Salmon Season has started on the Rivers

Well, the Fourth of July came and passed without any serious incidents on the rivers or in the forests. We do have one incident in the Sierras down by Yosemite. From what I have been able to find out it is getting close to being under control. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope for some mild temperatures in the area for the firefighters. As for the Holidays for us it was full of flu and Bigfoot Daze!

    July 1st was the opening of Chinook salmon season in the Klamath River Basin. The Lower Klamath from Weitchpec Bridge to the Mouth of the Klamath. On the Trinity from the mouth of the South Fork up to Old Lewiston Bridge. Being as to how I was sick and unable to collect any info from the Lower Klamath I am not able to say how the fishing was down that way, at one fish per day I don’t expect very many fish were caught. Up here on the Trinity things were a little different. Greys Falls saw some action from the locals as they were able to get down to the falls by daylight and get a place to fish. There were hardly any out of towners fishing over the holiday. Down in Hoopa there was a fair to good morning fish but one had to be careful of the family nets as they were out. With this hotter weather it is going to be hard to fish as the river is really starting to warm up.  

Junction City weir summary: Julian week 26 ending July 1, 2022; 454 adult Chinook, 629 jack, total 483, season total 1,507; 0 Coho; 30 steelhead, total 30, season total 45; 1 Brown trout, total 7, season total 12.

Fishing: Once again I am reminded that it is summer time as the thermometer climes above 100 degrees. The lower part of the Trinity is starting to warm up as the water gauge down in Hoopa reaches 70 degrees. Now to you and me that is just right to go swimming in the river but to a salmon that is like swimming in a hot tub. At 72 degrees salmon start to get heat exhaustion and the fry and smolt start to die off. The heat also brings out the pathogens as they thrive and multiply in the warm water. Fishing is good in the early mornings but by he evening the water is still too hot for the fish. It’s a good thing we have the Hoopa Gorge to help cool down the water from the Trinity to the Klamath as Iron Gate has ramped back on its releases also.

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 3,325cfs. This is a decrease of 1,063cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 912cfs. Weitchpec was looking good before the Holidays but now it has really slowed down. The tribes say that the removal of the dams will help the salmon returns but I don’t understand how there will be any cool water to allow them to survive the trip up the river if the water temperatures are so hot that they boil on their way up? I sur hope I am wrong as I would love to see huge salmon runs back again. The Terwer water gauge was reading 69 degrees this morning at 10:00am. What will it read tonight at 6:00pm?

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 575cfs and releasing 511cfs in to Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 38% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 3ft) with inflows of 1,572cfs and releasing 3,802cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 97% (an increase of 6%) with inflows of 4,578cfs and releasing 4,537cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 46% of capacity (a decrease of 4% minus 15ft) with inflows of 1,665cfs with releases of 7,282cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 75% of capacity (a decrease of 11% minus 11ft) with inflows of 2,088cfs with releases of 4,849cfs into the American river.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 152ft below the overflow (an increase of 2ft) and 29% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 260cfs and releasing 977cfs into Lewiston Lake with 533cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 4,537cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 94% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) and water releases are 444cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 56 degrees, as of 10:00am today Sunday July 10, 2022. Limekiln Gulch is 4.85ft at 436cfs. Douglas City is 6.48ft with flows of 437cfs with water temperatures of 61.4 degrees. Junction City is 1.91ft at 437cfs. Helena is 8.48ft at 490cfs with water temps of 64.8 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.91ft at 598cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.25ft at 187cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 782cfs and air is 72 degrees and water at 68 degrees, the river is clear and at summer low flows. Hoopa is 12.00ft at 1,126cfs and water is 70.6 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 3,325cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 912cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.14ft at 1,196cfs. Indian Creek is 3.77ft at 156cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,352cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,713cfs, and the Salmon River is 2.14ft at 4861cfs. Orleans is 2.76ft at 2,199cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 9.08ft at 4,108cfs and water temps are 69 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 5.63ft with flows of 763cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 12.41 ft at N/A cfs.

    Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 94 and a low of 52 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.80in with a water year total to date of 55.93 inches and 5.0in of snow in Willow Creek. We have been experiencing some hot weather this past week with more predicted to the 100s. The predicted weather for next week is high of 103 and a low of 56 with lots of sunshine. Good sun bathing but bad fishing!

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