River Dropping Need Some Rain
by E.B. Duggan
The weather this last week has been dry and sunny. I know the Holidays are coming up but the river needs some water and the only way for right now is for some rain. Even though the river is low the upper section has been producing some nice Iron Heads. From the pictures I have been receiving there have been some really nice Steelhead landed. The only problem I have is that there is not names or sizes to pas on. When sending pictures, I NEED; the name of the person, the size of the fish, what was being used to catch the fish and possibly the general location. I know many guides don’t want to say where they were fishing and I understand that but a general area would be helpful.
There is still dialog going on between myself and the TRRP about the river and restoration. The major problem is that the TRRP and the TMC are not really listening to the public. They see you when you speak and the hear what you say but they don’t really seem listen to what you have to say. In some cases, the public only complains and don’t give a reason or possible idea of a change but in many cases the public and or guides only complain to other people or the paper. They don’t go to the meeting and express their problem. I have tried to express myself with some solutions in a positive way, not always but try to. I just wish that the TAMWG was not defunded. TRRP did not defund the program the administration did and I have tried to say that.
Now for the return of fish to the Klamath River Basin, in the past I have stated that other states have had similar problems as we have but I have also stated some of their solutions to help the returns. I have also stated that other causes have been with the water releases and that Bureau of Reclamation controls the water releases not TRRP. Decease has also been a contributor to low returns. Some river restoration projects have failed to produce the fish as science has said it would but not tried to solve the problem.
Trinity River Hatchery summary: Julian Week 44 ending Nov. 4, 2023, Fall Chinook Salmon, 458 -jacks, 1,1150 -adults, total 1,608, seasonal total 1,875; Coho Salmon, 13- jacks, 13-adults, total 14, seasonal total 46; Steelhead 4. Season total 55; Ads clipped -total 51.
Junction City Weir summary: Julian Week 44 ending Nov. 4, 2023; Chinook Salmon, 32- jacks, 177- adults, total of 209, seasonal total 2,895, seasonal Ads clipped 257; Coho Salmon, 2-jacks, 5- adults, total 7, seasonal total 63; Steelhead, 1- ½-pounders, 1- adults, total 2, seasonal total 272, ads clipped 137; 1-Brown Trout, seasonal total 22.
Willow Creek Weir summary: Julian Week 44 ending Nov. 4, 2023; there appears to be a mix up on data, Chinook Salmon, 0-jacks, 0- adults, total 0, seasonal total 814, seasonal total Ads clipped 4, seasonal total 125; Coho Salmon, 0- jack, 0-adult, total 0, season total 10, ad clipped total 96; Steelhead, 1-1/2-pounders, 5- adults, total 6, seasonal total 317 (hatchery total 174).
Fishing: The Trinity River Valley is in need of some rain. The river is dropping again and no a lot of fish seem to be showing up in the Willow Creek area. I didn’t check down river but I got some nice pictures of people landing some nice Steelhead up river. The problem being is there was no information of who the people were so I can’t use them. For the time being it looks like the place to be fishing is in the upper sections of the river. We have rain predicted so if we get it there could be a change in the fishing.
Mid-Klamath and Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 3,010cfs, this is an increase of 68cfs from last week. Iron Gate Dam is currently releasing 1,031cfs a decrease of 0cfs from last week. The Klamath River releases are doing well for the upper section of the Klamath right now for some good trout and Steelhead fishing. You might want to Doug Cole at Marble Mountain Resort (530-522-6284) to see if you could make a reservation for fishing. If you wish to fish above I-5 a call to Scott Caldwell (530-905-0758) would be your best bet. The Weitchpec/ Orleans areas should be fair to good fishing right now but you must remember that you are not allowed to keep Salmon and only retain hatchery Steelhead which is hard to find in this area.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 444cfs and releasing 740cfs over to the Keswick Reservoir. Shasta Lake is 69% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 1ft) with inflows of 3,411cfs and releasing 4,660cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 87% (a decrease of 5%) with inflows of 5,112cfs and releasing 4,992cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 67% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 3ft) with inflows of 1,001cfs with releases of 3,043cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 54% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 2ft) with inflows of 1,120cfs with releases of 2,208cfs into the American river. Trinity Lake is 1,212,422AF a decrease of 4,917AF.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 93ft below the overflow (an increase of 1ft) and 50% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 287cfs and releasing 700cfs into Lewiston Lake with 411cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown and on to Keswick Power Plant, and releasing 4,992cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 93% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and water releases of 289cfs into the Trinity River with water temperatures of 48.5 degrees, as of 2:00pm today Sunday November 12, 2023. Limekiln Gulch is 4.60ft at flows of 296cfs. Douglas City is 6.45ft with flows of 318cfs with water temperatures of 48.6 degrees. Junction City is 1.69ft at 321cfs. Helena is 8.18ft at 387cfs with water temps of 50.6 degrees. Burnt Ranch at Cedar Flat is 2.57ft at 488cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 3.10ft at 154cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 642cfs and air is 57 degrees and water at 50.1 degrees, Hoopa is 11.72ft at 857cfs with water at 51.3 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 3,010cfs an increase of 68cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,031cfs a decrease of 0cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.27ft at 1,286cfs. Indian Creek is 3.80ft at 105cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,391cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,800cfs, and the Salmon River is 1.87ft at 353cfs. Orleans is 2.89ft at 2,153cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.70ft at 3,709cfs and water temps are 51.8 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 6.03t with flows of 1,054cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 12.83ft at N/A. Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 66 and a low of 42 degrees. Rain for the week was 2.71 with a water year total to date of 9.01 inches and 0.00in of snow for a total of 0.00in. in Willow Creek. The predicted temperatures for next week are for high of 67 degrees and a low of 39. The weather predicted for the first part of the week is cloudy with some shows and rain after the weekend. This could help bring in some fresh fish. We need that!
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