Will there be a salmon season?

As you know, I attended the salmon meeting in Sana Rosa last Thursday February 27th. It was very enlightening and the prognosis was not very good for the Klamath River Basin In-River Sports Fishermen. The beginning estimate for In-River Sports Fishing for the Klamath River Basin was 900 to a 1,000 returning fall salmon to be split up amongst all river segments. Using 900 as the basis; Lower Klamath, 450; of that 135 will go to the Spit fishery; Upper Klamath 153; Lower Trinity,122; Upper Trinity, 122. Using 1,000 for the basis; Lower Klamath 500; of that 150 of that 150 will go to the Spit fishery; Upper Klamath 170; Lower Trinity 150; Upper Trinity 150. These are the possible options facing us as In-River Sports Fishermen for the Klamath River Basin. You must remember that these are only estimates and are not the final PFMC Options. The PFMC is meeting right now, March 3 to 9, in Rohnert Park at the Doubletree – Hilton Hotel Sonoma, One Doubletree Drive, Rohnert Park, Calif. These are very bleak results for the Fall Run Chinook return to the Klamath River Basin. There will be another meeting of the PFMC in April some where up on Portland OR. This meeting will provide a final result, for California, Commercial Ocean Fishery, Ocean Sports Fishery and the In-River Sportsman Fishery of the Klamath River Basin Fall Run Chinook salmon. It will also provide for the 50% Tribal allowable Harvest of Fall Run Chinook salmon.

2019 Klamath River Chinook adult salmon Harvest as reported to the PFMC: Klamath River (below 101 Bridge, Tribal 3,363, Sport 1,011; (above 101 Bridge to Weitchpec Bridge) Tribal 638, Sport 4,818; Weitchpec Bridge to Iron Gate Dam 1,776 (the majority of these salmon were caught above I-5); Trinity River (Hoopa Reservation) 2,564, Sport 469; Totals, Tribal 6,565; Sport 8,073. Remember this is only preliminary counts and will only be final after any adjustments the PFMC makes at their April meeting. The CDFW will make a final determination for Klamath River Basin and the Sacramento River Fall Chinook salmon Harvest in April right after the PFMC meeting.     

Trinity River Hatchery: Julian week 8 ending Feb. 25; Fall Chinook, 0-jacks, 0-adults, total 0, season total 1,586, combined total 6,064; Coho, 0-jacks, 0-adults, total 0, season total 649; steelhead, 22, season total 364.Ther are two more weeks of the Trinity River Hatchery harvest. To provide enough eggs for hatchery Coho it will take 300 females and 300 males for  a total of 600 Coho salmon in order to make their goal 400,000 for release; for the Steelhead it will take 200 females and 200 males for a total of 400 steelhead in order to release 448,000 steelhead from the Trinity River Hatchery.

Fishing: The Lower Trinity has been slow fishing this last week. This last weekend I took six on my fishing friends in two boats, down to Sandy Bar so they could fish from the South Fork to Big Rock and the didn’t hook a fish. They had a great time but no fish. Up river has been slow except for the very upper parts near the hatchery, Old Lewiston Bridge to steelhead Bridge. A few adult steelhead were reported landed but other than that there has not been much action.

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath at Weitchpec is flowing about 5,657cfs. I hate to say this but there hasn’t been much action in the Orleans area. Most of the fishing has been above Happy Camp. 

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 393cfs and releasing 268cfs on to Keswick and the Sacramento River. Shasta Lake is 78% of capacity (an increase of 0% plus 1ft) with inflows of 5,569cfs and releasing 4,691cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 83% (a decrease of 3%) with inflows of 4,925cfs and releasing 5,508cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 64% of capacity (an increase of 0% plus 1ft) with inflows of 1,958cfs with releases of 663cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 46% of capacity (a decrease of % minus 4ft) with inflows of 1,226cfs and releases of 2080cfs into the American River.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 27ft below the overflow (a decrease of 0ft) and 83% of capacity (an increase of 1%) and inflows of 484cfs and releasing 605cfs into Lewiston Lake with 299cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 5,508cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 96% of capacity (an increase of 0%) and water releases are 306cfs with water temperatures of 44.4 degrees, as of 10:300am today Monday March 2,2020. Limekiln Gulch is 4.72ft and flowing 327cfs. Douglas City is 6.37ft with flows of 381cfs. and air temps of 42 with water temperatures of 43.1 degrees. Junction City is 1.83ft and flowing 386cfs. Helena is 8.50ft and flowing 503cfs with water temps of 42.6 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.27ft and flowing 741cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 3.08ft and flowing 373cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,114cfs with air temps of 57 degrees and water at 43.7 degrees. Hoopa is 12.89ft and flowing 1,803cfs with water at 44.7 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 5,657cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,025cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.84ft flowing 1,736cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,969cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 2,869cfs, and the Salmon River is 2.902ft flowing at 2,896cfs. Orleans is 4.10ft and flowing 3,854cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 10.46ft with flows of 7,215cfs and water temps are 46.1 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 6.38ft with flows of 1,197cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 13.01ft at N/A cfs.

Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 68 and a low of 36. Rain for the week was 0.0in with a water year to date of 33.09 inches, with snow in willow Creek of 1.45in. in the valley to date. Forecasts for next week are for temperatures in the highs of 78 and lows of 34 with some sunshine for the first part of the week then scattered clouds for mid-week and maybe some scattered showers for Sunday or Monday of the next week. All of the highways are clear and travel is good.

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