Fishing is Getting Hot on The Trinity
by E.B. Duggan
Correction: Last week I wrote that “Peral Harbor” was Nov. 7th please forgive me but it happened on December 7. 1941. I was thinking of my birthday coming up. Yes, I will become another year older very soon. I’m not going to say when or how much because many of you will not believe anyone can fish that long. I have been blessed!!
The Trinity has been the HOT Spot to fish for steelhead for the last two weeks. How long will it last, I hope for another two weeks but that is just a wish. As many of you experienced fishers know the fish decide when and how long they will stay around, NOT us. I will say that the fishing has really been great and good fish too. There has been some nice large steelhead being landed both up river and down river.
Thanksgiving is not far off and many of us will be visiting with our families and having turkey. But there are those of us that are really diehard fishermen and they will be out there fishing. There are some of us that are really lucky and get to do both and enjoy it. For those that are fortunate enough to be able to be in this category we envy you but please leave some fish for the rest of us.
The rain is backing off for the next week so it would be good to make the best of it while you can because the long-range forecast is more rain and cold weather. The rain has been bleeding some of the fire residue into the Trinity but not as bad as expected. Some of the creeks in the Hoopa area are bleeding a bit more than up Willow Creek way but over all it has not been so bad.
Lewiston Lake, Pine Creek Marina: Louise and Matt of the Pine Cove Marina and Park (530-778-3878) have gone out of town to be with family for the holidays so there is no report for this week.
Trinity River Hatchery summary: Julian Week 44 ending Nov. 4, 2022; Fall Run Chinook Salmon, 285-adult, 286-jacks, total 571, season total 571; Coho salmon, 0-jack, 3-adult, season total 4; 10-steelhead, season total 31.
Junction City weir summary: Julian week 44 ending Nov. 4; Chinook salmon, 10-jack, 31-adult, total 41, season total 3,141; Coho salmon, 1-jack, 25-adult, total 26, season total 87; steelhead, 10-adult, 0-1/2lbs, total 10, season total 184, Brown trout, 0, season total 22.
Willow Creek weir summary: Julian week 44 ending Nov. 4, 2022; Fall Run Chinook salmon, 21-jacks, 38-adults, total 59, season total 1,190; Coho salmon, 3-jacks, 13-adults,total 16, season total 807; steelhead, 4-1/2lbs, 44-adults, total 48, season total 247. Plus, the other 100 steelhead that were counted Sunday makes for a very good showing of winter fishing.
Fishing: The salmon season this year has been a flop due to the fires and river closures. There were salmon there it’s just that we were not allowed to go in and fish. I cannot explain totally why but I do understand the need of space for the firefighters. The firefighters do need the freedom to move and go where they are needed without having to try and get through traffic or get around fishermen but there were some areas closed to fishing that could have been open and not interfere with the firefighting efforts. All said and done the firefighters did a great job and we are very grateful for their efforts.
This past week has been really great for steelhead fishing. A guide I was shuttling showed me a picture of a nice 31inch fresh native steelie he had caught and released down in Hoopa at Tish Tang. Man was that a beauty. That has been the story all week from the Lower Trinity. Not quantity but nice quality fish. The Upper Trinity has been more towards quantity of hookups. From all I could find out it has been great fishing for bank fishers as well as those who were drifting. Throwing spinners has been best for the bank fishers while fly fishing and pulling plugs works for the boat drifters,
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 2,757cfs. This is a decrease of 1,250cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,062cfs. Fishing around Weitchpec above the bridge and up to Orleans has been good but not many fishermen hitting the water. Up rive has been fair and again not a lot of fishing pressure. Marble Mt. Guest Ranch has been trout and steelhead fishing but now report from that area. Above I-5 should be producing some very good fishing as the steelhead are staring to arrive.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 90% of capacity (a decrease of 3%) with inflows of 40cfs and releasing 235cfs in to Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 31% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 3ft) with inflows of 2,309cfs and releasing 7,040cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 88% (a decrease of 5%) with inflows of 3,592cfs and releasing 3,708cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 29% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 4ft) with inflows of 1,401cfs with releases of 4,090cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 28% of capacity (a decrease of 4% minus 7ft) with inflows of 551cfs with releases of 1,275cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 180ft below the overflow (an increase of 2ft) and 22% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 142cfs and releasing 223cfs into Lewiston Lake with -83cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown and on to Keswick Power Plant, leaving 533,.014AF in lake storage (a decrease of 6,158AF), and releasing 3,708cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 97% of capacity (an increase of 0%) and water releases of 306cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 48.5 degrees, as of 12:00pm today Saturday November12, 2022. Limekiln Gulch is 4.66ft at 309cfs. Douglas City is 6.28ft with flows of 318cfs with water temperatures of 47.6 degrees. Junction City is 1.73ft at 354cfs. Helena is 8.14ft at 390cfs with water temps of 48.3 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.54ft at 477cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.10ft at 136cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 613cfs and air is 51 degrees and water at 46.5 degrees, Hoopa is 11.59ft at 799cfs with water at 48.8 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 2,757cfs a decrease of 1,250cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,062cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.17ft at 1,216cfs. Indian Creek is 3.47ft at 99cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,315cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,672fs, and the Salmon River is 2.72ft at 286cfs. Orleans is 2.52ft at 1,658cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.72ft at 3,642cfs and water temps are 49.3 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 5.87ft with flows of 933cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 12.49ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 56 and a low of 39 degrees. Rain for the week was 4.45in with a water year total to date of 7.85 inches and 0.00in of snow in Willow Creek. The predicted temperatures for next week are for high of 68 and lows of 35. We are experiencing some good rain but last year it was much the same with very little rain after February. I hope this is not a new weather trend because if it is Trinity Lake will not fill up for some time.
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