Trinity Citizens Letter of Complaint

by E.B. Duggan

The Trinity Citizens Letter of Complaint April 14, 2024 to the Department of Interior, Office of Inspector General, Conflict of Interest; Trinity Management Council, Trinity River Restoration project/Bureau of Reclamation is about the disenfranchised Public. This letter topics many of the complaints I have referred to at different times in my column but actually codifies the complaints from the 2000 Record of Decision (ROD) and rules of the Trinity Restoration. It touches on may topics that concern the Trinity River and removing public input (TAMWG) Trinity Adaptive Management Group. TAMWG was the part of the ROD that allowed for the public to recommend changes to or for the different restoration program which then made the recommendation to the TMC. The Trinity Management Council was to act as the de facto Board of Directors for the Trinity River Restoration Projects and was made up of different Government Departments and Tribal leaders to help improver the fish habitat on the Trinity River. The Goal of the ROD was to restore the Trinity River salmon and endangered species to the era of before the Dams were installed on the river. I have always felt that was an adumbral ambition to restore the fish runs back to before the Dams but probably impractical. I thought maybe 80 to 90% returns might be achievable for a goal if all restoration was done and the latest science with some common since were used.

In 2017 TAMWG was defunded and public input was for all intensive purposes gone. I hope the letter of Citizens Complaint can create some changes for the Trinity Restoration program using the latest science and common science with public input. We have to also include Mother Nature as she can not be left out of the program as we have found out from past experiences. 30-year-old science has to be updated because it changes so very fast in these modern times. Also, Adaptive Management must be a part of the restoration if we really want to help the fish returns.

Fishing: The Lower Trinity is still high from the water flow releases and is hard to fish. As the water flows start to recline some fishing will increase but we have to respect the closure of salmon fishing and be sure to release any salmon caught in a proper manor. The wet water year has almost filled the Trinity Lake but I have noticed that the lake level has started to be reduced with the water releases. For the time being Trinity Lake and Whiskeytown Reservoir would be your best be for some good fishing.  For fishing conditions on the upper Trinity, you might want to call Indian Creek Lodge, Cory, (530)623-6294 or Junction City Store, Butch, (530)623-2803, for Lewiston Lake call Pine Cove Marina, Matt or Louise (530)778-3878.

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 20,344cfs. This is a decrease of 2,634cfs.  Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,425cfs an increase of 41cfs.  The Upper Klamath is running clear now and there should be some fair to good trout fishing all the way down to Happy Camp. I still am having trouble getting good information from that area. The good thing is June 29this the Fish Lake Kids Fish Derby this year. That has always been a great fish day for kids of Eastern Humboldt County. They have any where from 80 to 100 kids show up for the Derby. I always like the free Hot Dog lunch that they have after all the awards are handed out. I helped run the Derby for 15 yeas and saw many young kids have a great time up there. Sometimes it was the first time a kid had ever caught a fish.

These last rains have really helped clean up the river and is now making fishing available in the upper river. So, if you are looking to fish the Klamath in the near future you might want to call; for the Upper Klamath, you can call Doug Cole, Marble Mountain Guest Ranch, (800)552-6284, or Scott Caldwell, SC Guide Service (530)905-0758 

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99% of capacity (an increase of 1%) with inflows of N/Acfs with releases of N/Acfs into Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 97% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 2ft) with inflows of N/Acfs and releasing N/Acfs into Keswick. Keswick is 91% of capacity (an increase of 9%) with inflows of N/Acfs and releases of N/Acfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 100% of capacity (an increase of 4% plus 7ft) with inflows of 10,638cfs with releases of 10,433cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 89% of capacity (an increase of 3% plus 3ft) with inflows of N/Acfs with releases of N/Acfs into the American river. Trinity Lake storage is 2,074,110AF a decrease of 4,510AF of storage. The releases into the Trinity are starting to drop the lake some but will not lower the lake very much at his time. There is still a fair amount of snowpack left in the Trinity Alps. As you should know the Alps is the water source for Trinity Lake.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 24ft below the overflow (a decrease of 0ft) and 85% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of N/Acfs and releasing 4,415cfs into Lewiston Lake with N/Acfs being diverted to Whiskeytown and on to the Keswick Power Plant while releasing N/Acfs into the Sacramento River. Somehow many of the river gauges are not reregistering so I don’t have flow information for the different river areas. I know some of you use that information to go fishing in your favorite spots and without that information it makes it hard for you to plan your fishing trips. 

Trinity River flows and conditions: Trinity Lake is 85% of capacity (an increase of 0%) and 24ft below the overflow a decrease of 0ft. Lewiston Dam is 95% of capacity (a decrease of 4%) and water releases of 4,415cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of N/A degrees, as of 8:30to 9:00am today Monday May 6, 2024. Limekiln Gulch is 8.28ft at 4,647cfs. Douglas City is 10.46ft with flows of 4,780cfs with water temperatures of 45.6 degrees. Junction City is 6.66ft at 4,590cfs. Helena is 15.37ft at 5,365cfs with water temps of N/A degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is N/Aft at 0.00cfs (Gauge is out of order). South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 5.38 at 1,320cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 6.685 and air is 51 degrees and water at 48 degrees, Hoopa is 18.18ft at 9,907cfs with water at 49.1 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 20,344cfs a decrease of 2,634cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,425cfs, an increase of 41cfs. Seiad Valley is 4.94ft at 3,942cfs. Indian Creek is 5.37ft at 602cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 4,544cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 7,265cfs, and the Salmon River is 4.87ft at 3,172cfs. Orleans is 8.03ft at 10,437cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 15.00ft at 26,364cfs and water temps are 49.4 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jediah Smith are 9.73ft with flows of 6,103cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 16.27ft at N/A.

Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 73 and a low of 36 degrees. Rain for the week was 1.29in with a water year total to date of 52.31 inches and 0.40in of snow in Willow Creek. The predicted temperatures for next week are for high of 89 and a low of 39. The weather predicted for next week is some showers the first part and then some warming up with some good weather for the weekend.

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