The “Dog Days of Summer”have arrived! Last week we saw almost the whole week of triple digit weather. This week is almost the same, the only difference is we are only looking at several days of triple digit weather but a lot of high 90s. This is great weather for summer tube floating and swimming but not good for fishing. The river has reached above 72 degrees (17c) which is too hot for the fish but great for swimming. I am seeing lots of folks swimming at Big Rock and Kimtu Beach. This is great for summer recreation just remember to keep eye out for the little ones please as it only takes a second and their gone!
I received word that Six Rivers Forest Supervisor has decided to “dismantle” Greys Falls campground. (eliminate) If this is true then wea re another recreational area removed. We already are losing E Ne Nuck campground (No host NO Water) BLM has locked off Skunk Point Camp (3years) Douglas City Campground has yet to be opened for the public, these are not in Six Rivers but are just some more river areas that are being taken away from the public. I can remember when these areas were kept up and great recreational areas for the public to use and now it appears that “OUR” forest recreational areas are being reduced a little bit each year. This is a shame because the forest and rivers are there for the general public to be used. In doing some research you will find out that ¾ yes ¾ of Six Rivers Recreational funds are going to the Smith River Recreation Area. This has been going on for over 20 years now. I was told by the Recreation Officer years ago that it would stop once they caught up but is seems as though that will never happen! The way to make up for this short-fall is to close other less used campgrounds thereby eliminating the need for funding. Why are we funding these programs? When the public does not get a voice in what is happening. Maybe the public should demand “Defunding” of the Forrest Service.
There is still no word of when the reservations will open for non-residents to go off main streets and into river accesses. I know I have been asked many times if I have heard if there is any word yet about the Yurok and Hoopa Reservations relaxing their COVID-19 “stay in shelter” ruling. I can’t see this happening until there are a reduction in the infection rates. Therefore, I see the Reservations staying closed to non-residents. Sorry but I cannot blame them for trying to be as safe as possible. I know I am.
Junction City Weir: Julian week 28 ending July 15, 2020; Chinook salmon, 6-jacks, 34- adults, total 40, season total 209; Coho 0; steelhead, ½ lbers 0, adults 6, total 6, season total 33; Brown trout 0, season total 10.
Fishing: With the “Dog Days of Summer” upon us I am finding more swimmers and tubers than fishermen out there. Yes, there are summer steelhead and spring salmon in the Trinity. What little action I can find out is happening in the upper reaches of the river. In talking with Patrick of Del Loma RV and campground most of the campers in his campground are going up to the lakes (Lewiston & Trinity) to catch trout. From what he says they have been doing pretty well, coming back to camp with limits of nice trout. Patrick also mentioned about all the moss in the river mostly from Junction City down to Cedar Flat. This tells me that it won’t be very long before the Trinity will be seeing blue green algae. This is going to kill the fishing until the winter storms can flush it out. At the rate we are seeing the blue green algae sometime in the future the Trinity River is going die like the Eel River has. Over harvesting and blue green algae on the Trinity will surly end the fishing. Something has to be done! For part of it we only have to look at our county Planning and Building administrators. It would also help if our Ag Commissioners took a few lessons about how algae grow and what causes it.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing @ 2,333cfs. This is a decrease of 243cfs from the last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 907cfs as of this morning. Fishing will be hard because of the high temperatures and warm water. It is going to be mostly an early morning fishery. Fishing above I-5 will probably be slow until they start to release more water. The Orleans area has been very hard fishing, basically because I have found no one fishing the area right now. I have no word from the Happy Camp area at the present time.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 1,718cfs and releasing 1,615cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 63% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 5ft) with inflows of 3,480cfs and releasing 10,383cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 94% (a decrease of 2%) with inflows of 12,353cfs and releasing 12,404cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 56% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 7ft) with inflows of 1,753cfs with releases of 7,286cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 63% of capacity (a decrease of 4% minus 5ft) with inflows of 1,348cfs with releases of 4,321cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 52ft below the overflow (an increase of 2ft) and 69% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 114cfs and releasing 2,073cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,612cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 12,404cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 97% of capacity (an increase of 3%) and water releases are 461cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 53 degrees, as of 10:30am today Sunday July 19, 2020. Limekiln Gulch is 4.92ft at 445cfs. Douglas City is 6.54ft with flows of 473cfs. with air temps of 84 and water temperatures of 59.9 degrees. Junction City is 1.97ft at 570cfs. Helena is 8.51ft at 524cfs with water temps of 65.7 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.75ft at 538cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.16ft at 103cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 641cfs and air is 85 degrees and water at 71-72 degrees. Hoopa is 11.59ft at 799cfs and water is 76.2 degrees.
Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 2,333cfs a decrease 243cfs.
NOTE: Salmon only tolerate water temperatures of about 72 degrees. Once the water reaches 72 degrees and above salmon tend to die. This is why we have some summer water releases on the Trinity River to try and save the fish from dying.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 907cfs. Seiad Valley is 1.97ft at 1,106cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,169cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,289cfs, and the Salmon River is 1.74ft at 245cfs. Orleans is 2.58ft at 1,534cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.44ft at 2,532cfs and water temps are 78.2 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 5.21ft with flows of 474cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 12.01ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 105 and a low of 51 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.00in with a water year to date of 42.47 inches, with snow in Willow Creek of 1.45in. Forecasts for next week are for a couple days of triple digits with highs of 101 and lows of 63. The temperatures for next week are expected to reach into triple digits after the weekend and then cooling down into the hi 90s. The high temperatures of 100 or above be sure you stay well hydrated and be sure to have lots of cold water on hand.