Trinity River Fishing Report
by E.B. Duggan
The fires are still burning but the containment lines are holding so far. Because of the steep terrain the management team is letting the interior burn and that is why we have so much smoke. The Campbell Ridge and Ammon fires are contained at this time and are not moving just the interior is burning out.
The Bureau of Reclamation is releasing more water out of Iron Gate Dam on the Klamath and reducing the water releases for Trinity Dam. As of today, the cold-water pool in Trinity Lake is 598,005AF, that is 1,995AF below the 600,000AF cold-water pool. How will the Trinity Dam produce electricity if the water level gets much lower? How will the Trinity River Hatchery be able to produce fish (salmon) if the water level gets much lower? If the cold-water pool gets to low how will the fish survive in the hot water to reach the ocean?
The Oregon Gulch Channel Rehabilitation project above Junction City is a good thing for removing all of the old mining tailings but as for the Flood Plain project I don’t see a good results. Is the Trinity River Restoration Program aware of the Hocker Flat project they did in 2003? It was a failure and never repaired, it never produced healthier salmon as proposed in the plan. I see the same results about to happen at the Oregon Gulch Channel project only more money being spent. The Hocker Flat project cost over $8 million tax payer dollars. Is the TRRP about to do the same thing again only spend more tax payer dollars to only make an area along the Trinity River look beautiful by removing the mine tailings. When are the people going to stop the TRRP and the TMC from trying to make the river do what mother nature refuses to accept? I have one question for the TRRP and TMC, “Where are they going to get the water for the Flood Plain when the Lake is empty?
Lower Klamath summary: Below Hwy 101 Bridge, Julian Week 35 ending Sept. 2; 221-adult, season total 275, 39-jack, season total 60; combined season harvest total 334. Above Hwy 101 Bridge; 548-adults, season total 1726, 413-jacks, season total 550; combined season harvest total 1,276.
Junction City weir summary: Julian week 35 ending Sept. 2, 2022; 0- adult Chinook, 0- jack, total 3, season total 2,398; 0- Coho; season total 0; steelhead, 0-1/2-pounders, 5-adults, total 5, season total 110; 0-Brown trout, total 0, season total-22.
Fishing: Even though it is smoky the Fall Run Chinook salmon are in the Trinity and moving up river. It seems as though the smoke is not in the water just in the air. Hoopa is seeing a good number of adults with a mix of jacks. Yes, the Hoopa weir is in and word is that NMFS has granted them a permit. I don’t understand but how but they supposedly did. Because of the Fire Camp at Veterans Park and beyond the public does not have access to the river at Kimtu, Big Rock or to Sandy Bar on the South Fork. Hopefully these areas will be open soon for fishing.
August 31st the Trinity River was closed to fishing from the Hawkins Bar Bridge to the Cedar Flat Bridge. That closes fishing in the Greys Falls and Burnt Ranch Falls section of the Trinity River. You can still fish below the Hawkins Bar Bridge and down river, although it is pretty smoky in that are because of the fire. You can also fish above the Bridge at Cedar Flat. The Sky Ranch Rd. Access is closed due to trucking and removal mine tailings but you can fish up above the Oregon Gulch section or below it. I heard that fishing below the Junction City store has been good as well as the Del Loma section. Sorry I have no fish info for above Douglas City this week.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 2,697cfs. This is a decrease of 33cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,011cfs. Fishing from I-5 up is picking up as the flows increase. If the smoke is not bad, I would think this would be a good place for trout fishing with a few salmon thrown in. Happy Camp was still smoky when I heard from them but it could have cleared by today. A call to Marble Mt. Adventures should get you an answer. Weitchpec to Orleans has been smoky the last week but I was not able to get an answer from my contact in that area. They were still mopping up in that area below Weitchpec on the Hwy 169 fire so I am not sure if you can get into there to fish. The Lower Klamath section should be at or close to their quota of salmon but I haven’t heard if that is true.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 96% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 38cfs and releasing 236cfs in to Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 35% of capacity (a decrease of 0% minus 1ft) with inflows of 2,374cfs and releasing 3,706cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 87% (a decrease of 3%) with inflows of 4,301cfs and releasing 4,393cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 37% of capacity (a decrease of 0% minus 3ft) with inflows of 3,240cfs with releases of 3,922cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 44% of capacity (a decrease of 3% minus 4ft) with inflows of 1,794cfs with releases of 3,489cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 168ft below the overflow (an increase of 2ft) and 24% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 106cfs and releasing 922cfs into Lewiston Lake with -16cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 4,393cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 95% of capacity (an increase of 0%) and water releases of 938cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 56.1 degrees, as of 10:30am today Monday September 5, 2022. Limekiln Gulch is 5.51ft at 989cfs. Douglas City is 7.18ft with flows of 901cfs with water temperatures of 55.3 degrees. Junction City is 2.73ft at 903cfs. Helena is 9.68ft at 925cfs with water temps of 61.5 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is N/Aft at N/Acfs due to fires. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 1.70ft at 53cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 978cfs and air is 71 degrees and water at 65 degrees, the river is clear and dropping. Kimtu and Big Rock accesses are closed to public due to fire equipment usage as well as the Sandy Bar access off of Friday Ridge Rd. Hoopa is 12.02ft at 1,140cfs with water at 67 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 2,697cfs a decrease of 33cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,011cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.00ft at 1,125cfs. Indian Creek is 3.38ft at 71cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,197cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,362fs, and the Salmon River is 1.45ft at 194cfs. Orleans is 2.12ft at 1,556cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.35ft at 2,872cfs and water temps are 701.5 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 4.71ft with flows of 314cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.77ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 96 and a low of 54 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.00in with a water year total to date of 55.93 inches and 5.00in of snow in Willow Creek. We have been experiencing some hot smoky weather most of the week from the fires. The projected temperatures for next week are for high of 107 and lows of 58 with a rise to about 107 next Tuesday. I know this is discouraging information but I want you to be prepared for hot and smoky weather if you plan on fishing the Willow Creek or Hoopa areas.
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