Never Estimate Mother Nature

Last week the computer said showers for last week and I estimated that the river would get a little dirty and maybe rise some. That is what I get for estimating Mother Nature. Last week it rained and I mean drenched the Trinity Valley. Willow Creek saw 7.35in of rain in just 2days. The creek behind my house roared and the river almost came over the gravel bar in front of my house. As a weather forecaster I am NOT and my computer is not much better. From what I was able to read on the water flows most of the creeks and flow stations were showing that the river was dropping but still blown out and the South Fork was mud bank to bank. Because of that the Trinity is muddy from South Fork down. There is fish in the river but I don’t know how you would find them. Normally when the river is high I can fish the slow side and eddies but this kind of water flows I just sit here looking at the river and hope all the fish are not washed out to sea.

Fishing: I made a mistake about the Trinity River fishing. The Trinity River is open all year long from Lewiston to Weitchpec for hatchery steelhead and hatchery trout. You may NOT KEEP any Chinook salmon from the mouth of South Fork to Weitchpec. Now that I have cleared that up I can say that I don’t believe that the Trinity will be fishable for at least a week and maybe longer if the new storms are anything like the last one. This last rain storm brought in warm rains from Hawaii and helped melt the local snow level back up to the 8,500 – 9,00ft level and that is why the river is so high. This could hurt the water levels in Trinity Lake for later in the summer when we want/need extra water flows.

The water year and water releases are usually set at the May meeting of the Trinity Management Council. There is a water release proposal for the April meeting in Weaverville at the TRRP Offices, 1313 S. Main. If you are interested in what may be presented you can contact Kevin Held at 530-623-1809 or email him at

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 6,158cfs today. This will negate any fishing on the Klamath for at least a week so we are going to have to be patient and wait for Mother Nature to calm down before there will be much of a chance to fish.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 86% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 1,594cfs and releasing 714cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 88% (an increase of 3% and 5ft) with inflows of 18,932cfs and releasing 1,892cfs, Keswick is 94% of capacity (an increase of 2%) with inflows of 3,086cfs and releasing 3,045cfs; Oroville Lake is 61%  capacity (an increase of 2% & plus 9ft), inflow is 39,841cfs and releases are 12,587cfs; Folsom Lake is 82% of capacity minus 2% & minus 7ft.) inflows are 33,706cfs and releases are 24,815cfs.

Trinity Lake: The Lake is 37ft below the overflow (an increase of 9ft) and 77% of capacity (2% decrease) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 12,468cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 415cfs to Lewiston Lake with 115cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant and it is releasing  3,045cfs to the Sacramento River.

Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 300cfs with water temps of 54 degrees and air is 62 degrees at 4:00pm today. Limekiln Gulch is 5ft at 583cfs, water temps of 53 degrees. Douglas City is 7ft at 897cfs, water temps of 52 degrees and air is 52. Junction City is 3.7ft at 1,310cfs.  Helena is 12.2ft at 2,241cfs with water temps of 48.9. Cedar Flat is 8.9ft at 5,879cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 11.2Kcfs and air is 59 with water at 51. Hoopa is 22.4ft at 21.5Kcfs with water temps of 50.  Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 51.4Kcfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 6,158cfs.  Seiad Valley is 8.9ft at 11.1Kcfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 12.5Kcfs, Salmon River is 7.6ft at 8,466cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 21.5Kcfs and Orleans is 13.9ft. at 29.9Kcfs and the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 23.1ft at 72.8Kcfs, with water temperatures of 48.4 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 13.9ft at 13.2Kcfs.

The low temperatures for Valley last week were 37/38 degrees and the high was 75 with 7.35in of rain with a season total of 33.15in of rain with 0in of snow in Willow Creek for a total of 4.15in of snow. Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to be 83/37 degrees with some clouds early in the week and then scattered showers starting Sunday and then some more cloudy days.

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