Trinity River 2020
by E.B. Duggan
The new fishing Regulations are out! July 1, Trinity River opens to fishing for Spring Chinook salmon; 1salmon (period) per day 2 in possession above the South Fork of the Trinity to Old Lewiston Bridge. September 1, Trinity opens to fishing for Fall Chinook salmon; 2 salmon per day, 1 adult and 1 jack or 2 jacks per day, no more than 9 salmon in possession with 3 adults and 6 jacks or 9 jacks. (Any combination thereof) Note: jack salmon length this season is 23 inches. New:10 Brown Trout per day (yes 10) no more than 20 in possession; Hatchery Marked Steelhead or Trout, all year long from Old Lewiston Bridge to the confluence of the Klamath River, 2 hatchery marked fish per day, 4 in possession. That is Hatchery marked Trout (under 16in) or Hatchery Marked steelhead (over 16in),
The quotas for the Klamath River Basin is 1,692 Fall Run Chinook salmon for the whole river basin. Lower Klamath River from Weitchpec Bridge to the ocean, 846 Chinook salmon, 1 adult and 1 jack or 2 jacks, Spit at the mouth of the Klamath 194 Chinook salmon of the 846 Lower Klamath Quota; Special Note: if fishing the Spit and your first fish is an adult salmon over 23 inches you must leave the Spit. The Upper Klamath quota is 220 Fall Run Chinook salmon. Trinity River is 388 Fall Run Chinook salmon; 194 Fall Run Chinook salmon for the Lower Trinity and 194 Fall Run Chinook salmon forth e Upper Trinity River. I know this looks very bleak for the Fall fishing season but with the return to the Trinity River Hatchery we are lucky the Commission didn’t close fishing for the Fall Run Chinook salmon. This could be a very short salmon fishing season but at least we do have a salmon fishing season. I remember back in the 1990s there was a year when we only had 300 salmon for the Trinity and that was a hard year for salmon fishing. Believe me it was not a good year for anyone, guides, lodges, motels and restaurants!
It looks like the rain is trying to catch up for the season. These last couple of storms have boosted up the yearly total to 39.96 inches. This is still short for the average rain fall for the Willow Creek area of 53 inches. Then when you add that to this year’s snow pack up in the Trinity Alps and the Sierras Northern California is really short of water for this year. In fact, the Bureau of Reclamation has declared this an Extremely Dry Water Year so you can expect there is going to be some very loud complaints about water shortages.
Good news, The US Forest Service has opened many camp grounds and parks for the Memorial Day Weekend. This is great because we now have access to the rivers and many boat launches. Remember that the Reservations in Humboldt are still closed to non-residents due to the Covid-19 virus. Also, the Trinity River is still flowing high and cold so please be cautious when swimming, rafting or boating on the river.
Trinity River Water Releases: The Trinity releases are to be at 900cfs by June 13th, right now BOR is releasing 976cfs from Lewiston Dam. There is to be a slight boost to 1,400cfs on June 14th and then back down to summer flows of 400cfs by July 2nd.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath at Weitchpec is flowing about 7,593cfs. This is a substantial drop from the last report so I would imagine that the Mid-Klamath is starting to become fishable in the Happy Camp area and the same for the I-5 to the Iron Gate Dam area. I would call ahead just to be sure.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99% of capacity (an increase of 1%) with inflows of 1,536cfs and releasing 1,857cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 78% of capacity (a decrease of 0% minus 0ft) with inflows of 3,959cfs and releasing 6,574cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 90% (an increase of 6%) with inflows of 8,512cfs and releasing 7,966cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 69% of capacity (a decrease of 0% plus 1ft) with inflows of 3,093cfs with releases of 4,175cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 79% of capacity (an increase of 3% plus 3ft) with inflows of 2,733cfs with releases of 1,522cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 47ft below the overflow (an increase of 0ft) and 77% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 1,174cfs and releasing 2,102cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,506cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 7,966cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 95% of capacity (an increase of 1%) and water releases are 878cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 51.4 degrees, as of 2:00pm today Sunday May 24, 2020. Limekiln Gulch is 5.40ft at 920cfs. Douglas City is 7.22ft and flows of 932cfs. with air temps of 81 and water temperatures of 54.5 degrees. Junction City is N/Aft at N/Acfs. Helena is 10.27ft at 1,177cfs with water temps of 57.5 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 4.93ft at 1,552cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 3.13ft at 365cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,917cfs and air is 84 degrees and water at 58.5 degrees. Hoopa is 13.85ft at 2.820cfs and water is 59.6 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 7,593cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,252cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.1.0ft at 1,955cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,156cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 3,388cfs, and the Salmon River is 3.36ft at 1,385cfs. Orleans is 3.67ft at 4,773cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 11.20ft at 9,509cfs and water temps are N/A degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 7.29ft with flows of 2,048cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 13.76ft at N/A cfs. Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 78 and a low of 43 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.30in with a water year to date of 39.94 inches, with snow in willow Creek of 1.45in. Forecasts for next week are for temperatures in the highs of 100 and lows of 59. Temperatures for next week are expected to start to get HOT. Starting Tuesday temperatures are going from in the high 80s to 100 by Friday then cooling down some for the weekend. It looks like summer is trying to arrive early. The Memorial Day weekend will be over by the time you read this so I hope all of you had a joyful and safe Holiday.
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