New Regulations for Spring Salmon

At the Feb. 6th California Fish and Game Commission meeting, the Karuk Tribe and the Salmon River Restoration Council submitted a petition to the Commission suggesting that declining population trends and a low abundance of the Spring Run Chinook salmon makes vulnerable to extinction. Once a petition for listing a species is presented and accepted by the Commission emergency action has to happen. This action is to enact Regulations that work the same as if the species was actually listed. Therefore, a temporary set of regulations are in effect for one year or until the California Endangered Species Act is enacted for the species being asked for listing and it is listed as Threatened or Endangered. For the year, the regulations are as though the Spring Run Chinook are Listed and CDFW will have to hold public hearings for a reason the Klamath River Basin Spring Chinook salmon SHOULD or SHOULD NOT be listed. After the public hearings the CDFW shall present options for the Commission to make a determination if the Klamath Basin Spring Chinook should be listed under the CESA and only then shall the Spring Chinook be listed and a recovery plan shall be provided for their recover.  

Regulations: the Klamath River is closed to the “TAKE” of Spring Run Chinook salmon from the mouth of the river to Iron Gate from Feb. 21 to Aug. 14th (subject to the approval of the Office of Administrative Law); the Trinity River main stem from the mouth to the Bridge at Hwy 299 at Cedar Flat, Feb. 21 through August 31st; from Feb.22to Oct. 15 no salmon shall be TAKEN from the Old Lewiston Bridge to the Bridge at Hwy 299, Cedar Flat. CDFW will also be working on regulations for Ocean fishing, sport and Commercial. Remember these regulations are only temporary until there is a determination to list or not list the Spring Run Chinook salmon. 

Notice: Who turned off the power? Much of eastern Humboldt and Trinity Counties was without power for most of last week, Feb. 10 thru Feb. 15. (including me, and again this weekend) This is why there was no Fishing Report for last week and having trouble this week. Sorry!   

NOTE: Don’t forget Humboldt Steelhead Days hatchery fish derby is still going on until February 23rd. Anglers can still sign up for the derby by going to

Klamath Iron Gate Hatchery: Right now, the counts are still going up for the hatchery and Scott River. I hope to have more on this by next week. 

Trinity River Hatchery: TRH for the week of Jan. 29 thru Feb. 4; Chinook 0, season total 7,706; Coho 0, season total 745; Steelhead 270, season total 1,636.    

Redd Survey: No surveys are being taken due to the weather conditions and the river being too high to safely navigate.

Fishing: A couple of weeks ago the Deadwood Creek drainage started breaking loose and it was having huge amounts run off of debris and mud, then add the large amounts of water from the North Fork and Canyon Creek the Upper Trinity was unfishable. I am still getting reports of large amounts of water coming from those creeks. The weather for this week is predicted to be good with sunshine and that should bring some hope that the Upper Trinity should be great for winter steelhead fishing. From Jan.21 through the first week of February the counts up at the hatchery have been the best in several years. This being the case, steelhead fishing should be great with lots of hatchery fish to harvest.  

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,849cfs. at this time which makes it somewhat high but above I-5. Keep an eye for the weather as it is predicted sunshine for the next week and should be very fishable above I-5 until the next series of storms are predicted to come in. Right now, anything from I-5 down are impossible to fish. If we get a week of sunshine, the upper Klamath will be good fishing.

Lake Conditions:  Whiskeytown is 89% of capacity (a decrease of 9%) with inflows 22,060cfs and releasing 5,022cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 51% of capacity (an increase of 11% and plus 46ft) with inflows of 18,885cfs and releasing 2,022cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 87% of capacity (a decrease of 4%) with inflows of 3,000cfs and releasing 3,151cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 40% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 7ft) with inflows of 5,837cfs with releases of 1,158cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 66% of capacity (an increase of 12% plus 32ft) with inflows of 17,814cfs with releases of 19,204cfs into the Feather River.

Trinity Lake: the lake is 55ft below the overflow (a decrease of 6ft) and 68% of capacity (an increase of 3%) inflows are 2,743cfs and 223cfs is being released into Lewiston Lake with 2,500 cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 3,207cfs into the Sacramento River. 

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 300cfs and water temperatures of N/A degrees and air at N/A as of 2:00pm today Sunday Feb. 17, 2019. Limekiln Gulch is 5.11ft at 567cfs and water temps of 42.7, Douglas City is 7.13ft and 938cfs. with air temps of 49 and water at 42.3 degrees. Junction City is 23.62ft at 1,420cfs. Helena is 11.66ft at 1,843cfs with water temps of 44.1 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 7.44ft at 3,253cfs. South Fork of the Trinity is 8.18ft at 4,297cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 7,550cfs and air is 46 degrees and water at 44 degrees. Hoopa is 19.58ft at 13,443cfs and is 44 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 25,985cfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate is releasing 1,849cfs. Seiad Valley is 5.17ft at 4,246cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 4,788cfs, the Salmon River is 5.14ft at 3,436cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 8,968cfs. Orleans is 8.95ft at 12,404cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 11.60ft at 40,384cfs and water temps of 43.9 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 11.60ft and flows of 9,495cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.62ft at 9,480cfs.

Temperatures in the Valley last week were 44 hi with lows of 33. Rain for the week was 9.95in and total rain for the water year to date is 47.41 inches, with snow of 4.5in. in the valley to date. Sunshine is predicted in the valley for all of this week and partial sun for the weekend. 

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