The Passing of a CA Delta legend

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Tom

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It is with deep regret that I heard of the passing of Hal Schell on Friday, June 9, 2006. Hal was the original Delta river rat, well known throughout the CA Delta for his numerous publications and contributions to magazines. He could often be found at Delta hangouts, marinas, restaurants, watering holes and Delta events, all of which provided fodder for his writings.

When he quit his early career at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Hal and his wife Joanie lived fulltime on their boat, the Delta Dawdler, which was related to the title of Hal's classic book Dawdling on the Delta.

Hal was also known for rising at dawn while anchored in some secluded slough and playing Reveille on his bugle.
 

Tom

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Robert,

Confirmation came yesterday from Dan Schula, the photographer who takes lots of the photos seen in the local magazines and web sites. It was announced at the general meeting this morning and the board is sending flowers in addition to making a donation to a fund.
 

Tom

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Smoky,

The CA Delta is my shorthand for the California Delta, also known as the Sacramento/San Joaquin river delta, formed by the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers as they flow to San Francisco Bay. It's the place where we live and do our non-coastal recreational boating. Click here for my illustrated article on the area. Click here for a list and description of RV parks in the area.
[edit]Link update[/edit]
 

Tom

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Robert,

Additional confirmation today from the Delta water-borne mailman who came by.
 

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Tom

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I was trying to figure out how the USPS makes money when they deliver a single letter with a 39c stamp and the guy uses boat gas to get there.
 

Smoky

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Thanks Tom for the most informative links.  Enjoyed reading them.  In fact they got me wondering about visiting that area this coming winter when we are in AZ.  What are the winters like there and is the fishing still good?

We have not had a chance to drop many lines on this current trip, though the fishing on Lake Champlain is fabulous.  I fished this area extensively as a youth.  Hoping to have an afternoon where I can get loose and cast a fly line on the Ausable for trout here at the campground (after I find out where I can get a visitor license).  I caught many a pike and bass on the Lake in my youth but what I enjoyed most were the yellow perch.  There is something about the sharp rapid tug of a 12 inch yellow perch that produces an excitement unlike any other fish.  They are good in the pan too!
 

Tom

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Hi Smoky,

Glad you enjoyed the reading.

Here's a little about Delta weather. Note the comment about possibility of tule fog in the winter months. We've found it worst (or more common) January-March.

Fishing in the winter months includes sturgeon, striped bass, catfish and black bass. Stripers are great fighters, but it's nothing like having a large sturgeon on the hook making spectacular leaps out of the water.

I really miss fly fishing for trout and have to drive into the Sierras to do that.
 

Tom

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A message received today from the California Delta Chambers:

The California Delta Chambers has been asked by Hal Schell's family to coordinate a memorial service for him. Curt Page, of West Coast Canvas, was asked to represent Hal.

To celebrate Hal's life and love for the Delta, the Memorial Service will be Sunday, July 16th from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Tower Park Sunset Bar & Grill Banquet Room, located at 14900 W. Highway 12, Lodi which is on Highway 12 between the cities of Lodi and Rio Vista. People are welcome to come by car or boat, with the Guest Dock area being reserved for those arriving by boat. The next issue of the Yachtsman Magazine will carry this information as well.

Hal's Memorial is being set up as an "Open House" memorial. There will be food, music and lots of memorabilia of Hal's life and the  writings he did about the Delta waterways and the many people and characters he immortalized in print.

To continue to honor Hal's life and work, a "Delta History" Display is planned to be set up in the new Discover the Delta Visitor's  Center that will soon be constructed at the foot of the Rio Vista Bridge. Hal's family has asked that any donations go to this center.

Checks can be made to the: Discover the Delta Foundation, c/o The Hal Schell Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 609, Isleton, CA 95641. web site, phone 916-777-4442, email: [email protected]

If I can answer any further questions, please feel free to call me at the numbers below.

Sincerely,

Kim Korth
California Delta Chambers Director/Treasurer
Co-Owner of Korths Pirates Lair & Ox Bow Marinas
 
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