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For the past week it has been good weather and the rivers have been dropping at a fairly steady rate. The Trinity has been looking good for the last couple of days and the river below South Fork has started to clear up. According to the latest weather report we can expect some more rain and possibly some snow after the weekend. Hwy 299 has been having some slide troubles west of junction City and there has been traffic delays of 10 – 20 minutes so be aware. If the weather is correct, we can expect more slide problems in that area so please drive safely.
Recent research has identified a genetic variation in the Klamath–Trinity Spring Run Chinook salmon upending prevailing scientific variations about the fish. This could create a problem for spring run salmon if the science is correct. One thing I can think of is it could cause restrictions to fishing for the spring run and limit salmon fishing to just fall run Chinook. Spring Run Chinook salmon migrate early in the year, meaning they require habitats with cold water for the summer layover until spawning season in the fall. This translates into the need for more cold water which would mean less water draws from cold water streams for cannabis operations and would require to be monitored. It could also cause the need for less water draws from reservoirs. If spring run Chinook are listed as endangered, salmon fishing could come to and end or at the least be very restricted. This poses another problem, if Governor Newsom adds the 300,00 homes he expects to build in the coming year where is the extra water (300,000AF) going to come from for farming? I can see another water wars coming!
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 humboldtsteelheaddays.com.
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. 22 thru Jan. 28; Chinook 1, season total 7,705; Coho 0, season total 745; Steelhead 155, season total 1,119.
Redd Survey: No survey last week due to the weather and the river too high to safely navigate the river.
Fishing: The South Fork was really dumping mud and slate from the two slides up river below Hyampom which made fishing below the South For almost impossible. With no rain for the week the Trinity is still dropping and coming into fishable condition. Up river of Junction City has been good fishing for winter steelhead and the closer to the hatchery the better fishing for hatchery steelhead. As the river dropped the fishing got better for the mid sections of the river. Right now, the Trinity is looking very good for winter steelhead fishing.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,228cfs. at this time which makes it somewhat high but fishable above I-5. Keep an eye for the weather because it is predicted for rain and possible snow in the next week or so. Look for the water flows as the they drop fishable conditions fishing from I-5 to Happy Camp will get better. Seiad Valley is flowing 2,820cfs. Right the mid-Klamath is o the verge of becoming good fishing. The lower sections of the Klamath are unfishable right now but could become fishable soon if we don’t get more rain.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 87% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows o 461cfs and releasing 506cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 63% of capacity (an increase of 5% and plus 9ft) with inflows of 9,828cfs and releasing 2,320cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 91% of capacity with inflows of 2,888cfs and releasing 3,125cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 39% of capacity (an increase of 4% plus 19ft) with inflows of 6,061cfs with releases of cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 44% of capacity (an increase of 10% plus 10ft) with inflows of 6,931cfs with releases of 1,337cfs into the Feather River.
Trinity Lake: the lake is 61ft below the overflow (a decrease of 4ft) and 64% of capacity (an increase of 1%) inflows are 1,520cfs and 268cfs is being released into Lewiston Lake with 104 cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 3,125cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 332cfs and water temperatures of N/A degrees and air at N/A as of 2:00pm today Sunday Jan. 27, 2019. Limekiln Gulch is 4.90ft at 415cfs and water temps of 44, Douglas City is 86.61ft and 508cfs. with air temps of 56 and water at 43.6 degrees. Junction City is 2.45ft at 729cfs. Helena is 10.12ft at 984cfs with water temps of 44.7 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 5.36ft at 1,876cfs. South Fork of the Trinity is 5.65ft at 2,100cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 3,976cfs and air is 53 degrees and water at 44.9 degrees. Hoopa is 2516.39ft at 6,058cfs and is 45 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 14,342cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate is releasing 1,228cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.99ft at 2,826cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 3,281cfs, the Salmon River is 4.45ft at 2,456cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 5,825cfs. Orleans is 7.04ft at 8,284cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 13.81ft at 20,669cfs and water temps of 45.2 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 8.88ft and flows of 3,543cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week were 53 hi and a low of 38. Rain for the week was 1.55in and total rain for the water year to date is 32.89 inches with no snow in the valley yet. Rain is predicted for next week with the possibility of some snow but then rain showers. I advise to call ahead for weather and road conditions.
More rain and then some sunshine sounds great. This makes for more water storage, just what we need. One little thing, Governor Newson plans to try and add another 300,000 homes to California to try to help solve the housing shortage. Now add to that the 60,000 or more homes lost to the fires we are talking another 300,000AF (acre feet) of water. Who is going to provide this water, or should we ask where is it going to come from? We are already in water wars over who gets how much and from where. Another 300,000AF per year for the next ten years to meet Governor Newsom’s proposal of providing 5 million new homes in the state is going to strip all the water in the state to provide the water needed for those proposed homes. The extension of Shasta Dam to help provide extra water is already under legal threat. So how do we provide extra water for the needs of the state? Ask your legislators!
The South Fork of the Trinity River is in need of water for the survival of the spring run Chinook salmon. The count for the spring run has been decreasing since 2013. In 2017 the count was less than 20 and the 2018 count was 12. We are looking at the possibility of this run becoming extinct. There is the possibility of cannabis water draws being a very good reason there is less water for the salmon. Restoration of habitat could possibly help save this run but cool water is needed and many of the cold-water streams that feed into the South Fork have dwindled down to near trickles.
NOTE: One of our stalwarts in fishing is calling it quits! Yes, we are losing another old-time fishing partner, Tim Brady has finally said he wants to retire and try to enjoy life at his pleasure. Tim is closing the Trinity Outdoor tackle shop in Weaverville. Good Luck and great retirement to you Tim.
PFMC: The Pacific Fishery Management Councils Draft Salmon Management Plan for rebuilding the Sacramento fall Chinook and the Klamath River fall Chinook salmon is out for public review and comment. You can review the plan on their website, www.pcouncil.org and please send you comments to the council.
How is the upcoming PFMC meetings impacted by the government shutdown? The implications are that some meetings for the statistical teams will not occur as the teams are on furlough and the information, they provide could possibly not be available for fisheries consideration. The council’s March meeting in Vancouver, Washington will occur and conduct as much business as possible. The April meeting in Calif. is also planned to go forward. The meeting dates and locations are on the website.
Humboldt Steelhead Days: The annual hatchery steelhead derby started Saturday Jan. 19th and runs through to Feb. 23. Anglers can sign up for the contest or get information at humboldtsteelheaddays.com.
Klamath Iron Gate: the counts were still going up for the Scott and Shasta Rivers before the rains came but the Scott has really come up and flows are presently reaching 3,271cfs.
Trinity River Hatchery: TRH for the week of Jan. 22 thru Jan. 28; Chinook 1, season total 7,705; Coho 0, season total 745; Steelhead 155, season total 1,119.
Redd Survey: No survey last week due to the weather and the river too high.
Fishing: The river this week is blown out Willow Creek is looking at 18,455cfs and the river bar in front of my house is about to go under water. Prior to the storms the Trinity was seeing a good run of fresh fish coming through but the storms have just about wiped out any chance of winter steelhead fishing for at lest a week. If and that is a big word, if the rains subside, we could see some great winter run steelhead fishing in the upper sections of the river by the weekend. The upper sections of the river flush out fast and could possibly be fishable. I would check with a reliable source before you make the trip.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,240cfs. at this time which makes it very unlikely to be fishable. Keep an eye out for water flows and when they drop to a fishable condition fishing from I-5 to Iron Gate should be hot fishing for steelhead and trout. The Seiad Valley is flowing 10,117cfs right now so the mid to lower sections of the Klamath are totally unfishable.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 88% of capacity (an increase of 3%) with inflows of 1,675cfs and releasing 2,128cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 58% of capacity (an increase of 5% and plus 12ft) with inflows of 19,459cfs and releasing 303cfs, Keswick is 91% of capacity with inflows of 11,930cfs and releasing 3,154cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 35% of capacity (an increase of 4% plus 21ft) with inflows of 11,930cfs and releases of 1,175cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 44% of capacity (an increase of 10% plus 10ft) with inflows of 6,931cfs and releases of 1,684cfs.
Trinity Lake: the lake is 64ft below the overflow (a decrease of 4ft) and 63% of capacity (an increase of 2%) inflows are 5,296cfs and 504cfs is being released into Lewiston Lake with 204 cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 363cfs 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 Jan. 13, 2019. Limekiln Gulch is 5.60ft at 974cfs and water temps of 44.7, Douglas City is 8.05ft and 1,801cfs. Junction City is N/A at N/Acfs. Helena is 11.86ft at 1,948cfs with water temps of 45.3 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 11.42ft at 10,444cfs. South Fork of the Trinity is 11.22ft at 8,011cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 18,455cfs and air is 48 degrees and water at 45 degrees. Hoopa is 25.18ft at 32.336cfs and is 45.5 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River are estimated to be 87,821cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate is releasing 1,241cfs. Seiad Valley is 8.54ft at 10,117cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 14,097cfs, Salmon River is 11.28ft at 17,0093cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 38,392cfs. Orleans is 19.01ft at 55,485cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 28,76ft at 119,845cfs and water temps of 46.9 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 20.81ft and flows of 45,969cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week were 53 hi and low 37. Rain for the week was 8.12in and total rain for the water year to date is 31.34 inches with no snow in the valley yet. Rain is predicted for rest of the week with sunshine the following weekend.
Thank you for being patient as I am still learning to use windows 10 and having some difficulties.
This year’s Federal California water projects could possibly take a hit to help pay for Trump’s Border Wall. This funding would come from Army Corps of Engineering projects that have been funded by Congress but not yet been put to contracts yet. Some of these water projects are critical for water storage badly needed to provide water for farming, cities and fish restoration. As it is, some news media are insistent upon providing fodder for the so-called water wars. “Fish need water more than farmers”, “Farmers grow food”, “Water grows food”. If the media continues to keep the farmers fighting the fishermen then the politicians can do with the water whatever they want and blame the farmers and fishermen because THEY (meaning the fishermen and farmers) don’t really know what they want. To get more water for more needs, we need more water storage. More water storage would be the answer to all the water problems. Only so much water comes from the sky, whether it be rain or snow. With more storage, there would be more water that could be used for needed projects rather than fighting over the small amount that is stored. We would not be fighting over which is the best needs for the water if water was used efficiently. Remember when much of the water storage we have today California only had a population of 20 million, today we have 40 million people living in California.
It looks like the weather is finally catching up to normal. This last set of storms brought the snow level up to 84% of normal for this time of year. Just a week ago we were at 67% of normal. This is good news for the water supply!
Klamath Iron Gate: the counts are still going up for the Scot and Shasta Rivers but I am still having trouble getting the data.
Trinity River Hatchery: TRH is now spawning salmon and steelhead eggs at the hatchery and I expect the TRH will have no trouble reaching their egg quota. TRH for the week of Jan.1 thru Jan. 7; Chinook 7, season total 7,303; Coho 0, season total 745; Steelhead 93, season total 925.
Redd Survey: No survey last week due to the weather.
Fishing: On my way home, this weekend I saw several vehicles with boat and raft trailers at most of the take outs. The Trinity looked great for steelhead fishing and I saw fishermen fishing the upper part of the river. I am not sure how well they did for landing fish but right now water conditions are really good for winter steelhead fishing. According to the weather forecast we are supposed to get some more rain this coming week. This will bring more fresh fish into the Trinity. I should have better fishing news for the next report.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 944cfs. at this time. The Upper Klamath fished well last week and should only do better the next week or two. The Siead Valley and Happy Camp are still fishing good with adults up to 6lbs. There is a fair amount of ½-pounders in the area and water conditions are good. The cold weather was a deterrent but with rain the water warmed up some and put the bite back on. Right now, it depends on what the weather is going to do for the next week or so. If it snows, I would expect the bite to slow down as the water temperatures drop the steelhead look for less heavy flowing waters and go deep to try and save energy.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 793cfs and releasing 1,224cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 53% of capacity (an increase of 3% and plus 6ft) with inflows of 10,360cfs and releasing 1,867cfs, Keswick is 83% of capacity (a decrease of 3% minus 6ft) with inflows of 3,296cfs and releasing 4,077cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 31% of capacity (an increase of 2% plus 8ft) with inflows of 4,334cfs and releases of 2,285cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 34% of capacity (an increase of 2% minus 3ft) with inflows of 2,976cfs and releases of 1,736cfs.
Trinity Lake: the lake is 69ft below the overflow (a decrease of 3ft) and 61% of capacity (an increase of 1%) inflows are 1,646 cfs and 504cfs is being released into Lewiston Lake with 204 cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 4,077 cfs 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 12:00pm today Sunday Jan. 13, 2019. Limekiln Gulch is 4.81ft at 360cfs and water temps of 42.8, Douglas City is 6.46ft and 475cfs. Junction City is N/A at N/Acfs. Helena is 9.55ft at 740cfs with water temps of 45.2 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 4.71ft at 1,466cfs. South Fork of the Trinity is 7.71ft at 1,299cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 2,765cfs and air is 49 degrees and water at 45 degrees. Hoopa is 15.48ft at 4,624cfs and is 45. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River are estimated to be 9,654cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate is releasing 944cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.86ft at 1,752cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,088cfs, Salmon River is 3.48ft at 1,366cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 3,964cfs. Orleans is 5.32ft at 5,330cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 12.31ft at 14,560cfs and water temps of 45.8 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 8.5ft and flows of 3,472cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week were 52 hi and low 39. Rain for the week was 6.in and total rain for the water year to date is 23.22 inches with no snow in the valley yet. Rain and showers are predicted for next week with some snow in the higher elevations.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and was able to enjoy family together.
We had a good rain last week. This last storm brought the Klamath Valley 3 to 5 inches of rain depending upon where you were. The good part is that it was enough rain to help the firefighters get control of the fires but not enough to cause instability of the area and cause mud slides. The rain did cause small slides and lots of rocks to fall onto the roads and Hwy 299. The bad part of Hwy 299 was from Junction City store to Burnt Ranch. One had to be careful and watch for rocks. The rocks were the worst hazard as they cut and punctured tires, in some cases not one tire but two and possibly three. In talking to Patrick at Del Loma RV Park and campground he said that, “many of his new customers at the park were there for waiting for repairs”. (Mostly tires) I would suggest that you be extra careful when driving from Weaverville to Willow Creek on Hwy 299 for the next couple of weeks as the area is expecting more rain in the immediate future.
With the rain and weather change we will see more steelhead and possibly some later run Chinook salmon. CDFW has put out a report that the Trinity River Hatchery has reached their quota of 4,800 fall run Chinook salmon and reopened the Trinity River to harvesting fall run Chinook salmon. As I have not personally caught salmon at this time of the year I cannot say how or what kind of shape these salmon would be in for eating.
Klamath Iron Gate: The Klamath summary counts for the Shasta 14,182 Chinook salmon, Bogus Creek 890 Chinook salmon, Scott Creek 333 Chinook salmon. This looks very good for the upper Klamath and could very well help with the recovery of the salmon runs up river.
Trinity River Hatchery; TRH counts for the week of Nov. 5 – Nov. 11; Chinook salmon jacks 70 adults 1,541 total 1,611, season total 2,658 (last year at this time was 5,566) ; Coho salmon; jacks 33, adults 40 total 73, season total 134; steelhead, adults 9, total 9, season total 46.
Willow Creek weir trapping: for the week of Nov. 5 – Nov. 11; jacks 12, adults 22, total 34 season total 1,561; Coho jacks 3; adults 1, total 4, season 70; Steelhead, ½-lbs 0, adults 5, total 5 season total 551. (I will get another update on Monday 11/26/18)
Redd Survey: Survey from Lewiston down to North Fork of the Trinity River; Nov. 19, Redds 105; Redds for Willow Creek N/A, total 105, season total 2,095.
Fishing: Lewiston Dam is releasing water flows of 292fs. at 12:00pm Sunday Nov. 25. Fishing the Trinity has been slow over the Thanksgiving weekend. We needed rain and finally got it. The last storm started to raise the river some and that is a good sign. It will start more steelhead heading up the rivers and could possibly bring in some more fall run salmon. Fishing for fall run salmon, the regulations are the same as they were for regular salmon season; two fish per day, only one adult over 22 inches and six on possession with no more than three adults. If the coming storms brings in as much rain as predicted we will have steelhead fishing for sure. Some of the creeks that the fish spawn in are open to the river now and more rain will defiantly allow for more spawning streams to open. The Lower Trinity below Hawkins Bar to the mouth of the Trinity at the Klamath and the Upper Klamath above I-5 to Iron Gate is also open to the take of fall run Chinook with the same regulations as the Trinity. With CDFW opening the Trinity Back up for Chinook salmon fishing and the possibility of more fall run salmon coming into spawn we should see a good influx of steelies arriving to dine on those loose salmon eggs. I have always had good steelhead fishing behind spawning redds. Fly fishing with glow bugs behind spawning salmon is almost a sure thing for a big fat fall run steelhead hookup.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing flows of 1,053cfs. and fishing from I-5 to Iron Gate should still be good for steelhead and trout. The Upper Klamath above I-5 should also be good for late fall run Chinook salmon if they make it that far. The rains have definitely help the Klamath more fish are showing up around the mouth. I didn’t get a report for the mi-Klamath this week due to the holiday weekend but am trying to find out how the river is doing.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 86% of capacity (a decrease of2%) with inflows of 711fs and releasing 633cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 47 of capacity (a decrease of 0% and +1ft) with inflows of 3,993736cfs and releasing 3,891cfs, Keswick is 92% of capacity (an increase of 4%) with inflows of 4,682cfs and releasing 4,657cfs; Oroville Lake is 29% capacity (a decrease of 1% & minus 1ft), inflow is 4,846cfs and releases are 2,379cfs; Folsom Lake is 34% of capacity (minus 1% & minus 1ft.) inflows are 1,959cfs and releases are 1,647cfs.
Trinity Lake: the Lake is 72ft below the over flow (an increase of 0ft) and 59% of capacity (0% decrease) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 342cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 623cfs to Lewiston Lake with 350 going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 4,657cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 292cfs with water temps of N/A degrees and air at N/A at 12:00pm today Sunday Nov. 25. Limekiln Gulch is 4.7ft at 310cfs, with water temps of 45.8 degrees. Douglas City is 6.2ft at 340cfs, water temps of 46.5 degrees and air is 47. Junction City is 1.6ft at 358cfs. Helena is 8.2ft at 396fs with water temps of 46.8. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.8ft at 563cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 815cfs and air is 53 with water at 47. Hoopa is 12.4ft. at 1,336cfs with water temps of 47.5. Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 3,892cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,052cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.3ft at 1,326cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,420cfs, Salmon River is 2.2ft at 413cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 2,143cfs and Orleans is 3.4ft. at 2,556cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 9.5ft at 5,884cfs, with water temperatures of 48.5 degrees. Flows for Smith River at Dr. Fine Bridge are 6.3ft at 1,130cfs.
The temperatures in the Valley last week were 61/34 with 3.42 of rain and a season total of 4.82in. Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to reach 56/33 with some showers towards the middle to end of the week and more rain predicted for the following week. The higher altitudes above 7,000 can expect snow. This will be good for the rivers and the fires as it will surly put out the fires and start more fish moving up the rivers.