The rains and scattered showers have kept the Lower Trinity in a state of high and milky water. The upper sections of the river are in good shape for fishing. Most of the native fish have spawned out and started their migration down river. Most of the creeks in the upper river are running at a good level and allowing native fish access for spawning which should make for a good return in three years if the TRRP doesn’t disrupt the holding waters too much with gravel argumentation. The Deadwood Creek drainage is not making very much of a dirty water problem at this time but a hard rain or possibly major snow melt event could create some difficulties in that area for upriver fishing. I have not found the latest snow report yet but it should be out very soon and that will make a large determination as to the water year and the actions of the Trinity Management Council (TMC). I hope that some type of public input can slow down the TMC gravel argumentation to a point that we can get a good juvenile fish flush this year. For last several years the Klamath-Trinity River Basin has not been able to get a good juvenile survival rate and that affects the fish return for fishing.
The PFMC will meet in a couple of weeks and that is going to be very interesting as to what they will determine will be the allowable harvestable surplus for fishing quotas. Stay tuned as it could be very serious as to what is going to happen within the Klamath-Trinity River Basin. At the present, NMFS has declared over fishing for the Klamath-Trinity and that could put a serious crimp into the In-River Sport fishing. I truly hope not, but the Hoopa have already declaring they are going to harvest 50% of the Tribal Quota and if that is true, I see the In-River Sport fishing getting even harder. (Tribal harvest quota is 50% of harvestable surplus; Yurok 80%, Hoopa 50% equals 130%, where does the extra 30% going to come from?)
Don’t forget to write letters to CDFW to; “post public hearings in a timely manner and in areas affected by the proposed rulings so that the public (fishermen) can testify and make public input!”
Final River Trapping Summery is out; March 18th, Chinook salmon season total 7,306; Coho season total 745; Steelhead season total 1,897. These are good numbers for Hatchery steelhead and fall Chinook salmon returns but a little weak for Coho returns.
Klamath; Bogus Creek salmon season total Chinook 2,734; Coho 23; Shasta River season total Chinook 20,692, Coho 39; Scott River Chinook 404, Coho 681. These are all native salmon returns. I have no Iron Gate Hatchery returns as of yet.
Fishing: We have had some sunshine and rain during the past week with high water in the lower parts of the rivers but in most cases the upper sections of both rivers have fared well for fishing of down runners and native trout. The upper sections of the Trinity are in good condition with fair to good fishing while the Klamath above I-5 has been doing well also.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,554cfs. at this time. Fishing above I-5 is fare to good but a check in with Scot Caldwell Guide service would give you a better report for fishing at this time. Fishing has been reported as fair in the Happy Camp area but the river is still very high in the Orleans area and from Weitchpec down to the mouth the Klamath is very high right now.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 90% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows 1,362cfs and releasing 1,256cfs on to Keswick and the Sacramento River. Shasta is 84% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 15,333cfs and releasing 8,652cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 84% (an increase of 0%) with an inflow of 10,177cfs and releasing 10,023cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 77% of capacity (an increase of 2% plus 5ft) with inflows of 13,862cfs with releases of 9,757cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 69% of capacity (an increase of 4% minus 5ft) with inflows of 10,811cfs with releases of 5,028cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: the lake is 38ft below the overflow (a decrease of 4ft) and 77% of capacity (an increase of 2%) inflows are 3,607cfs and releasing 256cfs into Lewiston Lake with 3,251cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 10,023cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 315cfs and water temperatures of 50.3 degrees and air at N/A as of 12:30pm today Sunday Mar. 24, 2019. Limekiln Gulch is 5.10ft at 510cfs and water temps of 45.1. Douglas City is 7.19ft and flows of 987cfs. with air temps of 51 and water at 45.5 degrees. Junction City is 3.76ft at 1,1520cfs. Helena is 11.77ft at 1,923cfs with water temps of 46.4 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 7.30ft at 3,126cfs. South Fork of the Trinity is 7.68ft at 3,379cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 6,916cfs and air is 60 degrees and water at 46 degrees. Hoopa is 18.47ft at 10,714cfs and is 46 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 22,310cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate is releasing 1,554cfs. Seiad Valley is 5.51ft at 4,152cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 4,895cfs, the Salmon River is 4.85ft at 3,010cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 8,586cfs. Orleans is 8.63ft at 11,596cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 15.74ft at 29,657cfs and water temps of 47.3 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 8.75ft and flows of 3,966cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 15.11ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week were 61 hi with a low of 31. Rain for the week was 1.55in with total rain for the water year to date of 55.46 inches, with snow of 4.5in. in the valley to date. We will be seeing cloudy days with light rains and scattered showers during the next week. Nothing heavy predicted but we could see some snow melt that would change the dam releases.