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Corvina action shuts down

February 16, 2002|By AL KALIN, Staff Columnist

Last week corvina fishing was spotty as anglers fished hard for only two or three fish per boat. What little action there was took place from the Navy pier north to Riviera Keys. Boats are launching from Johnson's Landing at the north end of Salton City and trolling Thin-Fin lures.

This week the fishing was even worse as most fishermen blanked Monday and Tuesday. Salton Sea fishing guide Ray Garnett thinks the slow bite is a result of recent southeast winds during the full moon. The brisk winds stirred up bottom sediment around the New River and Alamo deltas and charged the water with phosphate that created an algae bloom.

Water in the south end of the Salton Sea all the way up to Salton City has changed from a desirable clear tobacco brown color to a dingy, murky brown color.

"This is a sure sign of low oxygen content," said Garnett, "And the bite has shut down until oxygen levels improve."

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Another theory is the full moon during the winter triggers pile worms to spawn. Pile worms live in the black mud on the floor of the Salton Sea and consume rotting vegetation.

When a full moon occurs, the worms emerge from the bottom mud and float to the surface to mate. During this full moon mating frenzy by the pile worms, fish gorge themselves all night on anything that looks like a worm and shun all other baits during the day.

On Saturday bird watchers all over California and especially the Imperial Valley conducted a mountain plover count to help understand why the species has been slowly declining in recent years.

The mountain plover, a common visitor to our valley during the winter, is usually seen feeding in flocks on barbecued bugs in freshly burned Bermuda grass fields as well as irrigated alfalfa fields recently pastured by sheep or cattle.

A short-eared owl, a rare visitor to the Imperial Valley, has been spotted at the north end of Vendell Road inside the Westmorland refuge. The rare bird has been seen for the last week, feeding at sundown, where Vendell Road makes a jog inside the refuge.

The cackling goose is another rare winter visitor that can be seen on the Westmorland refuge at the end of Vendell Road, seven and a half miles northwest of Westmorland with access off Highway 78/86. The tiny cackling goose is the smallest of the Canadian goose species and not as large as a Ross goose. The cackler has been feeding alongside Ross and snow geese as they store up energy for their trip back to the Arctic Circle.

If you would like to report your hunting or fishing success, Al Kalin can be reached on the Internet at akalin@quix.net

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