Finally The Fires Are Contained
by E.B. Duggan
Finally the fires are contained as fire crews are now doing mop-up action. The problem, because fire crews are doing mop-up operations most of the public fishing accesses around Willow Creek are closed to public access. Big Rock, Kimtu, South Fork, Hiel-Din Trail, Salyer Bridge Trail and Hawkins Bar accesses are all closed to the general public, fire equipment use only! I know this is a BIG problem because of Fall Run Chinook salmon fishing season is now open for the Upper Klamath and the Trinity River. This is supposed to only last two more weeks. Sorry, this is the last information I received as of September 16th. One can fish below the Air Port via permission Tom O’Gorman, Trinity River Farms or Hoopa. There are Fall Run Chinook salmon moving through the area. The other choice is to fish the Upper Trinity above the Cedar Flat Bridge. I’m hoping that the CDFW will give us some extra time to meet the Trinity River Fall Run salmon quota. We also lost a good friend and one of my Klamath River fishing contacts Kenny Peugh. Kenny passed away last week. Sorry to see you go buddy.
Note, BOR has allowed the storage in Trinity Lake to go down to 571,004AF, that’s 28,996AF below the cold-water pool to provide cold water to Trinity River for salmon spawning. It is a good thing we are having some cooler weather at the present or the river could become to warm for spawning let alone provide enough water flow for making electricity.
Lower Klamath summary: The Lower Klamath Fall Run Chinook salmon fishing season for adult salmon is closed. You may fish for Jack salmon (3 salmon per day, 6 in possession under 23 inches; NO adults) you may also fish for steelhead.
Junction City weir summary: Julian week 36 ending Sept. 9, 2022; 8- adult Chinook, 0- jack, total 8, season total 2,406; 0- Coho; season total 0; steelhead, 0-1/2-pounders, 3-adults, total 3, season total 113; 0-Brown trout, total 0, season total-22.
Trinity River Hatchery summary: Julian Week 36 ending Sep. 9, 2022: 162-adult Chinook salmon, 64-jacks, total 226,season total 226; 0-adult Coho, 0-jack Coho, season total 0; 3-steelhead, total 3, season total 3.
Fishing: As I stated above fishing access is a bit difficult on the Lower Trinity. The good thing is that the smoke has cleared and Fall Run salmon are coming through. Fishing in Hoopa is fair to good using spinners. Six Rivers spinners in the 1/2oz as well as Blue Fox ¼ and 1/2 oz spinners. (Colors are orange & green) Also fresh cured roe for bait works well. Remember Greys and Burnt Ranch Falls are closed to all fishing.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 2,781cfs. This is an increase of 84cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,055cfs a slight increase. Fishing around Weitchpec to Orleans has increased some and Orleans is seeing more action on the Fall Runn salmon. It is a mix of spinner fishing or bait. The good news is that there are fish to be caught in the area. Fishing from I-5 up has picked up a bit as the flows increased some. From what I have heard is that the smoke has gone. If this is true than fishing should be good.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 96% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 324cfs and releasing 191cfs in to Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 34% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 3ft) with inflows of 2,148cfs and releasing 3,797cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 86% (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 4,275cfs and releasing 4,103cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 36% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 5ft) with inflows of 2,326cfs with releases of 3,043cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 39% of capacity (a decrease of 5% minus 6ft) with inflows of 1,154cfs with releases of 2,982cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 168ft below the overflow (an increase of 8ft) and 23% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 92cfs and releasing 1,080cfs into Lewiston Lake with 135cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown and on to Keswick Power Plant, leaving 571,004AF in lake storage, and releasing 4,393cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 93% of capacity (a decrease of 2%) and water releases of 945cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 55.7 degrees, as of 12:00apm today Saturday September 17, 2022. Limekiln Gulch is 5.53ft at 992cfs. Douglas City is 7.20ft with flows of 916cfs with water temperatures of 55.2 degrees. Junction City is 2.75ft at 915cfs. Helena is 9.68ft at 925cfs with water temps of 59.8 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.76ft at 972cfs. (This reading was 7:45am then went out again) South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 1.69ft at 52cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,024cfs and air is 72 degrees and water at 61 degrees, Hoopa is 12.02ft at 1,147cfs with water at 63.8 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 2,781cfs an increase of 84cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,055cfs. Seiad Valley is 1.94ft at 1,087cfs. Indian Creek is 3.26ft at 68cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,155cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,440fs, and the Salmon River is 1.45ft at 194cfs. Orleans is 2.19ft at 1,634cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.45ft at 3,077cfs and water temps are 66 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 4.65ft with flows of 290cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.64ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 83 and a low of 48 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 cooler weather lately which is a relief from the fires and smoke. The projected temperatures for next week are for high of 93 and lows of 54. Maybe we are looking at some fall weather for a change.
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