FISHING IN THE HEAT
by E.B. Duggan
The Salmon-Red Fires in the Trinity Alps plus the fire in Hoopa are still providing smoke in the Trinity Valley, on the other hand we have heat (106-100) on different days which heats up the water most days. On most days the smoke in the valley is not too bad but we still have hot water in the lower Trinity to contend with. Fishing from the Lewiston Dam down to Junction City is not too bad if you get on the water at daylight. Water temperatures are usually in the 50s which is very fishable. It looks like the Hoopa Wildfire crew is getting the Hoopa fire under control and are working on hot spots now so that will help get rid of some of the smoke in the valley.
The heat on the other hand is crazy, sometimes in the 100s and other days down to the high 80s. When it gets into the 100s and higher the river really gets hot and the fish just look for cool water which makes fishing hard. Water at 72 degrees is usually bad for salmon but steelhead will seek out cooler water and move constantly to find it.
The Hoopa Tribe has had a rash of COVID-19 positive cases in the last week so the Reservation will be closed to all non-residents indefinitely. This well close off the Lower Trinity to most fishing from Tish Tang down to Weitchpoec. Please be respectful and obey their wishes.
Junction City Weir: Julian week 32 ending Aug. 12, 2020; Chinook salmon, 13-jacks, 29- adults, total 42, season total 303; Coho 0; steelhead, ½ lbers 0, adults 2, total 2, season total 54; Brown trout 0, season total 12.
The Willow Creek weir hopefully will be installed sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Fishing: Most fishing is being done in the upper river from what I have been able to find out. Kyle Cantenese of Kyle Cantenese Fishing Guide Service (530-739-9673), fished the Del Loma run last week and said the moss is starting to turn brown and break away. This also causes algae which depletes the oxygen in the water. He was fly fishing as well as using plugs and roe to get his customers a fish or two. He said they were able to catch and release two nice adult steelies up to 24in, not bad in this heat. With all the moss in that part of the river it had to be hard fishing.
With the Trinity opens on Sep. 1st, with all the restrictions and closures on the lower part of the river it is going to be hard fishing until it cools off. Let’s hope that the COVID-19 goes away and be prevented soon. The Lower Trinity will open from Lewiston to the confluence of the Klamath River but the Falls Area from the Cedar Flat Bridge down to the Bridge at Hawkins Bar will be closed to fishing.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing @ 1,455cfs. This is a decrease of 163cfs from the last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,070cfs as of this morning. Fishing from I-5 to the Dam should really pick up as the increase of flows will give the fish the signal to head up river. The increase of water flows will also help cool water temperatures.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 1,788cfs and releasing 2,003cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 55% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 4ft) with inflows of 3,987cfs and releasing 7,326cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 92% (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 9,787cfs and releasing 10,107cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 50% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 4ft) with inflows of 2,248cfs with releases of 3,994cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 52% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 2ft) with inflows of 2,404cfs with releases of 2,835cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 62ft below the overflow (an increase of 3ft) and 62% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 154cfs and releasing 2,101cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,645cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 10,101cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 96% of capacity (an increase of 2%) and water releases are 456cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 50.6 degrees, as of 11:00am today Sunday August16, 2020. Limekiln Gulch is 1.90ft at 432cfs. Douglas City is 6.53ft with flows of 467cfs. with air temps of745 and water temperatures of 57.6 degrees. Junction City is 1.95ft at 483cfs. Helena is 8.44ft at 485cfs with water temps of 63.2 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.63ft at 495cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 1.87ft at 41cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 536cfs and air is742 degrees and water at 71.1degrees. Hoopa is 11.14ft at 608cfs and water is 74.2 degrees.
Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 1,455cfs a decrease 163cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,070cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.05ft at 1,157cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,095cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 684cfs, and the Salmon River is 1.47ft at 163cfs. Orleans is 2.09ft at 847cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.16ft at 2,415cfs and water temps are 73.2 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 4.76ft with flows of 3278cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.72ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 104 and a low of 53 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.00in with a water year to date of 42.47 inches, with snow in Willow Creek of 1.45in. Forecasts for next week are for several days of triple digits with highs of 104 and lows of 59. The temperatures for next week are expected to reach into triple digits during the week. With high temperatures of 103 or above be sure you want to be sure to stay well hydrated and be sure to have lots sun screen with cold water.
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