Water, rain, do we need it?
by E.B. Duggan
Yes we have had some rain on the North Coast and some more inland. Saturday Sept. 29 it rained in Willow Creek and over on the coast in Eureka. We are still in the 2018 water year, the 2019/20 (water year starts Monday Oct. 1). It was not a hard rain but a nice wetting type of rain. Hear in Willow Creek at my house I measured 0.5 inches of rain for Saturday Sept. 29 and it left my driveway muddy. I think it has been 132 days since it has rained but I am not sure. I do know the longest stretch was 140 some days. The north coast has had some dry years but we still get more rain that many other areas of California.
Fishing the Trinity River has been a hit or miss process for the last month, but it looks like that may be over. From the information I have been receiving from the Lower Klamath we could be seeing the main run of the Fall Chinook very soon. Even though the area did not receive a lot of rain, the fact that we are getting some rain is a key to starting the salmon coming into the river and heading up to their spawning areas.
Lower Klamath Count: For the week of Sept. 23; Below Hwy 101 Bridge, Chinook salmon, adults harvested 526, quota 524; Coho released 30, steelhead harvested 23; above Hwy 101 Bridge, adult Chinook salmon harvested 1,368, jacks 670, total 2038; Chinook released, adults 1, 906, jacks 465, total 2,371; Coho above Hwy 101 Bridge released 30, steelhead released, adults 210, harvested 12.
Klamath Iron Gate: For the week of Sept. 17 – Sept.27; Shasta, Chinook salmon 4,115, season total 4,477; Bogus Creek, Chinook salmon 0, season total 14; Scott, Chinook salmon 0, season total 0.
Trinity River Hatchery; for the week of Sept.17 – Sept 23; Chinook salmon, jacks 130, adults 396 total 526, season total 725; Coho 0; steelhead, ½-lbs 0, adults 1, total 1, season total 2.
Junction City weir trapping: week of Sep. 24 – Sep. 30; Chinook salmon; jacks 0, adults 87, total 97, season total 1,045. Coho, jacks 0, total 0, season to date 0; Steelhead; 1/2lbs 0, adults 5, total 5, season to date 61; Brown Trout 0 total 0, season to date 20.
Willow Creek weir trapping: week of Sep. 17 – Sep. 23; jacks 32, adults 138, total 170 season total 341; Coho, jacks 0; adults 0, total 0, season 0; Steelhead, ½-lbs 1, adults 27, total 28 season total 131.
Fishing: Lewiston Dam is now releasing flows of 467cfs. at 12:00pm Sunday Sept. 30. Friday September 21 BOR lowered the water releases from Lewiston Dam back to the regular summer flows of 450cfs. Fishing on the Upper Trinity has been great or so so depending on whom you talk to. Liam Gogan of Trinity River Outfitters said that the canon section of the Trinity has changed a lot. Salmon are not holding in the holes as they used to. One day they will be in one holding area and the next they will be somewhere else. Liam told me he is able to get limits but it was a hard fish. On the other hand, Todd LeBoeuf of Tiger TS guide service has been doing well in the Upper Trinity drifts now that the moss has disappeared. I suspect that the moss being pushed out was because of the increased water releases. Todd has been using some modified plugs to some success and that is why he has been getting more limits for his customer. Last week he was able to get Phines Compton his very first fish he has ever caught. Todd was also able to get Scott Welch a nice adult steelhead on another trip. It appears that the moss has moved on down to the Del Loma area so that could be a problem as more adult salmon move up into that area. Normally, the Del Loma section of the Trinity is great fly fishing area but there are several areas in that section that are great salmon holding areas. You just have to hunt until you find them.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing flows of 1,059cfs. This is a good increase for the Upper Klamath and should really help the fishing from I-5 up to the dam. The Orleans area should be great salmon fishing right now as there has been reports of lots of salmon moving up the Klamath. The Wetchpec section of the river has been reporting a mix of steelhead and salmon for some very good fishing.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98% of capacity (an increase of ?%) with inflows of 442cfs and releasing 583cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 53% of capacity (a decrease of 1% and 3ft) with inflows of 2,959cfs and releasing 6,655cfs, Keswick is 90% of capacity (a decrease of 6%) with inflows of 7,647cfs and releasing 7,567cfs; Oroville Lake is 39% capacity (a decrease of 1% & minus 7ft), inflow is 2,021cfs and releases are 6,091cfs; Folsom Lake is 48% of capacity (minus 1% & minus 2ft.) inflows are 1,220cfs and releases are 1,925cfs.
Trinity Lake: the Lake is 66ft below the over flow (an increase of 1ft) and 61% of capacity (1% decrease) Inflow to Trinity Lake is -187cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 968cfs to Lewiston Lake with 501s going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 7,647cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 467cfs with water temps of 52.9 degrees and air at 66 at 12:00pm, Sunday Sep. 30. Limekiln Gulch is 5ft at 485cfs, with water temps of 52.2 degrees. Douglas City is 6.4ft at 481cfs, water temps of 53.2 degrees and air is 64 Junction City is 1.4ft at 497cfs. Helena is 8.8ft at 475fs with water temps of 55.8; Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.7ft at 529cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 578cfs and air is 75 with water at 59. Hoopa is 11.3ft at 589cfs with water temps of 61.
Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 2,38500cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,059cfs. Seiad Valley is 2ft at 1,176cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,218cfs, Salmon River is 1.6ft at 193cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 1,603cfs and Orleans is 2.8ft. at 1,796cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 7.9ft at 2,396cfs, with water temperatures of 63.9 degrees. Flows for Smith River at Dr. Fine Bridge are 4.65ft at 23620cfs.
The temperatures in the Valley last week were 95/56 with 0.5in of rain and a season total of 68.95in of rain and a total of 4.15in of snow. Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to run in 76/43 degrees with a cool down and scattered showers towards the weekend then some sunshine after that.
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