THE FALL CHINOOK ARE STARTING TO MOVE INTO THE KLAMATH-TRINITY
by E.B. Duggan
The Red/Salmon Fire complex fires still continue to grow and now reached almost 24,000 acres. It depends upon the winds and temperatures as to how smoky it gets in the valley. Orleans usually gets the burnt of the smoke but the Trinity side gets a lot of smoke at times. Talking to Patrick and Machel of Del Loma RV and campground today it was somewhat smoky but not too bad yet this morning. From what I have been told the Seiad Valley is smoked in today but has had some good days.
The Hoopa weir is suppose to go in after the holidays. That is all I have heard but is NOT confirmed. I have not heard what the Tribal Council has decided about the COVID-19 restrictions yet but hope they will reconsider about letting non-residents onto the reservation to fish.
The Willow Creek weir is going to be installed Wednesday Sep. 9th at upper end of Kimtu Beach (Willow Creek). We will have to wait and see. What the restrictions for fishing above and below the weir I am not sure yet what they will be. I know it used to be NO FISHING within 750ft above and below the weir. I just hope that the good fishing hole at Seely Creek will not be affected. This is one of the favorite places for the elderly fishers like to try and fly fish because of the easy access. Why is the Willow Creek weir so important, one of the reasons is that it allows CDFW to get a count of possible fish returns to the South Fork of the Trinity River and it helps give the CDFW a pre-count of Fall Chinook returning to the upper parts of the Trinity for salmon returns.
Junction City Weir: Julian week 35 ending Sep. 2, 2020; Chinook salmon, 10-jacks, 3- adults, total 13, season total 345; Coho 0; steelhead, ½ lbers 0, adults 0, total 0, season total 58; Brown trout 0, season total 13.
Fishing: Fishing has been kind of slow for the last few weeks but is now starting to see some fresh Fall Run fish moving up from Weitchpec and into the Trinity River. Because of the fire and fire camp at Veterans Park and the refueling at Big Rock fishing has been somewhat hard access to the normal early fishing areas. Hopefully it will not be long before we can get back into these good fishing waters. The Falls area from Hawkins Bare Bridge up to the Bridge at Hwy 299 Cedar Flat in NOW CLOSED to fishing.
Fishing in the upper part of the Trinity has started to pick up. In talking with Kyle Catanese (fishing guide) there are more Fall Run Chinook salmon and some ½-lbs steelhead showing. Kyle told me that most of the salmon were of jack size but a few small adults were in the mix.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing @ 2,024cfs. a decrease of 889cfs from the last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,009cfs as of this morning. Weitchpec and Orleans areas are al so seeing more Fall Run fish according to Kenny Peugh. He was watching the helicopters pick up water out of some of the deeper holes and said that he couldn’t believe the amount of salmon that would dash out of the water hole when they would pick up the water.
Happy Camp to I-5 is fair for fishing trout, the water is a little warmer than normal but still fishable. The smoke has helped keep water temperatures from getting hot, it has also made for fishing in the afternoon harder for those with breathing problems. I-5 up is starting to see more algae as they let out more water from Iron Gate Dam. This is creating problems of the returning salmon.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 1,167cfs and releasing 1,226cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 51% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 4ft) with inflows of 2,185cfs and releasing 6,530cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 95% (an increase of 3%) with inflows of 7,972cfs and releasing 7,537cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 48% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 3ft) with inflows of 2,464cfs with releases of 2,972cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 48% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 2ft) with inflows of 1,846cfs with releases of 2,351cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 69ft below the overflow (an increase of 5ft) and 60% of capacity (a decrease of 3%) with inflows of -155cfs and releasing 1,627cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,166cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 7,537cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 97% of capacity (a decrease of 2%) and water releases are 461cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 50.5 degrees, as of 10:30am today Sunday Sept. 6, 2020. Limekiln Gulch is 4.92ft at 445cfs. Douglas City is 6.54ft with flows of 473cfs. with air temps of 67 and water temperatures of 54.7 degrees. Junction City is 1.97ft at 492cfs. Helena is 8.45ft at 488cfs with water temps of 58.4 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.60ft at 485cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 1.80ft at 35cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 520cfs and air is 73 degrees and water at 66.5 degrees. Hoopa is 11.11ft at 593cfs and water is 69.9 degrees.
Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 2,024cfs a decrease of 889cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,009cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.07ft at 1,144cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,175cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,293cfs, and the Salmon River is 1.40ft at 138cfs. Orleans is 2.14ft at 1,431cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.17ft at 2,434cfs and water temps are 710.2 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 4.64ft with flows of 234cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.62ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 93 and a low of 54 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 more days of triple digits with highs of 110 and lows of 61. The temperatures for next week are expected to reach into triple digits during the week. With high temperatures of 110 then a couple of days of 104 then slowly dropping down to highs of 92. These are unusual high temperatures for us at this time of year. The heat is also drying up some of the small creeks which is bad for spawning Coho and steelhead. I sure hope my computer is wrong about the hot weather to come.
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