Photo Credit: Courtesy of E.B Duggan

by E.B. Duggan

Happy Veterans Day. I wish all my fellow Vietnam Veterans well and may you have a good day.

There have been lots of emails and phone calls about the bad fishing on the Trinity and Klamath Rivers. We are experiencing problems on the Upper Trinity, lack of fish. Several years ago, the Trinity experienced large loses of the out-migrating smolt due to hot water, Ich and other diseases plus a lot of algae which depleted the oxygen in the river. On top of these problems, the river degradation of the spawning areas. Also, this last year the ocean had problems providing the food that the salmon and steelhead needed to grow on. When you add these all up you are looking at a few years of bad returns, and I think that is what we are seeing happen to our fishing on the Trinity and the Klamath. I also believe that the PFMC underestimated the abundance of salmon in the ocean and the amount of fish returning to the Klamath River Basin due to the problems I discussed up above. I believe there has to be an audit of the TRP and the TMC restoration program. The Record of Decision (ROD) states there should be two scientific reviews, but only one was done and the second one was canceled.

The Trinity River is slowly dying due to the large growth of moss in the river in the spring and the large amount of algae that is formed from the moss. A scientific investigation of the causes would help and maybe a release of more water at critical times could benefit the river as well as the fish.             

Trinity River Hatchery: Julian week 4 ending Nov. 4; sub-total for Spring Chinook, 532, adults-3,946; season total 4,478; Coho 0; steelhead 2.

Junction City Weir counts: ended on Julian week 40 Oct. 7. Weir removed.

Willow Creek Weir counts: Julian week 44 ending Nov. 4; Fall Chinook salmon, 32-jacks, 154-adults, total 184, season totals 274; Coho salmon, 0-jacks, 0-adults, total 0, season total 0; steelhead, 1, adults -1, total 8, season total 8.

Fishing: Right now, the Trinity is running low, cold and very clear with very little fishing pressure in the upper sections of the river. It is hard to find anyone fishing on the river even in Willow Creek. The few that are fishing are having a tough time finding the steelhead. In talking with a few locals, they are finding better fishing on the Hoopa Reservation below the Indian weir. According to the weather bureau there could possibly be some better fishing next weekend. We need rain badly! As of the forecasts we are possibly going to get a few sprinkles in the coming week but that is not for sure.

Upper Klamath fish video counts: Julian week 44 ending nov.4, Bogus Creek, Chinook salmon 14, total 1,085; Coho 0; Scott River, Chinook salmon 6, total1,144, Coho 1; Shasta River, Chinook salmon 16, total 5,693, Coho 0.

Lower Klamath Creel Counts:) Julian week 44 ending Nov. 4, Below Highway 101 Bridge; jacks 0, adults 0, total 0, season total 1,006.
Above Highway 101 Bridge; Chinook Harvest, 4-jacks, 11- adults, total 14, season total 4,820. Lower Klamath season total count 5,826. The Lower Klamath river quota has not been met yet so one can still keep adult salmon below the Wetchpec Bridge probably until December 31.

Mid-Klamath: The Klamath at Weitchpec is flowing about 2,307cfs. Fishing below Orleans has slowed for salmon with the colder water but has improved for steelhead. The Happy Camp to I-5 is still providing good fishing. I-5 to below Iron Gate Dam is still good fishing for trout and steelhead. 

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85% of capacity (a decrease of 5%) with inflows of 532cfs and releasing 541cfs on to Keswick and the Sacramento River. Shasta is 72% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 3ft) with inflows of 2,359cfs and releasing 5,398cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 94% (an increase of 3%) with inflows of 6,020cfs and releasing 5,741cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 57% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 7ft) with inflows of 1,240cfs with releases of 4,484cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 66% of capacity (a decrease of 6% minus 6ft) with inflows of 1,306cfs with releases of 2,953cfs into the American river.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 32ft below the overflow (an increase of 1ft) and 80% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) and inflows are 493cfs and releasing 1,34cfs into Lewiston Lake with 741cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 5,091cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 96% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and water releases are 293cfs with water temperatures of 45.2 degrees, as of 12:00pm today Sunday November 11, 2019. Limekiln Gulch is 4.72ft at 327cfs. Douglas City is 6.27ft and flows of 320cfs. with air temps of 46 water temperatures of 47.1 degrees. Junction City is 1.69ft at 373cfs. Helena is 8.08ft at 343cfs with water temps of 47.6 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.40ft at 416cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.17ft at 88cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 504cfs and air is 45 degrees and water at 48 degrees. Hoopa is 11.24ft at 649cfs and water is 46.5 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 2,307cfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate is releasing 1,339cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.46ft at 1,577cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,631cfs, the Salmon River is 1.89ft at 208cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,750cfs. Orleans is 3.00ft at 1,958cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.78ft at 3,214cfs and water temps are 51.4 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 2.78ft with flows of 250cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.71ft at N/A cfs.

Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 65 and a low of 35. Rain for the week was 0.00in with a water year to date of 2.38 inches, with snow of 0.0in. in the valley to date. Forecasts for next week are for temperatures of highs of 78 and lows of 43 with some clouds and a little bit of sunshine for the rest of the week. Fishing for the coming weekend is looking better for the Lower Trinity and Upper Klamath for the coming weekend. We need some rain to bring in more fresh fish and improve river conditions.

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