Happy New Year and May This Be A Better Fish Year
by E.B. Duggan
I hope all had a Happy New Year and didn’t celebrate too much. I hope this year my computer has a better year also. The last several weeks I have had nothing but trouble with my computer so that is why there has been no fishing reports. I do apologize and hope to do much better this year. I also am hopping that we have a much better fishing year this coming year as last year was horrible for most north coast fishing. This year crabbing has been fair but the price has bottomed out and the crabbers are holding out for a better price. Last year’s returns to the to the hatchery looks good for better out-migrating fish and possible returns for 2026. I know that sounds like a long way off but believe me it will come soon. I really look forward to a good fishing year for all fishermen, ocean, river and tribal fishing. While I am wishing I hope the TRRP and TMC will slow down the Gravel Augmentation and match it up with river flows so there is a better disbursement of the gravel.
There has been much talk about the Dam removals on the Klamath and I have been doing some reading about other Dam Removals on the west coast and the results from sediment releases is not as bad as many of us thought it would be. In several cases there was some heavy sediment at first but then it started to calm down and spread out along the river. There were some problems with the fine sediment but it also eventually spread out and cause less problems than expected. This was good as there was more spawning area available for the fish. The problem I read about and hope will not cause many problems on the Klamath would be invasive fish, bass and croppy or possibly other types of fish that are behind the Dams that could prey on the juvenile Salmon and Steelhead. I did read that the bass were able to acclimatize to river waters but not all rivers were affected.
The TRH and weirs are finished with their counting on the Trinity so now that the numbers are in the calculations have to be made and modeled for the projected releases for the coming year. So far, the numbers are looking good for egg collection for Chinook Salmon and Steelhead but Coho Salmon look like they could be a little short for release numbers. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and prey for the best.
Fishing: The Trinity River Valley has seen a lot of rain these past weeks and the river is high but not to high for fishing. The mud from the South Fork has subsided and the river is looking better with just enough color for some great bait fishing. This year it has been hard to get fresh roe but one can use night crawlers for some great Steelhead fishing. Yes, there are some fresh fish coming in and I have seen fishermen out and landing some fair to good Iron Heads. Yes, I did finally see some fishermen on the river fishing and hooking fish. There was a mix of hardware and bait but not many fly fishers out though. I see we could be having some more rain in he coming week but it is predicted light rains and scattered showers.
The Upper Trinity has been bushy with fishermen and drift boats. The fly fishing is much better up there but they are running out of fresh Steelies to hook into.
Mid-Klamath and Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 9,752, this is an increase of 500cfs from last report. Iron Gate Dam is currently releasing 988cfs an increase of 34cfs from last week. The Klamath River has increased some from the rains but not in great quantities. Fishing around Orleans has been fair to good but you have to pick your spot and work it over good. Hard ware seem to be the choice over there right now but I am sure that bait would give some good action also. I haven’t heard much form up river or down at the mouth but I would hope the fishing has picked up some.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 87% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 320cfs and releasing 1,301cfs over to the Keswick Reservoir. Shasta Lake is 69% of capacity (an increase of 2% plus 3ft) with inflows of 4,343cfs and releasing 3,981cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 8% (an increase of 2%) with inflows of 5,212cfs and releasing 5,055cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 69% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 4ft) with inflows of 4,188/cfs with releases of 2,650cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 42% of capacity (a decrease of 0% minus 0ft) with inflows of 1,604cfs with releases of 2,020cfs into the American river. Trinity Lake is 1,308,566AF an increase of 58,563AF.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 84ft below the overflow (a decrease of 5ft) and 53% of capacity (an increase of 2% with inflows of 1,665cfs and releasing 292cfs into Lewiston Lake with 13cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown and on to Keswick Power Plant, and releasing 5,055cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 97% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and water releases of 305cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 45.4 degrees, as of 11:30pm today Sunday January 7, 2024. Limekiln Gulch is 4.81ft at flows of 394cfs. Douglas City is 6.77ft with flows of 488cfs with water temperatures of 40.6 degrees. Junction City is 2.35ft at 666cfs. Helena is 9.44ft at 829cfs with water temps of 40.9 degrees. Burnt Ranch at Cedar Flat is N/Aft at N/Acfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 5.15ft at 1,313cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 2,0133cfs and air is 44 degrees and water at 42 degrees, Hoopa is 18.19ft at 4,560cfs with water at 43.9 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 9,752cfs an increase of 500cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 988cfs a n increase of 34cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.83ft at 1,727cfs. Indian Creek is 5.00ft at 432cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,159cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 4,028cfs, and the Salmon River is 3.09ft at 1,164cfs. Orleans is 5.04ft at 5,192cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 12.28ft at 14,237cfs and water temps are 45 degrees.
Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 8.87ft with flows of 4,522cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 15.52ft at N/A. Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 55 and a low of 38 degrees. Rain for the week was 1.55 with a water year total to date of 20.80 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 52 and a low of 34. The weather predicted for next week is showers and light rain for most of the week.
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