The Last of The Springer's Are Making A Run For It
by E.B. Duggan
Another burst of rain should bring in the last push of Spring Run Chinook Salmon for the Trinity River. Hopefully it will also bring in more Steelhead. The last rain brought in a nice run of Steelhead and a lot of adult Steelhead were caught and released. Right now, it looks like the Lower section of the river is only seeing half-pounders and a lot of smolt. It appears that the last rain pushed down a lot of smolt and juveniles and they were in Willow Creek this last week headed for the mouth and on to the Klamath. The Klamath has cleared some around Weitchpec but is a little cloudy up river from there as the rains were a little heavier up there. Heavy rains helped the firefighters a lot as the fires are becoming more under control, but the run-off is making the Upper Klamath, below I-5 very cloudy.
The Trinity River Hatchery received a nice batch of Spring Run Chinook Salmon this last week which helped improve the intake of Spring Salmon to a possible needed amount to make the egg collection for Spring Salmon smolt release for next year. This could help for a reasonable return of Spring Chinook Salmon for 2026. I know that sounds like along way off but that is the way the fishery works. It would be great if the hatcheries were at the possession where they could add more fish to be released into the Klamath and Trinity Rivers next year. I know that is what Washington Fish and Wildlife is doing to try and bring up the fish returns in some of their rivers. I would think what is good for the State of Washington could be good for California. I do know that the TRRP has used some ideas for restoration from Washington and Alaska to implement into the restoration projects, why not increase the number of fish to be released for a couple of years. If that were to happen just maybe it would improve fishing opportunities.
Trinity River Hatchery summary: Julian Week 38 ending Sep. 23, 2023; Spring Chinook Salmon, 137-jacks, 702-adults, total 839, seasonal total 1,555; Coho Salmon 0; Summer Run Steelhead 3. Season total 7
Junction City Weir summary: Julian Week 38 ending Sep. 23, 2023; Chinook Salmon, 11- jacks, 89- adults, total of 100, seasonal total 1,576; Coho Salmon 0, Steelhead, 0- ½-pounders, 9- adults, total 9, seasonal total 146; 0-Brown Trout, seasonal total 21.
Willow Creek Weir summary: Julian Week 38 ending Sep. 23,2023; Chinook Salmon, 36-jacks, 140- adults, total 176, seasonal total 340; Coho Salmon, 11-adult, 0- jack, total11, season total 18; Steelhead, 11-1/2-pounders, 30- adults, total 41, seasonal total 137 (hatchery total 80). Note: The weirs count about 10% of the fish moving up river so the seasonal totals are not just the number of Ad clipped hatchery Steelhead that are moving up the river returning to the Trinity River Hatchery.
Fishing: The Trinity River Valley is expecting some light rain showers for the next week. Now will they be enough to bring is more fish? That is the question that needs to be answered! I sure hope so. Fishing last week was good in the upper river for adults. North Coast Outfitters he took Dennis Holtz and Jeff Pardee of the San Raffael area and they had some very good success fishing, the first day they fished the Evens Bar run and caught/released adults to 6lbs using plugs and roe. The second day the fished Lewiston Lake and the Fly Fishing only section and caught/released some nice trout and ½-pounders. The third day they fished the Sky Ranch run to Lime Point and caught/released 4-adulets to 8lbs, of al the fish about 10% were ad clipped hatchery fish. That sounds like a lot of great fishing to me. Later in the week the North Coast Fly Fishers fished the Willow Creek area and caught/released a lot of ½-pounders and smolt swinging flies. Over all it looks like the Trinty is fishing good.
Mid-Klamath and Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 2,519cfs, this is an increase of 240cfs from last week. Iron Gate Dam is currently releasing 1,036cfs an increase of 33cfs from last week. The Klamath River increased releases should help clear up parts of the Upper Klamath River some. I am not sure if the rains next week will cause more fire run-off or not, but I sure hope not. Any fire run-off will not cause a problem above I-5 and the increased releases should help clear the river for better fishing down river. A call to Doug Cole at the Marble Mountain Ranch (800-552-6284) could answer and questions about river conditions.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99% of capacity (an increase of 1%) with inflows of 711cfs and releasing 770cfs over to the Keswick Reservoir. Shasta Lake is 73% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 1ft) with inflows of 4,087cfs and releasing 6,008cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 96% (an increase of 5%) with inflows of 6,529cfs and releasing 6,395cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 73% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 5ft) with inflows of 4,899cfs with releases of 11,356cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 68% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 1ft) with inflows of 2,211cfs with releases of 3,264cfs into the American river. Trinity Lake is 1,274,952AF an increase of 15,635AF. A gain for the week.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 87ft below the overflow (This is a corrected increase of 2ft) and 52% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 261cfs and releasing 1,331cfs into Lewiston Lake with 874cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown and on to Keswick Power Plant, and releasing 6,395cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 94% of capacity (an increase of 1%) and water releases of 457cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 49.7 degrees, as of 2:30pm today Sunday October 1, 2023. Limekiln Gulch is 4.92ft at flows of 472cfs. Douglas City is 4.74ft with flows of 467cfs with water temperatures of 53 degrees. Junction City is 2.03ft at 474cfs. Helena is 8.63ft at 529cfs with water temps of 57.9 degrees. Burnt Ranch at Cedar Flat is 2.86ft at 594cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.99ft at 126cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 720cfs and air is 76 degrees and water at 60.5 degrees, Hoopa is 11.69ft at 838cfs with water at 62.3 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 2,519cfs an increase of 240cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,036cfs an increase of 33cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.20ft at 1,237cfs. Indian Creek is 3.61ft at 74cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,311cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,448cfs, and the Salmon River is 1.59ft at 233cfs. Orleans is 2.59ft at 1,681cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.27ft at 2,994cfs and water temps are 62.6 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 4.76ft with flows of 342cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.80ft at N/A. Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 78 and a low of 46 degrees. Rain for the week was 1.49 with a water year total to date of 79.48 inches and 0.00in of snow for a total of 7.50in. in Willow Creek. The predicted temperatures for next week are for high of 89 and a low of 52. The weather predicted for next week for some sunshine early week then some light rain showers for the beginning of the week.
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