After the rain last week (0.01in) the Willow Creek area has cleared of the heavy smoke and fishing has picked up if you can find a place to get down to the river. We are seeing more fresh fish moving through. The US Forest Service (Six Rivers) has not opened up river access to the Klamath or the Trinity Rivers yet. I know the Fire Camp in Willow Creek is still open and lots of firefighters are camping there. The helicopter base at Big Rock (WC) is still operational because the helicopters are still flying over my house. As for the Red/Salmon Fire Complex it is still burning and growing just not as fast as it was a week ago.
I still don’t have an update about the Hoopa Reservation, or if the weir is working or about non-residents will be allowed to access the river through reservation property to fish.
Willow Creek Weir: opened Julian week 37 ending Sept. 16th. Sept. 10, 2020; Chinook, 0-Jack, 0-Adults, Coho, 0-Jacks, 0-Adults, 0-steelhead.
Recreational Harvest Count Mouth of Klamath: Julian week 38 ending Sep. 23; Chinook Harvest Above Highway 101 Bridge; 0-adults, 2-jacks, total 2, season total to date 245; Lower Klamath Chinook salmon harvest total to date 1,651
Fishing: Fishing in the Willow Creek area is good but river access is very hard. To access the Lower Trinity River is very hard unless you have private property access, I am sorry to report. The Forest Service closure is a day to day situation and it is very hard to get that information until sometime after the decision is made. I did not hear from any up river contacts about how the fishing was so we are in the dark for now.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing @ 2,338cfs. an increase of 339cfs from last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,065cfs as of Sunday afternoon. The Weitchpec and Orleans areas are also seeing more Fall Run fish coming through form what Kenny Peugh, of Orleans, has been seeing.
Happy Camp to I-5 is closed due to the Happy Camp fire. I-5 to Iron Gate should be fair to good for fishing trout right now if the smoke isn’t too bad. The good thing is that the smoke has helped keep water temperatures down so the salmon will move up the river.
Upper Klamath River weir count: Julia week 37 ending on Sep. 16; Shasta river; 0-Chinook, 0-Coho; Scott River 0- Chinook, 0-Coho; Bogus Creek; 0-Chinook, 0-Coho.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 2,085cfs and releasing 1,943cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 49% of capacity (a decrease of 0% minus 1ft) with inflows of 2,314cfs and releasing 4,803cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 90% (a decrease of 5%) with inflows of 6,971cfs and releasing 6,855cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 47% of capacity (a decrease of 0% minus 1ft) with inflows of 922cfs with releases of 6,855cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 44% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 1ft) with inflows of 1,253cfs with releases of 2,134cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 78ft below the overflow (an increase of 7ft) and 56% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 178cfs and releasing 2,513cfs into Lewiston Lake with 143cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 6,855cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 96% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and water releases are 433cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 50.5 degrees, as of 3:30pm today Sunday Sept. 27, 2020. Limekiln Gulch is 4.91ft at 438cfs. Douglas City is 6.50ft with flows of 451cfs. with air temps of 85 and water temperatures of 54.1 degrees. Junction City is 1.92ft at 470cfs. Helena is 8.41ft at 476cfs with water temps of 59.4 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.56ft at 470cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 1.84ft at 38cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 508cfs and air is 78 degrees and water at 64 degrees. Hoopa is 11.12ft at 578cfs and water is 66 degrees.
Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 1,991cfs a decrease of 347cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,059cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.02ft at 1,112cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,153cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,267cfs, and the Salmon River is 1.43ft at 146cfs. Orleans is 2.12ft at 1,413cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.16ft at 2,415cfs and water temps are 68 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 4.77ft with flows of 282cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.72ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 82 and a low of 51 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.01in with a water year to date of 42.51 inches, with snow in Willow Creek of 1.45in. Forecasts for next week are for high of 105 and lows of 62. The temperatures for next week are starting to move back up into the three-digit figures again. That could mean some clear sky’s again. (Let’s hope so)