Change, are you ready for it?
To start off we have the TIMECHANGE which means that it is still dark out there when you get up. Yes the fish have no eye lids and don’t sleep but the water is also very cold at first light. Therefore you can stop and have that second cup of coffee and maybe a bite to eat to ward off the cold. Next make sure you have something hot to drink while out there fishing and don’t be in a hurry to get on the water as the fish are still lethargic in the early morning.
WEATHER: the weather is changing and it is supposed to be spring. We are still having winter storms with ice, snow and rain. Spring is supposed to bring showers but the change in the weather pattern and late winter storms has brought us some changes we are not used to. The weather changes from rain, snow and ice to just plain cold. Sometimes the rain is warm and sometimes it is cold so plan ahead and be prepared for winter steelhead fishing.
SPRING: the first day of Spring is March 20 but I don’t think Mother Nature knows that as she is throwing rain and snow at us this late in the year. March is suppose to be down runner time but because the river is not up to winter flows yet many adults are un able to get up the creeks they spawn in and that is why you are still able to get fresh adults and not the usual spawned out steelies. With the coming storm that could change. March is also the time ocean going Browns return to the Trinity.
FISHING: some of the new regulations are confusing and we are not ready for them so try to read the new regulations and don’t be afraid to ask questions of CDFW. The leader thing is not the right way to stop snagging. Now we have to ward off the lead fishing tackle ban. Assemblyman Bill Quirk has introduced legislature, AB 2787, to ban lead fishing tackle. The cost of your fishing license goes up every year and we lose more fishermen each year because of it. Now we are looking at more restrictions and unnecessary fishing regulations another deterrent to fishing.
SALMON: there is a possibility we will have a salmon season on the Klamath River Basin but with the numbers projected is could be very short. We will learn more from the PFMC meeting in April. I have gone over the proposed numbers and they are not looking well for the In-River Sport fishing.
Trinity River Hatchery: For the week ending Feb. 19; Fall Run Chinook salmon , jacks 0, adults 0, total 0, season total 5,632, Coho salmon, jacks 0, adults 0, total 0, season total 422; steelhead 17, season total 2,023.
Klamath Iron Gate: For the week ending Jan. 9; Bogus Creek, Chinook season total 2,247, Coho 0, season total 68; Scott River, Chinook salmon 0, season total 2,279, Coho 382; Shasta River, Chinook salmon season total 9,935, Coho season total 38. There was no report from the Klamath or TRH counting this week.
Fishing: Fishing on the Upper Trinity has been slow because the lack of fishermen on the water. Todd LeBoeuf of Tiger T Guide service has been doing well when he can get someone to go fishing. Last week he did three runs in the Douglas City and Junction City sections of the Trinity and was able to hook fresh adults to 9lbs. Damien James was able to land a nice 5 pounder and Jack He ringer was able to land a nice 7lbs adult steelhead. The larges fish landed was a 9lbd fresh adult by Greg. There were some down runners and hatchery fish but on the whole they had the river all to themselves.
The coming storms should bring in fresh steelhead but for now there is very little fishing pressure in the upper river. As for the Lower Trinity it has been a hard fish due to the high water flows from North Fork, New River and the South Fork. When the river drops one can fish the shallow side of the river and hook a fish or two using large spinners.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,287cfs. This is a significant increase to the water flows but should allow for some steelhead fishing above I-5. Happy Camp should is high at 3,023cfs and fishing would be hard with those kind of water flows. From Orleans down the river is blown out with high water and hard to get to good river access for fishing but it really look good as I drove by yesterday afternoon. The good news is that the Trinity and Klamath Rivers are starting to get good scouring and maybe help with cleaning out the pathogens that harm the fish.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 424cfs and releasing 483cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 79% (an increase of 4% and 5ft) with inflows of 10,789cfs and releasing 2,050cfs, Keswick is 85% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 2,551cfs and releasing 3,094cfs; Oroville Lake is 46% capacity (an increase of 4% & plus 15ft), inflow is 8,458cfs and releases are9790 cfs; Folsom Lake is 64% of capacity plus 10% & plus 11ft.) inflows are 9,830cfs and releases are 1,995cfs.
Trinity Lake: The Lake is 43ft below the overflow (decrease of 2ft) and 74% of capacity (1% increase) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 1,388cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 567cfs to Lewiston Lake with 354cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant and it is releasing 3,014cfs to the Sacramento River.
Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 313cfs with water temps of 51 and air is 53 degrees at 2:00pm today. Limekiln Gulch is 4.7ft at 360cfs, water temps of 47 degrees. Douglas City is 6.4ft at 448cfs, water temps of 48.1, air is 54. Junction City is 1.9ft at 514cfs. Helena is 9.3ft at 660cfs with water temps of 46.9. Cedar Flat is 4.5ft at 1,363cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 2,767cfs air is 58 and water at 46.8. Hoopa is 16.1ft at 5,469cfs with water temps of 46.6. Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 13.5Kcfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,287cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.7ft at 2,542cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 3,023fs, Salmon River is 4.1ft at 2,33cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 6,088cfs and Orleans is 6.8ft. at 8,121cfs and the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 13.9ft at 20.2Kcfs, with water temperatures of 46.1 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 9.8ft at 5,780cfs.
The low temperatures for Valley last week were 37/31 degrees and the high was 68 with 4.5in of rain with a season total of 49in of rain with 0in of snow for a total of 4.15in of snow. The temperatures for next week are expected to be 669/303 degrees with showers, rain and some snow. Most of the following week will be scattered showers and some rain. There could be some cold weather in store. So be prepared.