but important
component of the overall striped bass fishery. The
amount of effort from this source is perhaps on the
order of 5 to 10 percent of the total. For the 11 year
period, 1938-1949, party boats were responsible for
an average of just over 13,500 angler days per year
including half day trips.
Because of the knowledge, experience and skill of
the operators, party boat anglers are somewhat more
successful than the general angling public. The operator
knows when and where to find the fish and will
travel some distance to assure his party of good fishing.
Regardless of this fact there has been a decided reduction
in the daily success of party boat anglers since
1944. The reduction is approximately of the same magnitude
as that previously discussed for the postal survey.
In Block 308 for instance, party boat angler
success diminished from 3.8 fish per angler per day
in 1938 to 2.0 fish in 1954, a 50 percent decrease.
Harold K. Chadwick of the Department of Fish and
Game in the course of the striped bass study made an
estimate of the amount of money anglers spent for
party boat fares, based on the number of anglers using
these facilities and the average fare. His estimate
for 1957 was between $97,000 and $110,000 per year.
The number of party boats engaged in the fishery
varies from year to year and has been decreasing over
the past few years. Not all boats are operated the yeararound.
Individual boats may vary from large well
equipped vessels down to the smallest inboard cruiser.
Calhoun's data on the composition of the fleet for the
year 1947 is given in Table 19. Mr. Chadwick has
furnished data on the fleet for the years 1946-1956,
shown in Table 20.
General Features of the Fishery. The writer while
in charge of the striped bass investigation conducted
a survey of known striped bass anglers to obtain qualitative
data on the striped bass sport fishery. Questionnaires
were mailed to all anglers who in the regular
postal survey had declared they fished for striped bass
in 1955. Approximately 50 percent of the more than
400 contacted responded.
Angler Characteristics: Sixty-eight percent of the respondents
claimed residence in the Bay Area counties
and another 20 percent resided in Sacramento and
San Joaquin counties. Alameda and Contra Costa counties
alone accounted for 18.6 and 18.1 percent respectively
or 36.7 percent of the total.
These figures indicate that 88 percent or about
176,000 of California's estimated 200,000 anglers who
fish for striped bass reside in those counties immediately
adjacent to the Bay and Delta. Twenty-four of
California's 58 counties were represented by at least
one striped bass angler. These data are summarized in Table 21.
Anglers were asked to record the number of years
they had fished for striped bass in California. It was
interesting to note that 40 percent of the respondents
reported having fished 10 years or more, indicating
many striped bass anglers have had considerable experience.
The mode, however, was one year.
In order to obtain some insight about the number of trips made by striped bass anglers each year, the fishermen were asked to record the number of times they went fishing. The mode was three and the mean ten trips. These data agree well with the postal survey re- Catch Localities: The recipients of questionnaires suits of 1953. Forty-four percent of the respondents were also asked to indicate the locations in which they went fishing 5 days or less, 26 percent 6 to 10 days and caught their fish. In tabulating these returns the Bay 30 percent fished more than 10 days.
Characteristics of the Fishery: Another objective of the survey was to determine the approximate distribution of angler effort by several methods of fishing -- party boats, private boats and from the shore.
In this respect, 110 (40 per cent of respondents) reported fishing 715 days from shore, bank, pier or bridge, accounting for 35.8 percent of the effort and 25.1 percent of the catch. Party boat anglers (10 percent of respondents) reported 7.7 percent of the total effor, and 10.6 percent of the catch. The small boat fishery, private and rented skiffs, accounted for 56.5 percent of all effort in 1955, and 64.3 percent of the catch. These data are summarized in Table 22.
It is interesting to compare the success of anglers engaging in each of the three methods of fishing. Shore fishermen averaged 3.9 fish per year for 65 trips and a mean catch per day of 0.59 fish. Skiff anglers caught 7.8 fish while averaging 8.2 days per year and a mean catch per day of 0.96 fish. Party boat anglers, presumably reflecting the skill of the operator, averaged 1.16 fish per day.
These figures are given in Table 23. Success as reported by these anglers is in the direction and within general magnitude one might expect. As a matter of fact, the success the party boat anglers in 1955, as determined by the actual records, is identical to the results reported in this survey.
Catch Localities: The recipients of questionnaires were also asked to indicate the locations in which they caught their fish. In tabulating these returns the Bay and Delta were divided into 19 sub-areas and the catches were assigned to those areas in which the fish were reported caught by respondents. San Pablo Bay accounted for almost twice (20 percent of the total) the catch of any other location. The combined catch catch of all Bay Area locations was 43 percent of the total as compared to 57 percent in the Delta. Next to San Pablo Bay, Suisun Bay and Napa River were most important in the Bay catch. Considering its size and location, the South Bay was negligible as compared to other locations, yielding less than one percent of the total catch. The catches in each area and their respective percentages of the total are given in Table 24.
The San Joaquin portion of the Delta contributed almost twice as many fish as the Sacramento, 36.7 percent as opposed to 20.3 percent. Surf fishing along the beaches of outside the Golden Gate has been good at times in the past, but this fishery is very sporadic. A few fish are taken by this method every year, but the number is usually only a small portion of the total. The data in Table 24, for instance, indicate only one percent of the fish were taken in the ocean in 1955.
Due to the vagaries of sampling the results of the survey cannot be considered conclusive; however, in the light of our present knowledge about the fishery, they appear reasonable enough to place a fair degree of confidence in them. Other factors including regulations, migrations, weather conditions, etc. would also affect the results to some extent from year to year.
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Calhoun, A. J.
1949 California Striped Bass Catch Records From the Party
Boat Fishery; 1938-1948. California Fish and Game,
Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 211-253.
1950 California Angling Catch Records from Postal Card
Surveys: 1936-1948 With an Evaluation of Postal Card
Non-response. California Fish and Game, Vol. 36, No.
3, pp. 177-233.
1951 California State-Wide Angling Catch Estimates for
1949. California Fish and Game, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp.
1952 Annual Migrations of California Striped Bass. California
Fish and Game, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 391-403.
1953a. State-Wide California Angling Estimates for 1951. California
Fish and Game, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 103-113.
1953b. Distribution of Striped Bass Fry in Relation to Major
Water Diversions. California Fish and Game, Vol. 39,
No. 3, pp. 279-299.
1957 Striped Bass Fishing Map (Revised by John E. Skinner).
California Department of Fish and Game.
Calhoun, A. J., and John E. Skinner
1954 Field Tests of Stainless Steel and Tentalum Wire with
Disk Tags on Striped Bass. California Fish and Game,
Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 323-328.
Calhoun, A. J., and C. A. Woodhull
1948 Progress Report on Studies of Striped Bass Reproduction
in Relation to the Central Valley Project. California
Fish and Game, Vol. 34, No. 4, pp. 171-187.
1950 Striped Bass Reproduction in the Sacramento River
System in 1948. California Fish and Game, Vol. 36, No.
2, pp. 135-145.
Clark, G. H.
1929 Sacramento-San Joaquin Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)
Fishery of California. California Fish and
Game, Fish Bulletin No. 17.
1932 The Striped Bass Supply of California, Past and Present
California Fish and Game, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp.
1933 Fluctuations in the Abundance of Striped Bass (Roccus
lineatus) in California. California Department of Fish
and Game, Fish Bulletin No. 39.
1934 Tagging of Striped Bass. California Fish and Game,
Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 14-19.
1936 A Second Report on Striped Bass Tagging. California
Fish and Game, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 272-283.
1938 Weight and Age Determination of Striped Bass. California
Fish and Game, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 176-177.
Cole, Charles E.
1930 Angling for Striped Bass. California Fish and Game,
Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 286-290.
Craig, J. A.
1928 The Striped Bass Supply of California. California
Fish and Game, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 265-272.
1930 An Analysis of the Catch Statistics of the Striped Bass
(Roccus lineatus) Fishery of California. California
Department of Fish and Game, Fish Bulletin No. 24.
Hatton, S. Ross
1940. Progress Report on the Central Valley Fisheries Investigations,
1939. California Fish and Game, Vol.
26, No. 4, pp. 334-373.
Jackson, H. W. and R. E. Tiller
1952 Preliminary observations on spawning potential in
striped bass (Roccus saxatilis). Maryland Dept. Res.
and Ed., Pub. 93, pp. 1-6.
Johnson, W. C, and A. J. Calhoun
1952 Food Habits of California Striped Bass. California
Fish and Game, Vol. 38, No. 4, pp. 531-533.
Morgan, Alfred R. and Arthur R. Gerlach
1950 Striped Bass Studies on Coos Bay, Oregon in 1949 and
1950. Oregon Fish Commission, Contribution No. 14.
Pearson, John C.
1938 The Life History of the Striped Bass or Rockfish,
(Roccus saxatilis) (Walbaum). U. S. Department of
Commerce Bureau of Fisheries, Vol. XLIX, Bulletin
Raney, Edward C, Ernest F. Tresselt, Edgar H. Hollis, V. D.
Vladykov and D. H. Wallace
1952 The Striped Bass (Roccus saxatilis). Bulletin of the
Bingham Oceanographic Collection, Vol. 14, Article 1.
Scofield, N. B.
1910 Notes on striped bass in California. Biennial Report,
Calif. Board of Fish and Game Commissioners for
1909-1910, pp. 104-109.
1936 Food of the Striped Bass. California Fish and Game,
Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 261-270.
Skinner, John E.
1955a. California State-Wide Angling Estimates for 1953.
California Fish and Game, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 19-32.
1955b. Observations on the Shad Gill Net Fishery in 1954.
California Department of Fish and Game, Inland Fisheries
Branch, Administrative Report 55-3.
1957a. Incidental losses of Striped Bass in the Sacramento
River Gill Net Fisheries for Shad and Salmon. California
Department of Fish and Game, Inland Fisheries
Branch, Administrative Report 57-2.
1957b. Status of the Striped Bass—Sturgeon Study and Suggestions
for its Future. California Department of Fish
Fish and Game, Inland Fisheries Branch, Administrative
Report No. 57-11.
Smith, Hugh M.
1895 The Striped Bass History and Results of Introduction.
U. S. Fish Commission Bulletin, Vol. 15, pp. 449-458.
1947 Spawning Habits of the Striped Bass (Roccus saxatilis)
in California Waters. California Fish and Game,
Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 97-101
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