The Bureau of Reclamation will still be releasing winter releases from Trinity Dam into the Trinity River until March 14, 2023. March 5th 6th there will be a bump up in the release 800cfs so flows will be going back up again. April 15, 2023 the TRRP and TMC adjusted Spring Releases will start. Will the 60,000 Acre Feet be deducted from the Spring releases or will the Spring releases be added on to the Winter flows, that is the BIG question? Water needs to be released to help the smolt reach the ocean in good health in order for a good return in two years. As it goes the steelhead and now the salmon are becoming endangered because of the low returns to spawning areas. At this rate it will not be long before there will not be a salmon fishery or a steelhead fishery available in California waters. This would be a great threat to the recreation and commercial industries. I don’t even want to think what would happen to the state’s economy if we were to lose those industries plus the hundreds of thousands of jobs lost. Hopefully these winter storms are the beginning of a turn around in the drought years and the weather can start to come back to a more normal weather pattern. I can’t fathom the loss of being able to fish after all these years. I started serious fishing in 1947 and only missed fishing the four years I served in the service of my country.
On my way back from Redding I was able to check some of the TRRP projects on the Trinity and it was really horrible to see so many of them defunct and not working as the TRRP science theorized them to be doing. The 16 years that I was on the TAMWG some of us that were fishermen and on the river many days per week questioned the science of those projects and requested a pause in construction to monitor the projects completed to see if they were producing fish as the science projected. DID NOT HAPPEN! I would really like to see TRRP and the TMC have to go back and review those projects to see how many actually are working and producing fish. Very little of the $500,000 per year that was supposed to be used to restore the watersheds was used to do so. This is the area of cold-water streams where Coho Salmon and steelhead are spawned to restore the natural native fish runs as per the ROD agreement. Even the Trinity River Hatchery production of steelhead and Coho Salmon were reduced to supposedly to help the native fishery. Where are the native fish that was supposed to be produced for the river? I say the TRRP should be stopped and a through, investigation should be conducted as to their results of the last 23 years that was suppose to only last 15 years!
Trinity River Hatchery summary: Julian Week 8 ending Feb. 25, 2023; Fall Run Chinook Salmon, 0-adult, 0-jacks, total 0, season total 3,858; Coho salmon, 0-jack, 0-adult, total 0, season total 3,504; 80-steelhead, season total 811. It looks like the hatchery will make egg quotas for salmon but maybe not for steelhead this year.
Fishing: The ending of winter looks like it is trying to catch up. It was nice to see people out fishing on the Upper Trinity. As I came back from Redding, I saw several drift boats and rafts fishing as well as some bank fishers. I guess I should call them “rock fishers” because that is where I saw them fishing from. In the Willow Creek and Hoopa Areas the fishing has picked up and though there were not many fishers out fishing those that were out fishing had some very good fishing. More ½-pounders were landed than adults but the adults were mostly down runners looking for food to fatten up on their way out to sea. With the higher water flows it is basic hardware time. Throwing larger spinners such as #5 Blue Fox size. If you want to know what the fishing is like in the upper river you can call; Indian Creek Lodge, Cory (530) 6236294, Junction City, Butch (530)623-2803 or the Pine Cove Marina Matt or Louise (530)778-3878 for river conditions.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 10,248cfs. This is an increase of 1,1398cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 855cfs. With these lower releases from Iron Gate the Klamath above I-5 should be in great shape for trout fishing and maybe hooking an adult or two. If you are thinking of fishing above I-5 you might want to call
Scott Caldwell-Guide Service- (530) 905-0758. As you come down river fishing should be fair to good down to the Happy Camp area where the flows are going to pick up to 5,223cfs at the Orleans gauge. From Orleans down to the mouth of the Klamath it is going to be high river flows and should get even higher with the rains this coming week.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 87% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 444cfs and releasing 487cfs into Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 61% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 2ft) with inflows of 3.881cfs and releasing 2,215cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 85% (an increase of 2%) with inflows of 3,113cfs and releasing 3,319cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 74% of capacity (an increase of 2% plus 5ft) with inflows of 6,007cfs with releases of 1,276cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 59% of capacity (an increase of 4% plus 5ft) with inflows of 6,220cfs with releases of 3,964cfs into the American river. Trinity Lake is 801,085AF plus 5,322AF, with the new water releases of 60,000AF.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 140ft below the overflow (a decrease of 1ft) and 33% of capacity (an increase of 1%) with inflows of 1,070cfs and releasing 524cfs into Lewiston Lake with -190cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown and on to Keswick Power Plant, and releasing 3,319cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 96% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and water releases of 714cfs into the Trinity River, (to bump up to 800cfs 3/6/23) with water temperatures of 43.5 degrees, as of 1:30pm today Sunday March 5, 2023. Limekiln Gulch is 5.38ft at 843cfs. Douglas City is 7.15ft with flows of 878cfs with water temperatures of 40.5 degrees. Junction City is 3.03ft at 1,080cfs. Helena is 10.18ft at 1,145cfs with water temps of 41.5 degrees. Burnt Ranch at Cedar Flat is 5.25ft at 1,748cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 4.93ft at 1,394cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 3,142cfs and air is 41 degrees and water at 41.4 degrees, Hoopa is 15.50ft at 5,025cfs with water at 41.3 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 10,248cfs an increase of 1,378cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 855cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.63ft at 1,559cfs. Indian Creek is 4.71ft at 356cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,915cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 3,981fs, and the Salmon River is 3.18ft at 1,242cfs. Orleans is 4.91ft at 5,223cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 12.33ft at 14,261cfs and water temps are 42 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 8.00ft with flows of 3,024cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 14.87ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 52 and a low of 34 degrees. Rain for the week was 6.60n with a water year total to date of 59.84inches and 1.25in of snow for a total of 7.50in. in Willow Creek. The predicted temperatures for next week are for high of 57 and a low of 32. The weather predicted for next week is rain and snow showers for most of the week and then turning into light rain showers for the weekend. If you have plans of coming up to fish, I would suggest that you call ahead to check out the weather as Hwy 299 has been closed at different times lately.