Rivers Have Peaked Out Flows Dropping
by E.B. Duggan
The rivers and streams have peaked out and are on the down slope. The Trinity is starting to clear up a bit but is still muddy as of this morning Monday Dec. 4in Willow Creek. This is an indicator that the fish should start moving up the rivers. The predicted weather for next week is rain Wednesday and Thursday. If this is the case then fish should start to move into the mouth of the Klamath and work their way up to the Trinity towards their spawning grounds. We are moving into winter although right now it feels more like fall with 60 degrees and partly sunny weather today.
I must have hit a nerve as I have been getting emails both good and some very interesting about facts and some as the river used to be years ago. I have been very busy trying to get my house back together for the Christmas Holidays and have not been able to get back to all those emails. I will do my best to try and answer as many emails as possible, it will just take some time. Some of the emails are very concerned about the Trinity River. They talk about how the river was for fishing years ago and what has happened to the returns now. I just wish that some of those letters were sent to the TRRP and read at a TMC meeting to reaffirm many of the things I have been reiterating for some time now and get told I need to check my facts. Science is great but not always the answer to problems. Sometimes mother nature has different ideas and I have found out that overtime mother nature does have her way no mater what the science says.
Trinity River Hatchery summary: Julian Week 46 ending Nov.18, 2023; Fall Chinook Salmon, 239-jacks, 3,222-adults, total 3,461 seasonal total 8,163, 1,743-Ads clipped; Coho Salmon 18-jacks, 166-adults, total 184, season total 279, 269-Ads clipped; Steelhead 175,season total 148, 140- Ads clipped hatchery fish.
Junction City Weir summary: Julian Week 48 ending Dec. 2, 2023; Chinook Salmon, 4- jacks, 5- adults, total of 9, seasonal total 3,114; Coho Salmon 0-jacks, 2-adults, season total 311; Steelhead, 0- ½-pounders, 2- adults, total 2, seasonal total 428; 0-Brown Trout, seasonal total 27.
Willow Creek Weir summary: Julian Week 44 ending Nov. 4, 2023; Chinook Salmon, 2-jacks, 15- adults, total 17, seasonal total 831; Coho Salmon, 0-adult, 0- jack, total 0, season total 105; Steelhead, 0-1/2-pounders, 1- adults, total 1, seasonal total 355 (hatchery total 209). The Willow Creek weir was removed Nov. 27, 2023 and the final preliminary counts are from Nov.4.
Fishing: The Trinity River Valley has seen 2.64 inches of rain during this storm and it brought the Trinity flows up by almost 1,000cfs. This really changed the river a lot. It also brought a lot of mud into the main stem, mostly from the South Fork. Prior to that the fly fishers were doing great on ½-pounders with a few sub adults. Not adult steelies were landed but a few were seen going by on their way to the upper river. A couple of felloes from Redding floated the Reservation this last week and were able to hook into many ½-pounders but no adults. This is good news as the rains will surely bring in more adults for the Holidays. The great thing is the US Forest Service really did a job on the road into Sandy Bar. I have not seen the upper part of the road in this good of condition in 30 years that I have used it. I guess my talk with the Forest Supervisor McCarther did some good. I have to say that it is about time the Forest Service used some of the money guides have to pay for permits and their 3% of gross for use of the river.
Mid-Klamath and Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 13,643cfs, this is an increase of 10,452cfs from last week. Iron Gate Dam is currently releasing 1960cfs a decrease of 065cfs from last week. The Klamath River has decreased the releases a little bit but with the rains the flows have really increased as you move down the river. Water flows have increased all along the Klamath and is experiencing some difficulty in fishing the river at this time. I am sure as the river drops in volume fishing will pick up. Now is a good time to make some reservations for fishing the Kamath.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 95% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of N/Acfs and releasing N/Acfs over to the Keswick Reservoir. Shasta Lake is 67% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 1ft) with inflows of N/Acfs and releasing N/Acfs into Keswick. Keswick is 87% (a decrease of 8%) with inflows of N/Acfs and releasing N/Acfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 75% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 5ft) with inflows of 2,778cfs with releases of 10,139cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 66% of capacity (a decrease of 0% minus 1ft) with inflows of N/Acfs with releases of N/Acfs into the American river. Trinity Lake is 1,210,659AF a decrease of 226AF.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 93ft below the overflow (an increase of 0ft) and 49% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of N/Acfs and releasing N/Acfs into Lewiston Lake with N/Acfs being diverted to Whiskeytown and on to Keswick Power Plant, and releasing N/Acfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 93% of capacity (an increase of 0%) and water releases of 294cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 45.5 degrees, as of 10:00am today Monday December 4, 2023. Limekiln Gulch is 4.73ft at flows of 341cfs. Douglas City is 6.55ft with flows of 390cfs with water temperatures of 46.5 degrees. Junction City is 1.90ft at 422cfs. Helena is 8.80ft at 571cfs with water temps of 47.1 degrees. Burnt Ranch at Cedar Flat is 3.92ft at 1,045cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 3.77ft at 412cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 12,457cfs and air is 60 degrees and water at 47.5 degrees, Hoopa is 14.56ft at 3,688cfs with water at 48.0 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 13,643cfs an increase of 2,733cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 960cfs a decrease of 65cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.77ft at 1,672cfs. Indian Creek is 6.09ft at 980cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,652cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 7,700cfs, and the Salmon River is 4.16ft at 2,255cfs. Orleans is 7.80ft at 9,955cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 14.86ft at 24,726cfs and water temps are 48.5 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are N/Aft with flows of N/Acfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 21.65ft at N/A. Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 60 and a low of 32 degrees. Rain for the week was 2.64 with a water year total to date of 13.16 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 70 and a low of 39. The weather predicted for next week is rain mid-week with cloudy up to Tuesday and the some more rain. If that don’t get fish moving then I don’t know what to say.
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