California Fish and Game Commission Meeting

Happy Easter! Today we are celebrating Easter at home! The COVID–19 virus has us all in a “shelter in place” situation that requires us to stay at home on our properties. The part that is hard is that they say fishing is a safe thing to do but the state closes practically all of the river and beach access points so how does one go fishing.

On Tuesday April 7th the California Fish and Game Commission tried to hold an emergency meeting by teleconference. The problem was that there were so many people trying to get on to the teleconference that the CDFG Commissioners could not get onto the Teleconference themselves thereby not allowing enough Commissioners for a quorum as it takes a majority vote to pass any regulation. I was ashamed at what some of the public shouted over the phone. The main problem was that many of the public had the wrong information about the reason for the meeting.

FACT; this emergency meeting was called for the permission to give the CDFW Director Bonham to “delay some season openings” after meeting and discussing problems of large gatherings with supervisors of the different counties because of the COVID – 19 virous. Then and only then would be the decision be made to “delay” specific trout season openings. NOT the “canceling of fishing season altogether” for the whole state! This is the problem of misinformation. I believe we all, including the commissioner’s, want to see a fishing season for everywhere and everyone. After the disrupted teleconference Director Bonham stated “We also want to make it crystal clear that today’s proposed decision was not about banning fishing statewide or locally”. State officials said they were trying to figure out a way to reschedule the meeting or include it in the regular meeting scheduled for later this month. Blame the COVID-19 virus for the problem not the CDGFC!

Trinity County Fish and Game Advisory Committee; recommends the Trinity County Board of Supervisors write a letter in opposition to the Westland’s Water Contract of a permanent claim to 1.15million Acre Feet of water per year. 

Fishing; Because of the COVID-19 virus and the “shelter-in-place” request, not many people are out fishing. Besides it is very difficult to find access to any of the rivers and beaches right now as the state has closed almost all beach and river accesses to prevent large gatherings. Even though the Trinity is low and clear there are some down runners and a few late fresh steelhead in the river. The Hoopa and Yurok Tribes have declared a “state of emergency” causing non-essential access onto the reservations thus making it very hard to gain access to the rivers. I drove down to the river in front of my house and the Trinity looked great for fishing but I only stayed for a very short time because I didn’t want other people to try and follow me down on the private access. I did see a couple of down runners working their way down river from my neighbor’s patio so I do know there are steelhead in the Trinity. The Trinity River is open to fishing for hatchery marked steelhead and trout all year long. Spring salmon fishing season opens on July 1st for the Trinity from South Fork up to the Old Lewiston Bridge. 

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath at Weitchpec is flowing about 8,722cfs up. Because of COVID-19, I have not been in contact with my river contacts, so I don’ have anything to report at this time.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98% of capacity (an increase of 3%) with inflows of 1,631cfs and releasing 1,459cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 82% of capacity (an increase of 2% plus 3ft) with inflows of 6,762cfs and releasing 2,342cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 87% (an increase of 2% plus 6ft.) with inflows of 4,354cfs and releasing 4,483cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 67% of capacity (an increase of 0% plus 2ft) with inflows of 3,941cfs with releases of 1,435cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 50% of capacity (an increase of 2% plus 2ft) with inflows of 6,111cfs with releases of 1,104cfs into the American river. The current average level of main reservoirs within the state is 62%.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 32ft below the overflow (an increase of 0ft) and 80% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) and inflows of 2,442cfs and releasing 1,435cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,129cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 4,483cfs into the Sacramento River, down slightly from last week.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 98% of capacity (an increase of 3%) and water releases are 306cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 52.6 degrees, as of 12:00pm today Sunday April 12, 2020. Limekiln Gulch is 4.82ft at 384cfs. Douglas City is 6.53ft and flows of 467cfs. with air temps of 68 and water temperatures of 54.9 degrees. Junction City is 2.05ft at 491cfs. Helena is 9.27ft at 760cfs with water temps of 53.9 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 4.41ft at 1,267cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 13.90ft at 1,827cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,827cfs and air is 65 degrees and water at 54 degrees. Hoopa is 13.83ft at 2,878cfs and water is 55.8 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 8,722cfs up from last week.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,358cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.05ft at 1,912cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,248cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 4,017cfs, and the Salmon River is 3.79ft at 1,827cfs. Orleans is 5.32ft at 8,842cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 11.55ft at 10,688cfs and water temps are N/A degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 7.42ft with flows of 2,194cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 13.93ft at N/Acfs.

Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 81 and a low of 41 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.00in with a water year to date of 36.22 inches, with snow in willow Creek, snow of 1.45in. in the valley to date. Forecasts for next week are for temperatures in the highs of 84 and lows of 47 with some a mixture of partial sun and cloudy days. There appears to be some fishable days next week those who wish to make the trip providing you can get river access.

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