Trinity River Fishing Report

by E.B. Duggan

Salmon Quotas & Limits:

Finally I have news of the NEW Klamath River Basin Quotas and Limits. I will try to attempt to put this in plain English.

The Klamath River Basin In-River Sportfishing total Fall Chinook salmon Quota is 7,637. A substantial increase over last year.

Klamath River Spring Chinook salmon season opens July 1; limits, 2 salmon only 1 adult. Upper Trinity Spring Chinook salmon season opens July 1; limits, 2 salmon only 1 adult in possession. Klamath Fall Chinook salmon season opens August 15th. Trinity River Fall Chinook salmon season opens September 1st.

2019 Fall Chinook salmon season limits are 3 salmon per day with only 2 adults; total of 9 salmon with 6 adults in possession. 

Klamath Spit Quota: 1,146 salmon; 3 salmon per day, 2 adults, once you have 2 adults in possession you must leave the Spit NO throwing back an adult to get your jack to make days limit. Lower Klamath Quota is 2,673 salmon; Upper Klamath Quota is 1,298 salmon (usually the Upper Klamath reaches their Quota about 28 days after the Lower Klamath); Lower Trinity Quota is 1,260 salmon; Upper Trinity Quota is 1,260 salmon. If you have any questions please call CDFW 707-822-5119.

Water Releases Lewiston Dam: Revised starting 5/6/16 due to an oil leak from the gear box of the Release Gate of the Trinity Dam. Releases will drop from 2,900cfs to 2,850cfs and then continue to drop at regular intervals to 2,450cfs by 5/15/19. These are still high water, flows for the Trinity River and while swimming, rafting or fishing one should use great caution. The water temperature are still below 50 degrees and can create Hypothermia vey quick!

River Restoration Report Cites Conflicts: There has been many conflicts about the Trinity River Restoration Program and there is a recommendation for a complete overhaul of the program. The 2000 Record of Decision (ROD) formed the Trinity Management Council with a Federal Advisory Council (TAMWG, Trinity Adaptive Working Group) made up of local stakeholders and other participants that are affected by the river restoration. The advisory group was removed in 2017. The ROD was never amended to permit this nor has it been amended for some up to date science instead of using/sticking to the science that was adopted 40 years ago.

Brown Trout Management: Brown Trout were introduced to the river in the 1890s and began to thrive by the 1930s. Now the Hoopa Tribe wants to argue for a management plan to the California Fish & Game Commission to remove these fish. In essent the Brown Trout are now considered as native to the Trinity and provides for another sport fishery on the Trinity. The Hoopa say they want to improve and conserve the river fishery but also want to over fish and trap salmon by implanting a weir on the Trinity without a NOAA permit. I say write or email the Fish & Game Commissioners with your thoughts.

Klamath River Flood Control:  Reclamation begins flood control operations on the Upper Klamath Lake by increasing Iron Gate Dame releases. The releases will increase from 4,000cfs to 6,030cfs or 8,000cfs if needed, to help relieve dams from snow melt. The increase will also meet the needs of the salmon fishery by flushing the river and helping to flush out the Ceratonova Shasta (C Shasta) disease. This could really help the Klamath and Trinity fisheries by eliminating C Shasta in the lower river.        

Fishing: fishing has been pretty slow due to the highwater releases on both rivers. Right now, the Trinity is just starting to turn green from a muddy brown. Flows in the Willow Creek area are 6,804cfs and could be decreasing in the next week due to the mishap up at the dam. You must remember that the water is 50 degrees and NOT conducive for swimming.

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 2,082cfs the upper river is flowing heavy and is expected to increase twofold or more. Increase dam releases are an annual thing when we have as much snow pack as the areas got this last winter. I just wish we had some way to store the extra water for lean water years.

Lake Conditions:  Whiskeytown is 96% of capacity (a decrease of 2%) with inflows 616cfs and releasing 342cfs on to Keswick and the Sacramento River. Shasta is 94% of capacity (an increase of 4% plus 5ft) with inflows of 8,677cfs and releasing 6,917cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 83% (a decrease of 6%) with an inflow of 7,286cfs and releasing 7,847cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 94% of capacity (an increase of 13% plus 12ft) with inflows of 14,681cfs with releases of 10,998cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 91% of capacity (an increase of 9% plus 9ft) with inflows of 8,201cfs with releases of 7,946cfs into the American river.

Trinity Lake: the lake is 13ft below the overflow (a decrease of 7ft) and 92% of capacity (an increase of 5%) inflows are 4,913cfs and releasing 3,117cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,796cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 7,847cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 3,155cfs and water temperatures of 47.5 degrees and air at N/A as of 11:00am today Sunday May 5, 2019. Limekiln Gulch is 7.45ft at 3,264cfs and water temps of 47.6. Douglas City is 9.54ft and flows of 3,724cfs. with air temps of 74 and water at 47.1 degrees. Junction City is 45.91ft at 3,520cfs. Helena is 14.66ft at 4,440cfs with water temps of 47.9 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 8.85ft at 5,251cfs. South Fork of the Trinity is 4.71ft at 833cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 6,084cfs and air is 73 degrees and water at 50 degrees. Hoopa is 17.16ft at 7,914cfs and is 52 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 19,635cfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate is releasing 2,082cfs. Seiad Valley is 5.77ft at 5,098cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 5,740cfs, the Salmon River is 5.43ft at 3,927cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 7,794cfs. Orleans is 8.68ft at 11,721cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 14.47ft at 23,013cfs and water temps of 54.9 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 6.86ft and flows of 1,604cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 13.38ft at N/A cfs.

Temperatures in the Valley last week were 89 hi with a low of 36. Almost like summer, rain for the week was 0.75in with total rain for the water year to date of 62.20 inches, with snow of 4.5in. in the valley to date. We will be looking at some more sunshine for the next week with some clouds mixed in during the first part of the week then more sunshine.

from Willow Creek, CA Phone 530-629-3554, E-mail