Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC)
by E.B. Duggan
HAPPY EASTER: Bright and sunny for the Easter Bunny!
We have been having really good weather for the last couple of weeks with sunshine and no rain. We do need some rain to help bring in the late runners of steelhead. On my trips up and down the Trinity I have not seen any drift boats on the river lately or fishermen for that matter. Usually there are some people out fishing but not this time. That doesn’t mean that there is no one fishing, it just means I haven’t seen them. It is getting late in the season for steelhead and usually we can count on some spring rains to help bring in the late runners for a little excitement around Easter time but not this year.
I can honestly say that this has been a hard year for steelhead fishing especially for the bank fishers. Because I was laid up with an injury, I was not able to get out and fish for those steelies that are so ecstatic to hook into. Instead, I had to be an on looker and watch others hook up to those feisty Iron Heads. But now that I am on the mend, I will be out there wetting a line again, carefully!
I am sad to say that my friend Patrick of the Del Loma RV Camp ground has sold the Park and moved on to Wisconsin, but the new owner Jason Schwarz, his wife and two boys, are happy to be the new owners and plan some up grades to the park with a Beer Garden and many other additions for the convince of customers and campers. Jason is from the Bay area and is an avid fisherman as well as his boys. They love to fish and the river so I would think they will be great owners just like Patrick and Michell were. Jason has made a new website for the park dellomarv.com, you might want to check it out.
As I have said earlier in other reports this is going to be a Dry Water Year and water releases are going to be much less than they have been in the past. I keep getting notices from the Water Board and other agencies about the low water conditions for this year. With that in mind we might want to keep in mind of what will this do to the salmon and steelhead returns for the coming season. That is going to be the BIG question! How will it affect the fishing for the coming year? I know the PFMC is really cutting back on the quota numbers for this season. This is not great news for fishing both Commercial and In-River Sport. I have seen these conditions in the past and if we write our Representatives enough, we CAN get their attention and some action.
Upper Klamath River Rotary Screw Trapping count: Julian week 12 ending on Mar. 25, 2021; Shasta River; Chinook salmon 17,471 age 0+, season total 121,548, Juveniles, 1yr old 5, season total 43; Coho salmon 14 age 0+, season total 27, Rainbow Trout age 1+ 9, season total 60, Rainbow Trout age 2+ 73, season total 305; Scott River, 261 Chinook salmon age 0+, season total 551; 1yr old Chinook 5, season total 33; 1yr old Coho salmon 13, season total 28; 191 Rainbow Trout age 1+, season total 501, 30 Rainbow Trout age 2+, season total 545.
Fishing: The Willow Creek area this Easter week has been slow fishing for any numbers for the lack of fishermen out fishing. One would be fishing for mostly a few adult down runners and fewer ½-pounders. The river its self is looking great for any kind of fishing. Winter fishing for the late steelhead is just not there but if we were to get a good spring soaking, I would expect to see some late runners come charging up the river. The question is how is the TRRP and TMC providing enough habitat for the endangered species (Coho salmon and native steelhead) or is the reduction in the production and release at the Trinity River Hatchery the cause for our large reduction of returning salmon and steelhead. It sure would be interesting to find out the answer to that question.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 9,656cfs. This is an increase of 237cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,326cfs. I am still not sure if one can access the Weitchpec area for fishing. With the increase of water releases from Iron Gate fishing in the Upper Klamath for down runners and trout should really increase. On the other hand, fishing the Happy camp area could be a little difficult. The Orleans to Weitchpec area water flows have increased significantly so I would expect fishing to be slow if not hard.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 86% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 677cfs and releasing 497cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 53% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 2ft) with inflows of 4,802cfs and releasing 3,998cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 89% (a decrease of 3%) with inflows of 4,449cfs and releasing 4,496cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 41% of capacity (an increase of 2% plus 6ft) with inflows of 2,999cfs with releases of 1,502cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 37% of capacity (an increase of 2% plus 2ft) with inflows of 2,225cfs with releases of 2,184cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 85ft below the overflow (a decrease of 1ft) and 53% of capacity (an increase of 1%) with inflows of 1,512fs and releasing 640cfs into Lewiston Lake with 497cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 3,998cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 92% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and water releases are 296cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 52.2 degrees, as of 12:00pm today Sunday Apr. 4, 2021. Limekiln Gulch is 4.73ft at 327cfs. Douglas City is 6.42ft with flows of 397cfs. with air temps of 64 and water temperatures of 52.6 degrees. Junction City is 1.90ft at 430cfs. Helena is 8.97ft at 658cfs with water temps of 51.3degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 4.24ft at 1,180cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 3.90cfa at 730cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,910 and air is 60 degrees and water at 51.5 degrees. Hoopa is 14.19ft at 3,220cfs and water is 52 degrees.
Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 9,656cfs an increase of 237cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,326cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.44ft at 2,265cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,850cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 4,574cfs, and the Salmon River is 3.86ft at 1,862cfs. Orleans is 5.90ft at 6,436cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 11.84ft at 11,706cfs and water temps are 51.8 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 7.07ft with flows of 1,994cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 14.19ft at N/A cfs. Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 83 and a low of 32 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.00in with a water year total to date of 43.59 inches and 1.5in of snow in Willow Creek. The weather predicted for next week is high of 76 and a low of 37. We are expecting some more sunshine the rest of last week and a little more this week but we could have a few scattered showers by the first of next week.
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