The fires are still providing plenty of smoke along the Klamath-Trinity Rivers. The Red Salmon Complex Fires are slowly coming under control but they are providing most of the smoke on the Trinity River. For the last week I couldn’t see across the river from my house. Today, Sunday I can see the top of Campbell Ridge on the other side of the river. So, you can see how smoky it gets depends up on how the fires are going and the wind. There is an air quality guide line on the internet that tells you how bad or good the air quality is. This is important to people that have breathing problems as it can cause them serious health problems. A good rain would go a long way in helping the firefighters get these fires under control or even putting them out.
In doing some physical checking on river access for the Trinity I have found out that the U.S. Forest is starting to open some areas for day use and allowing access to the rivers. It is a slow process due to the Forest Service is very busy with the fires thus making it hard for opening all river access for fishing. Kimtu is open for walk-ins, Big Rock is still closed to the public, Heil Den Trail at South Fork is open and Hawkins Bar is open for Day-Use fishing only. I have not been able to confirm if any trails or access are open on the reservation yet for fishing. I did hear from a confirmed source that the Hoopa Weir was not installed this year. I suspect that the problem was COVID-19 causing the Tribe not being able to get enough help to install it.
Many of the walk-in trails on the Klamath are open but only for Day Use fishing. Anything up by Happy Camp or higher is still closed due to the fire. You may want to check out the air quality before you head up there to fish.
NOTE: A new bacterial infection, Lactococcus Garvieae, was found in the Mojave River State Fish Hatchery. This hatchery is the hatchery that provides most of the trout for planting the Eastern Sierra lakes and streams. It has been found in June Lake of the June Lake Loop.
Junction City Weir: Julian week 39 ending Sep. 30, 2020. Chinook, 27-Jack, 23-Adults, total 50, season total 407; Coho, 4-Jack, 0-Adults, total 4, season total 4. The Junction City was closed and removed Oct 1, 2020.
Willow Creek Weir: Julian week 39 ending Sept. 30th, 2020; Chinook, 16-Jack, 22-Adults total 38, season total 43; Coho, 8-Jacks, 2-Adults, total 10, season total 11; steelhead, 3-1/2-lbs, 38-Adults, total 4, season total 61. The WC weir was opened Sep. 10th.
Recreational Harvest Count Mouth of Klamath: Julian week 39 ending Sep. 30th; Chinook Harvest Above Highway 101 Bridge; 3-adults, 384-jacks, total 387, season total to date 3,203; Lower Klamath Chinook salmon harvest total to date 1,651
Fishing: Fishing in the Willow Creek has been hard due to the U.S, Forest river access closures. The good news is that Friday they started to release some of these closures. It has been hard due to the fires as all personnel are assigned to fire duty. As I stated the good news is there are salmon in the lower river and they are biting you just have to be able to walk in. I am working to get the Kimtu Beach access opened for boats and rafts. This is going to take some time but I hope not long. From what I have been able to find out is that there are a lot more salmon trying to go by the weir than are being counted. This is great because the counts have been low for this time of the year. Up river is going great and there is salmon from Del Loma all the way up to Lewiston and the fish are biting. Fly fishing is slow right now but should pick up in the next couple of weeks as the air and water temperatures are slowly dropping. As the weather gets colder the steelhead fishing gets better. The salmon are hitting just about anything you throw out there.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing @ 2,011cfs. a decrease of 20cfs from last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,048cfs as of Sunday afternoon. The Weitchpec and Orleans areas are also seeing more Fall Run fish coming through form what I was able to find out. That should help improve the fishing for the Orleans area.
Happy Camp to I-5 is closed due to the Happy Camp fire. I-5 to Iron Gate should start to pick up as the salmon start t o arrive in that area. It has been hard to find out information due to the fires up there. In many cases the river has been closed.
Upper Klamath River weir count: Julia week 39 ending on Sep. 30th; Shasta river; 104-Chinook, season total 1,501, Coho 0; Scott River, 0- Chinook, season total 1, 0-Coho; Bogus Creek; 44-Chinook,season total 202, 0-Coho.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 95% of capacity (a decrease of 4%) with inflows of 1,351cfs and releasing 2,038cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 48% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 2ft) with inflows of 2,555cfs and releasing 4,205cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 85% (a decrease of 5%) with inflows of 6,352cfs and releasing 6,850cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 46% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 3ft) with inflows of 1,115cfs with releases of 1,789cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 43% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 2ft) with inflows of 1,159cfs with releases of 2,079cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 80ft below the overflow (an increase of 2ft) and 55% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 60cfs and releasing 1,803cfs into Lewiston Lake with 143cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 6,850cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 98% of capacity (an increase of 2%) and water releases are 438cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 49.3 degrees, as of 12:00pm today Sunday Oct. 4, 2020. Limekiln Gulch is 4.92ft at 445cfs. Douglas City is 6.50ft with flows of 451cfs. with air temps of 65 and water temperatures of 51 degrees. Junction City is 1.93ft at 474cfs. Helena is 8.40ft at 474cfs with water temps of 53.1 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.57ft at 474cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 1.93ft at 47cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 521cfs and air is 62 degrees and water at 57.5 degrees. Hoopa is 11.12ft at 598cfs and water is 59.6 degrees.
Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 2,011cfs a decrease of 20cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,048cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.10ft at 1,163cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,201cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,280cfs, and the Salmon River is 1.38ft at 133cfs. Orleans is 2.12ft at 1,413cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.11ft at 2,318cfs and water temps are 63.4 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 4.51ft with flows of 206cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.56ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 85 and a low of 48 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.00in with a water year to date of 42.51 inches, with snow in Willow Creek of 1.45in. (weather for the year was for 2020 and the new water year startsOct.1st) Forecasts for next week are for high of 91 and lows of 45. The temperatures for next week are starting to drop back to fall weather temperatures. It’s about time and maybe it will rain to help stop the fires.