The rain we’ll be getting this weekend is far too little and much too late for anglers hoping to fish certain stretches of local rivers and streams anytime soon. Yesterday, the California Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously to adopt emergency closures of rivers up and down the state due to severe drought conditions. The move follows a recommendation from the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.

These emergency closures won’t officially take effect until they’re approved by the state Office of Administrative Law, which won’t happen until mid- to late-February, according to a press release. The closures listed below will be in effect until April 30:

  1. The main stem Eel River from the paved junction of Fulmor Road with the Eel River [that’s near Ferndale, right near the river mouth] to the South Fork Eel River.
  2. The South Fork of the Eel River downstream from Rattlesnake Creek and the Middle Fork Eel River downstream from the Bar Creek.
  3. The main stem Van Duzen River from its junction with the Eel River to the end of Golden Gate Drive near Bridgeville.
  4. The main stem Mad River from the Hammond Trail Railroad Trestle to Cowan Creek.
  5. The main stem of the Mattole River from the mouth to Honeydew Creek.
  6. The main stem of Redwood Creek from the mouth to its confluence with Bond Creek.
  7. The main stem Smith River from the mouth of Rowdy Creek to the mouth of Patrick Creek (tributary of the Middle Fork Smith River); the South Fork Smith River from the mouth upstream approximately 1,000 feet to the County Road (George Tyron) bridge and Craig’s Creek to its confluence with Jones Creek; and the North Fork Smith River from the mouth to its confluence with Stony Creek.

“We can’t make it rain, but we can take action to relieve our beleaguered salmon and steelhead populations from any additional stress,” Commission President Michael Sutton said in the press release. “I’m proud that the fishing community supports this action as essential for the conservation of our precious fishery resources.”