Not too long ago, the Sacramento River Delta was almost exclusively a salmon and steelhead fishery—kings would stage in great numbers before taking to the river and running throughout the system. Same with chromers.
Today, the delta is likely better known for its striped bass and smallmouth bass fisheries, as well as for its carp, crappie and sunfish populations that attract anglers. As inland habitat degradation has stressed native ocean-going fish like salmon and steelhead, the delta has become an adopted home for introduced stripers and smallies.
The video above shows that, as the fishery is evolving, sadly, away from anadromous salmon and trout and into one of the best striped-bass fisheries on earth, anglers, too, are adapting, and chasing these amazing fish that are native to Atlantic coast. It’s bittersweet to see, this tidally driven delta that used to be among the best salmon-producing waters in the world now being used by anglers targeting other fish. I’m not ready to write off California’s native fish, but at least the newcomers have a fan base, too.
— Chris Hunt