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.