SG the stripers were from what I remember migratory fish that moved up that way. Yes I also heard of the imbred theroy but do not believe it's true. (Like I said they are thought of as a nuisance fish to them willing nilling Salmon lovers up there.) If you go back in the westcoast post around January of last year you can find the small thread we had with a guy up by Cresent City and one of my trip up there. He posted for a bit but then stopped. Not sure if he found the mother-lode or thought it wasn't worth the effort.
Kind of interesting information. I do have a friend who became a biologist for F&G. He went to Humbolt State to earn his degree and had dealings with guys from Oregon. From his buddies in Oregon I learned that the fishery did exist and the fish were healthy. Too healty in their eyes. My friend the biogist also expressed to me the theroy of migratory winter fish back in the 80's.
AS for fish quality the guy who was on line with us told of 20 pound class fish being taken in Cresent in January! Dosen't sound like imbred fish to me. Sounds like healthy strong fish to me. My first thought were these fish were from Coos but the more I reasoned with myself I wondered if these fish were actually from S.F. fishery. With fish this year showing off the coast here in Febuary and March laden with eggs made me think perhaps an unstudied group of fish wintered in the Ocean. If this is so then the Coos bay fish which also spend winters in the open surf spend time mingling with the SF fish. Thus the thought of no new blood is foolish. Besides our fish come from a few hundred fish that were brought here by rail cars from NJ, shouldn't we have an imbreded hermadite fish population too?
How could these fish be a unknown colony? Well First off there isn't the studies that go on back east, second if you have ever driven the North Coast you will find very little easy access to fishable water. There are places where there are no roads near the water, steep cliffs and miles of private property. There is also large area's of either low population, or infact no populations. This leads to little chance of people accidently discovering these fish. Even if so what if any media is there to follow up on these fish stories?
So its a mystery, where these fish Coos fish or in fact a group of migratory saltwater living striper population. Think about it could these fish have always been out there or is it more like the findings Moocks posted on another thread about freshwater diversions turning the Bay's brackish waters into a Marine estuary. Could these fish as an act of survival changed into a saltwater wintering fish?
So my thought is that this January if possible, when the seas are calm, I'll retake that journey up North. This time however I won't get sidetracked and head inland to awesome steelhead and trout fishing and put a week into this mystery.