Memorial Day Weekend

by E.B. Duggan

 I hope all had a fun and safe Memorial Day Weekend.

As usual Memorial Day Weekend brings warm weather and sunny days to the Trinity River Valley. Many visitors wishing to enjoy the sunny weather and the river waters do not always understand the dangers of the early water flows or cold water nor the dangers of it. As I write this report, I sadly have to report that we have had two drownings already on the river. Please be sure to check the river flows before entering the water. IT IS DANGEROUS!! The good part is that River Rafting and Kayaking are at its best during these higher water flows. PLEASE be careful and make sure you have the required safety equipment to enjoy your water sports. During this time of year, I have always recommended that people who wish to use the river make sure to wear a life jacket as the colder water with swift currents that take away your strength faster that you realize. The river is fun but you have to be safe around the water.

It is that time of year that rafting and kayaking the Trinity, Cal Salmon and Klamath Rivers are at the best. It is great that the Kayaking events have come back to the Trinity. On May 18th one of the first events took place in the Big Flat section of the Trinity. From what I was able to find out it was a great time for the many participants who took part. Also, one of the many to come “Kids Fishing Derbies” happened at Ruth Lake. This is a great time for Children to learn how to fish and catch maybe their first fish ever. Be sure to watch for coming events and Fish Derbies. Summer water flows will not reach 450cfs until August 4th so please be careful when enjoying river water sports until then.

As most of you have already found out California Salmon Fishing is kaput for this year. This will be the second consecutive year that the California Fish and Game Commission has canceled Ocean sport, Ocean Commercial and In-River Sprot Salmon fishing. I hope this will help recover the Salmon runs so that we can have some semblance of a Salmon fishing season next year. This is a big hit to the economy for many ports and resorts. They have yet to be able to figure out what the overall economic loss this is to the state and local entities. 

Fishing: Fishing the Lower Trinity is obviously not going well at this time so enjoy the sunshine and water sports. Up River there has been some good fishing for trout and kokanee at Trinity and Lewiston lakes, so take advantage of it while you can. The places to call for information would be 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 13,487cfs. This is a decrease of 7,061cfs.  Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,194cfs a decrease of 0cfs from last time. The Upper Klamath has been flowing fairly heave for this time of year due to the large snowpack and wet winter we had. This is good for the river but hard for the fishing. For information you might want to call 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 0%) with inflows of N/Acfs with releases of N/Acfs into Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 95% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 1ft) with inflows of N/Acfs and releasing N/Acfs into Keswick. Keswick is 91% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of N/Acfs and releases of N/Acfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 99% of capacity (a decrease of 0% minus 0ft) with inflows of 7,044cfs with releases of 5,926cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 86% of capacity (an increase of 7% plus 6ft) with inflows of N/Acfs with releases of N/Acfs into the American river. Trinity Lake storage is 2,117, 300AF an increase of 37,993AF of storage. If this could continue, we just might see a lake for recreation and fishing. Wouldn’t that be great for a change? You must remember that the Trinity Alps is the water source for Trinity Lake and the snowpack this past year was above normal for the last reading the Weather Bureau. The spring releases are starting to reduce now so hopefully the summer tourist will be able to enjoy the river.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 21ft below the overflow (a decrease of 3ft) and 87% of capacity (an increase of 2%) with inflows of N/Acfs and releasing 5,754cfs 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.

Trinity River flows and conditions: (It appears that some of the gauges are not operating) Trinity Lake is 87% of capacity (an increase of 2%) and 21ft below the overflow a decrease of 3ft. Lewiston Dam is 92% of capacity (a decrease of 5%) and water releases of 2,994cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 47.7 degrees, as of 9:00am today Saturday May 25, 2024. Limekiln Gulch is 7.35ft at 3,154cfs. (@8:30am) Douglas City is 9.45ft with flows of 3,186cfs with water temperatures of 48.0 degrees. Junction City is 5.32ft at 2,550cfs. Helena is 13.27ft at 3,289cfs 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 5.68 at 1,563cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 4,010 and air is 63 degrees and water at 53 degrees, Hoopa is 16.18ft at 6,008cfs with water at 55.3 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 13,487cfs a decrease of 7,061cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,194cfs, a decrease of 0cfs. Seiad Valley is 4.12ft at 2,961cfs. Indian Creek is 4.75ft at 352cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 3,303cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 4,771cfs, and the Salmon River is 4.44ft at 2,598cfs. Orleans is 6.45ft at 7,369cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 12.45ft at 15,725cfs and water temps are 57.9 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jediah Smith are 6.38ft with flows of 1,320cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 12.92ft at N/A.

Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 82 and a low of 42 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.00in with a water year total to date of 58.31 inches and 0.40in of snow in Willow Creek. The predicted temperatures for next week are for high of 88 and a low of 48. The weather predicted for next week is mostly sunshine with some morning overcast and a cooling down period.

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