Salmon Quotas Being Met on the Klamath
by E.B. Duggan
The 2018 Fall Chinook adult salmon quotas for the Klamath Trinity River basin have been met for the Lower Klamath River from the Weitchpec Bridge down to the mouth of the Klamath River as of Wednesday Sept.12. You may still fish this area for jack Chinook salmon under 22 inches and hatchery steelhead. Normally, the Upper Klamath and Trinity Rivers have 28 days after the closure of the Lower Klamath to fill their quotas for Fall Chinook adult salmon over 22 inches, but because the counts at the Willow Creek Weir are running low and behind normal year counts, there could possibly be some extended time for Chinook salmon season on the Trinity and Upper Klamath (from Weitchpec Bridge to within 750 feet of the Iron Gate Dam). This is good news for the Trinity as there has not been very much fishing on the Trinity for salmon. From the information I have been receiving, there have been only three fishing guides fishing on the Upper trinity and I have not been able to see very many bank fishermen yet. I have received information contrary to that by Del Loma RV & campground.
I have to apologize for not having a fishing report for last week as I was in Minnesota checking out some of the many lakes around Minneapolis and watching the Fresno State Bulldogs getting beat by the Minneapolis Golden Gophers. The best part was seeing so many lakes to fish and the different types of fish to catch. I did learn that many of the lakes were connected by cannels, so one could go from lake to lake in a small draft boat such as canoes and kayaks or row boats. It was very interesting because of so many places one could go to fish even though you were in the city. Crazy!
Lower Klamath Count: I am sorry but I have been having trouble opening Dan Troxel’s report for the Lower Klamath. Dan is the new CDFW fisheries biologist for that area and he puts out a very comprehensive report for the Lower Klamath, I just have not been able to open or read it yet, but I will soon.
Trinity River Hatchery; for the week of Sept.3 – Sept 9; Chinook salmon, jacks 14, adults 7 total 21, season total 21; Coho 0; steelhead, adults 1, season total 1.
Junction City weir trapping: week of Sep. 3 – Sep. 9; Chinook salmon; jacks 3, adults 7, total 10, season total 886. Coho, jacks 0, total 0 season to date 0; Steelhead; 1/2lbs 0, adults 0, total 0, season to date 40; Brown Trout 0 total 0, season to date 20
Willow Creek weir trapping: week of Sep. 3 – Sep. 9; jacks 22, adults 48, total 70 season total 118; Coho, jacks 0; adults 0, total 0, season 0. Steelhead, ½-lbs 1, adults 49, total 50, season total 87.
Klamath Iron Gate: For the week of Sept. 4 – Sept.13; Shasta, Chinook salmon 147; Bogus Creek, Chinook salmon 0; Scott, Chinook salmon 0.
Fishing: Lewiston Dam is now releasing flows of 700cfs. at 12:00pm Sunday Sept. 16 because of the different fires in the general area, and the power plants having to cut back on power production causing more water to be released into the Trinity. Fishing in the Upper trinity has been very good due to the lack of fishing pressure. There has only been three fishing guides working from Lewiston to Junction City and all of them have been able to get limits for their customers; that’s both salmon and steelhead. Todd LeBoeuf of Tiger T Guide service was telling me that he had taken out a customer that was 95yrs old and he was able to hook and land two adult steelhead all by himself with Todd only having to net the fish for him. Not bad, I only hope I can do that when I am 95. Patrick at Del Loma RV and Campground said that steelhead fishing has been very good for his customers and that the salmon fishermen were just getting into camp so he did not have much news about salmon fishing yet, but that he saw salmon in the river at the back of camp. Even though the salmon count is low at the Willow Creek weir, a lot of salmon came though before the weir went up. My guess is that the count is low because of the Hoopa weir that was installed down at Tish Tang. My contact in Hoopa said that his grandson had been catching lots of steelhead with a fishing rod down on the reservation. This tells me that there are plenty of fish in the lower part of the river.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing flows of 989cfs. This is a decrease from a week ago when extra water was being released for the Boat Dance. I didn’t get a report from John from E Ne Nuck / Perch Creek this week but the last time he said that there were lots of salmon at the mouth of Bluff Creek and Hopkins Creek. Both creeks are cold water creeks, so I would expect that. Remember that the bridge at Weitchpec is the cut off for the lower and upper section of the Klamath. With the cooler water being released from both the Trinity and Iron Gate dams, it has cooled the rivers to the point that a big run of fish has entered the Klamath. Now are they Trinity fish or Klamath fish, that is the question? I am sure that we will soon find out. The good news is that Hwy 96 is open and means that there are clear roads for traveling.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 30cfs and releasing N/Acfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 56% of capacity (a decrease of 3% and 12ft) with inflows of 2,693 cfs and releasing 7,46+8fs, Keswick is 90% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 8,157cfs and releasing 8,367cfs; Oroville Lake is 42% capacity (a decrease of 2% & minus 15ft), inflow is 1,423cfs and releases are 5,878cfs; Folsom Lake is 50% of capacity (minus 2% & minus 2ft.) inflows are 1,849cfs and releases are 2,095cfs.
Trinity Lake: the Lake is 65ft below the overflow (a decrease of 2ft) and 63% of capacity (1% decrease) Inflow to Trinity Lake is -2cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 1,208cfs to Lewiston Lake with 508cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 8,367cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 700cfs with water temps of 51.3 degrees and air at 69 at 12:00pm yesterday, Sunday. Limekiln Gulch is 5.3ft at 741cfs, with water temps of 50.95.7 degrees. Douglas City is 6.8ft at 708cfs, water temps of 51.6 degrees and air is 67 Junction City is 2.3ft at 694cfs. Helena is 9.5ft at 704fs with water temps of 55.8; Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.2ft at 757cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 808cfs and air is 70 with water at 5968. Hoopa is 11.7ft at 807cfs with water temps of N/A.
Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 2,57300cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 989024cfs. Seiad Valley is 2ft at 1,157cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,196cfs, Salmon River is 1.5ft at 160cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 1,606cfs and Orleans is 2.8ft. at 1,766cfs and the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8ft at 2,616cfs, with water temperatures of 63.9 degrees. Flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 4.6ft at 233cfs.
The temperatures in the Valley last week were in the low 50s and the high was 78s with 0.00in of rain and a season total of 68.45in of rain and a total of 4.15in of snow. Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to run in 79/43 degrees with some clouds and possible scattered showers then more sunshine. Temperatures are cooling and water temps dropping.
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