Delta report from Chris Lautitzen January 5, 2017 - January 6, 2017

Hello and happy belated New Years to one and all.

I hope all of you enjoyed a safe and sane Holiday season no matter how you celebrate the season or not.

I think for a lot of us who are self employed just having the day off is perhaps the best gift a person can receive during the holiday season.

Here at our harbor we close three days a year Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day the rest of the time an experienced crew is working around here seven days a week.

If you read this report and own a boat whether it is in dry storage or wet storage or if you are lucky enough to own more then one boat please take the time to check on your boat(s) preferably this weekend before the big storms.

Our staff has been spending the past two days checking boats in dry storage that are out in the open to make sure that there is not rain water pooling up on the boat canvas covers.

What can and does happen is a boat cover captures the water and it pools up on the fore deck of your boat or the aft cockpit area. Remember that fresh water weights 8.43 – lbs per gallon so if a boat cover is pooling say twenty gallons of water there is 169 – lbs of weight that is pulling and stretching at that boat cover.

In a lot of cases the boat cover rips or tears from the weight and all of that water ends up in your boat bilge. If you have not elevated the tongue of your boat trailer so that the bow is higher the stern and your drain plug is not out then all of that water accumulates in the bilge of your boat.

I have seen up to two feet of water in a boat in dry storage because the drain plug was not out.

Remember insurance companies are looking for an out why they don’t have to pay off a claim. If you told them your boat was full of water from the rain and the drain plug was left in they might deny your claim just saying.

For those of you in a berth please go down to your boat to make sure your dock line are in good shape and that there are no chaffing issue or wear spots on your lines.

Make sure your canvas cover is secure and not blowing around in the wind.

If your battery has been on a battery charger since October when you were last on the boat please make sure there is still distilled water covering the cells. If the cells are dry that means your battery has cooked itself and you should just get a new battery.

Enough of the lecture on to the good stuff.

It’s going to get pretty interesting all around the bay area and the delta this weekend if any of the predictions are correct as it relates to wind or rain this weekend.

Each area of the bay area and the delta will have it’s own challenges.

The good news is we have rising tides to the point that next Wednesday January 11 there will be a king tide measuring 7.0 – ft at the Golden Gate Bridge at 0951 hrs.

Four hours later at about 2:00 pm (1400 – hrs) we will have a similar tide here at the Antioch Bridge less the elevation difference from the Golden Gate to the Antioch Bridge.

The good news is the king tide will float a lot of the debris that has washed up on our levee systems in the delta the past few years since the last time we had really high water.

The bad news is all of that debris in the water will make it out onto the Sacramento and San Joaquin River systems. So if and when you are boating in the new week or two you really need to make sure you are paying attention to all debris in the water there will be some surprises especially at night!

As a harbor owner/harbor master I am a little worried about next Wednesday when the king tide arrives here at the Antioch Bridge.

There are five variables that can impact the delta during extreme high water, high tides greater then 6 – ft at the Golden Gate Bridge, dam releases up stream when you do not need any more water in the river system but the water has no place to go, localized rain run off like run off from the storms this weekend and next week, wind and when the barometer drops below 30.

When the barometer drops the water in the system backs up to the point that low tides become high tides and the high tides just kept getting higher and higher.

The good news is the ground is not saturated yet. I know that because my basement at the harbor is still dry. When the ground is saturated my basement flows water at the rate of about a gallon a minute. It’s a good thing the sump pump works just fine.

If you are going to try and fish this week or next remember there will be a lot of junk in the water. Also remember that your incoming currents will be a lot slower in velocity then the tide book is suggesting. That is because you have so much water coming down hill due to the rain run off and some dam releases.

Remember too your out going currents are going to be really fast for the next few weeks because all of the dam releases and rain run off are moving the out going current faster  to the point that you might have problems putting enough weight on your leader to keep the leader on the bottom if you are sturgeon fishing.

The only fishing report comes from young Phil Logo. Phil was out about three days ago before the last rains. He was fishing in Sherman Lake and was able to catch a couple of stripers in the 8 to 10 – lb range.

Phil is always real good about posting to face book if you want to follow him.

Today (Thursday) is the calm before the storm. There is hardly any wind the river is mirror glass and I can see all of the way to the snow capped sierra’s. It’s going to be a little on the cool side tonight because there is no cloud cover. Dress warm for the morning.

Be safe driving on the roads this weekend during the down pours there will be lots of hydro planning if any of the weather predictions hold true.

On the crabbing front at Bodega Bay I am still crabbing for the next week or two weather dependent. The size of the crab are great this year there is just less of them when the commercial guys came it to clean up.

See you on the water Delta Chris





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