Drought – Water Restrictions

The Memorial Day Holidays are upon us which unofficially starts the beginning of summer, I hope yours were safe and fun.
Governor Newson has asked the California Water Board to impose water restrictions on 17 major water suppliers that supply water to most of California. These restrictions are the first of the restrictions to try and help stem the drought. I know many Californians will be unhappy with these restrictions especially farmers. Farmers need water to grow food that we will be buying in the grocery stores. Without water they will not be able to grow food which means what food they do grow will be costlier to us the consumers. Of Note; the 17 reservoirs connected Central Valley Water Project only 8 are above 50% of capacity and none over 80%. I would say we are short of water!
    The Notice of intent to sue the Bureau of Reclamations failure to update an ESA or updating the “Biological Opinion” for the Trinity River. The Record of Decision of 2000 was based on science gathered in the 1980s and 1990s for the “Biological Opinion” for recovery of Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Coho Salmon, Sacramento River Winter Run Chinook Salmon, Central Valley Spring-run Chinook Salmon and Central Valley Steelhead. It also involves the Klamath River Basin of which the Trinity River is part of. The Trinity River Restoration Project is the results of this information. To date there has been no adoptive changes to the “Biological Opinion” since the ROD was signed in 2000 so the TRRP is still using science of over 40 years ago. The ROD states the “best science available” shall be used and there have been no updates to the ESA or the Biological Opinion of October 12, 2000. Why?? It is available! A Recovery Plan has to be made before any other Restoration is done to the Trinity River. I see no increase in Salmon returns, in fact the returns have been less and Klamath River Basin has not made it’s Ion-River Native fish spawning releases for the last three years.  

Scott River screw trapping summary: estimate recapture Chinook of 350,7640+ have out-migrated from the Scott and 62,494 age 1+ have out migrated from the Scott River, Julian 18 week ending May. 2, 2022; 371,640 age 0+371,640, 31 age 1+ Chinook; Coho salmon age 0+1,316 aged and 1,536 aged 1+ Coho salmon have out-migrated.

Shasta River screw trapping summary: 1,417.509 Marked-Recapture Chinook salmon aged 0+ and 2,376Coho aged 1+form the Shasta River. 351,372 aged 0+ Chinook and 31 aged 1+ through he screw trap; 75 aged 0+ and 534 aged 1+Coho counted. These are good number for native stock out migrating.

Fishing: The spring flows are subsiding and the river is dropping here in Willow Creek although the spring rains are still around with more to come. This last weekend was nice as we had showers and it cooled the weather some. I didn’t see much cooling of the river though. There was much celebrating but the rain kind of kept the river revelers away. I am hoping that we see more fishermen on the river before it really heats up because once the sun heats up the river it will be only early early morning and late evening fishing. The water is coming out of the dam in Lewiston at 53 plus degrees and by the time it gets down to Douglas City it has reached almost 54 degrees, no good for daytime fishing.

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 9,069cfs. This is a decrease of 4,200cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,2401,246cfs. The Orleans River flows have decreased by 1,591cfs. This is good news and I hope to be hearing some good fishing reports very soon.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98% of capacity (an increase of 7%) with inflows of 1,031cfs and releasing 275cfs in to Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 40% of capacity (a decrease of 0% minus 1ft) with inflows of 3,217cfs and releasing 3,055cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 89% (a decrease of 7%) with inflows of 3,352cfs and releasing 3,777cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 54% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 1ft) with inflows of 2,423cfs with releases of 2,2351cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 88% of capacity (an increase of 3% plus 3t) with inflows of 2,767cfs with releases of 2,303cfs into the American river.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 146ft below the overflow (an increase of 2ft) and 31% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 1,816cfs and releasing 988cfs into Lewiston Lake with 383cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 3,547cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 95% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and water releases are 547cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 53.3 degrees, as of 1:00pm today Sunday May 29, 2022. Limekiln Gulch is 4.91ft at 465cfs. Douglas City is 6.58ft with flows of 502cfs with water temperatures of 53.8 degrees. Junction City is 2.08ft at 525cfs. Helena is 9.28ft at 765cfs with water temps of 56.3 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 4.35ft at 1,236cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 3.17ft at 496cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,732cfs and air is 72 degrees and water at 57 degrees, the river is still dropping and with good color. Hoopa is 13.74ft at 2,697cfs and water is 58.2 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 9,069cfs a decrease of 4,200cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,246cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.42ft at 2,264cfs. Indian Creek is 4.60ft at 414cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,660cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 4,336cfs, and the Salmon River is 3.99ft at 2,036cfs. Orleans is 5.72ft at 6,372cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 11.60ft at 10,861cfs and water temps are 57.3 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 7.29ft with flows of 2,113cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 13.85 ft at N/A cfs.

    Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 96 and a low of 43 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.24in with a water year total to date of 54.67 inches and 5.0in of snow in Willow Creek. We are experiencing late spring showers and they should continue into next weekend The predicted weather for next week is high of 78 and a low of 52 with a few showers this coming weekend. 

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