More Winter Weather Coming

by E.B. Duggan

Just when we think spring is in the air winter hits us in the face. The daffodils are blooming and we have cold weather coming with possible snow. Thei coming week is looking more like winter Steelhead fishing than spring. Here I have been complaining about the warming and all and Mr. weather shows up. The rivers are dropping and we have a new storm coming upon us. This is really crazy weather. With the high waters it has been hard to find a good place to fish any where on the lower river. I have been saying to wait for the rivers to start dropping and the fishing will pickup but mother nature has different ideas.

This week CDFW will be reviewing all the data and start to predict the number of salmon available for fishing. I hope the number crunchers are not to far off and can come up with enough salmon to have some kind of salmon fishing season for all the different fishing categories, Tribal, Ocean Commercial, Ocean Sport and In-River Sport plus Natural Escapement. That sound like a lot of categories to divide up for quotas so there can be a fishing season but that is exactly why there has NOT been good Salmon fishing seasons. The numbers for this year at the Trinity River Hatchery do look like the returns will allow for enough eggs the be harvested to provide enough fish to meat the release quotas for the different species. The problem is these releases will be for returns in 2026. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope and pray for some good returns for the 2024 season.      

Trinity River Hatchery summary: Julian Week 7 ending on Feb. 18, 2024: Chinook salmon, 0-jacks, 0-adults, season total 11,935,  Ads clipped season total 2,171; Coho salmon, 0-jacks, season total 124, 0-aduts, season total 2,423, Ads clipped season total 2.382. Returns are finally looking good for the 2023-24 season at TRH. 

Fishing: Winter storms are taking control of the streams and the rivers. Just as the rivers stat to become fishable another storm comes roaring in. There has been some limited fishing in the upper river though and that is good news for fishermen. With the rivers reaching such high levels the river bar in front of my house has gone under water five different times. Now that is a lot of water going down the river. The good thing is that the cowering the high water does is good for gravel dispersment.  For upper river conditions you might want to call Indian Creek Lodge, Cory, (530) 623-6294, Junction City, Butch, (530)0623-2803, for Lewiston Lake, Pine Cove Marina, Matt or Louise (530)778-3878

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 26,536cfs. This is a decrease of 13,546cfs.  Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,022cfs a decrease of 93cfs. Just as the Klamath was clearing another storm is coming in.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 102% of capacity (an increase of 9%) with inflows of 2,990cfs with releases of 3,675cfs into Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 86% of capacity (an increase of 2% plus 4ft) with inflows of 21,365cfs and releasing 34,602cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 79% of capacity (a decrease of 7%) with inflows of 34,391cfs and releases of 34,827cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 84% of capacity (an increase of 4% plus 10ft) with inflows of 14,963cfs with releases of 8,965cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 63% of capacity (an increase of 3% plus 3ft) with inflows of 6,406cfs with releases of 6,249cfs into the American river. Trinity Lake is 1,742,807AF an increase of 76,878AF of storage. The Trinity Alps is the water source for Trinity Lake, snowpack for this year is not even close to normal for this time of year. Let’s hope for more snow at higher elevations.Trinity Lake: The lake is 53ft below the overflow (a decrease of 4ft) and % of capacity (an increase of 7%) with inflows of 2,588cfs and releasing 316cfs into Lewiston Lake with -0cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown and on to Keswick Power Plant, releasing 14,932cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Trinity Lake is 71% of capacity (an increase of 3%) and 48ft below the overflow a decrease of 5ft.). Lewiston Dam is 93% of capacity (a n increase of 1%) and water releases of 311cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 46.9 degrees, as of 11:30am today Saturday February 24, 2024. Limekiln Gulch is 5.34ft at 806cfs. Douglas City is 7.88ft with flows of 1,331cfs with water temperatures of 45.5 degrees. Junction City is 4.25ft at 1,830cfs. Helena is 12.20ft at 3,429cfs with water temps of 47.0 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is N/Aft at 0.00cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 8.89t at 5,416cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 7,845cfs and air is 60 degrees and water at 47.5 degrees, Hoopa is 20.06ft at 14,326cfs with water at 49.1degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 26,536cfs a decrease of 13,546cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,022cfs, a decrease of 93cfs. Seiad Valley is 4.36ft at 3,232cfs. Indian Creek is 5.95ft at 861cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 4,093cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 8,925fs, and the Salmon River is 4.95ft at 3,285cfs. Orleans is 8.72ft at 12,210cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 17.01ft at 34,966cfs and water temps are 48.5 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jediah Smith are 9.90ft with flows of 6,445fs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 16.34ft at N/A cfs.

Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of61 and a low of 38 degrees. Rain for the week was 2.55in with a water year total to date of 38.28 inches and 0.00in of snow in Willow Creek. The predicted temperatures for next week are for high of 69 and a low of 33. The weather predicted for next week looks like rain for most of the week with possible snow at higher elevations. 

from Willow Creek, CA Phone 530-629-3554, E-mail