The PFMC has now started the process of determining if the Klamath River Basin Chinook salmon return and escapement (40,700) was enough to allow for a salmon fishery for the Klamath River Basin. The salmon advisory committee has met and is going over the Chinook salmon returns and escapement goals to determine if the Klamath River Basin escapement was enough to allow for some type of Chinook salmon fishery on the Klamath – Trinity Rivers. If the Klamath River Basin has not met their escapement goals for three consecutive years then an “over fishing can be declared” and a recovery plan has to be in place before Chinook salmon harvest can be allowed. I know this is a lot of gobbledy goog to the regular salmon fisherman but is the way the salmon fishery is regulated from the California – Oregon border down to Fort Bragg. I don’t go to all of the meetings any more but I do try to keep up with the process for you readers. March we should see the preliminary options for Chinook salmon fishing in the ocean and in river.
RAIN: I know we were wishing for some and we got more than we asked for. But this is how it works? Right now the Trinity is blown out below the south Fork and it IS muddy. Above Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) the river looks good for fishing. The upper reaches are in really good fishing condition and have a good return of hatchery and native adults in the waters.
Trinity River Hatchery: For the week ending Jan. 28 ; Fall Run Chinook salmon , jacks 0, adults 0, total 0, season total 5,632, Coho salmon, jacks 0, adults 2, total 2, season total 422; steelhead 340, season total 1,766.
Klamath Iron Gate: For the week ending Jan. 9; Bogus Creek, Chinook season total 2,247, Coho 0, season total 68; Scott River, Chinook salmon 0, season total 2,279, Coho 382; Shasta River, Chinook salmon season total 9,935, Coho season total 38.
Fishing: With this crazy weather it has been hard to get good fishing water. As it stands right now the upper Trinity is doing great for those who brave the cold weather and snow. For those of us that work the lower parts of the river it has been hard to find any water that will allow fishing. The weather is predicted to start clearing some and allow the river to start dropping which will bring in more fresh fish.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 969cfs. This is a slight increase from last week but it didn’t seem to change fishing on the Klamath above I-5. Fishing in the Happy Camp Area was steady as Seiad Valley was flowing 1,967cfs but has now increased to 2,124cfs causing some changes as to where one would chose to fish. Bank anglers will see that it is a bit harder to locate good fishing and the farther down river you go the harder the fishing is until you reach Orleans and the Klamath gets too high to fish.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 86% of capacity (a decrease of 2%) with inflows of 367cfs and releasing 219cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 73% (an increase of 1% and 3ft) with inflows of 6,630cfs and releasing 2,678cfs, Keswick is 86% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 3,883cfs and releasing 3,841cfs; Oroville Lake is 39% capacity (a increase of 1% & plus 7ft), inflow is 4,192cfs and releases are 1,888 cfs; Folsom Lake is 60% of capacity (plus 1% & plus 1ft.) inflows are 3,088cfs and releases are 3,027cfs.
Trinity Lake: The Lake is 467ft below the overflow (increase of 1ft) and 72% of capacity (01% increase) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 1,127cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 567cfs to Lewiston Lake with 246cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant and it is releasing 3,841cfs to the Sacramento River.
Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 321cfs with water temps of 44.7 and air is 43 degrees at 12:00pm today. Limekiln Gulch is 4.8ft at 366cfs, water temps of 44.4 degrees. Douglas City is 6.3ft at 442cfs, water temps of 44.9, air is 42. Junction City is 19ft at 514cfs. Helena is 9.3ft at 627cfs with water temps of 44. Cedar Flat is 4.9ft at 1,334cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 2,671cfs air is 50 and water at 45. Hoopa is 16.3ft at 6,025fs with water temps of 46.2. Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 15Kcfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 969cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.3ft at 2,124fs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,706fs, Salmon River is 4.4ft at 2,458cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 6,606cfs and Orleans is 7.3ft. at 9,064cfs and the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 14.8ft at 23.7Kcfs, with water temperatures of 45.8 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 12.7ft at 12.4Kcfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week were 52/37 degrees with 6.2 in of rain with a season total of 31.25in of rain and snow above 2,000ft. The temperatures for next week are expected to be 70/35 degrees and partly cloudy the first of the week with sunshine for the weekend and partial sun the next week.