San Joaquin River


Some interesting conversations during a recent backpacking & fly fishing trip in the eastern Sierra.  America used to be a relatively egalitarian place with a strong middle class.   Is this still reality?  Is it still true that if you educate yourself and work hard you will be rewarded?  Everyone in America needs a strong middle class.  Without it we will fail.

Dry season threatens farmers, return of salmon to San Joaquin River. - Ripple Effects: How drought is changing the Valley -
Even though the wetter half of California’s winter is still ahead, it’s hard to ignore the historic dry spell taking shape. The statewide snowpack is 15% of average for early January. This winter is mirroring the terrible 1976-1977 season – the driest time on record. “I never recall a year when there were zero storms for this length of time,” said Randy McFarland, local historian and spokesman for many water districts. “I have the sense we’re seeing history in the making.” A history-making dry year could mean no water releases this summer from Millerton Lake for the restoration of the San Joaquin. All eyes will be on the river in late December when officials are scheduled to reintroduce long-dead salmon runs. Read more here:…

Rare Sea Turtle Spotted Far From Home In San Joaquin River

SAN JOAQUIN RIVER (CBS13) — A fisherman spotted a rare sea turtle on the San Joaquin River that experts say is very far from home.

Angler Dan Maloon posted video (shown above) in search of affirmation that his freshwater find and eyes weren’t deceiving him.

“When I first saw it, I thought it was a plastic bag,” he said.

Validation came from the experts at the Turtle Island Restoration Network in Marin County.

“There is no doubt in my mind that this is the Eastern Pacific Green Sea Turtle,” said spokesman Todd Steiner.

He says there are only a few thousand of them left in the world, and they primarily live in the warmer, more tropical waters off of central and southern Mexico.

“This animal clearly came from the Pacific Ocean, there’s no question about that,” he said. “Apparently went north into San Francisco Bay and now it seems to be heading directly east.”

Steiner says it either became confused and mistakenly swam north, or something else.

“It may be associated with an El Nino event, but even with an El Nino event, it’s highly unusual,” he said.

The wild discovery also leads to increasing concern for the endangered animal. Our cold waters could lead to what’s called “cold stunned.”

“If it gets too cold, it basically becomes hypothermic and can no longer function,” he said.

Text credit: Adrienne Moore


It doesn’t get much better than the San Joaquin River in September.  The crowds are gone.  The temperatures are cooler.  The Aspen trees are just starting to change color.  The trout are hungry and aggressive.

Just outside of Mammoth Lakes in the eastern Sierra, this freestone river flows through Devils Postpile National Monument.  It is full of wild Brown and Rainbow Trout.  The dry fly fishing is spectacular.  Caddis and hoppers.  Do yourself a favor and turn off the football game, pack yourself a lunch, and spend the day working your way upstream from Rainbow Falls to the national monument.  

Rainbows at Goodwin - The Goodwin Diversion Dam is located on the Stanislaus River and is owned by the Oakdale and South San Joaquin Irrigation districts which diverts Stanislaus River water into the district`s canals. The Stanislaus River is one of the largest tributaries of the San Joaquin River.  The river is named for Estanislao a Miwok leader from Mission San Jose who led a band of 400 former mission acolytes against the Mexican government in 1828 and 1829. The Stanislaus is a widely popular recreational river for fishing, rafting, camping and picnics.


Photo by Reclamation Fish Biologist John Hannon