Ich in Lower Klamath

Klamath River - Lower - Klamath, CA (Humboldt County)

by E.B. Duggan

Ichlhyophthirus (Ich) has been found in the Lower Klamath near Blue Creek. Ich is the disease that killed so many returning Fall Run Chinook in 2002. In order to disperse the pathogens that cause Ich, the river needs cooler water temperatures and higher water flows. This is the reason for the pulse flows of 900cfs from the Trinity Lake.

Aug 22, Trinity Lake is going to start water releases. The water flows are supposed to reach 900cfs being released from Lewiston into the Trinity River. Hopefully this will disperse the pathogens that cause Ich and not affect as many fish thereby saving the major part of the Fall Run.

Warm water helps the pathogens to multiply, and the low water flows allow the pathogens to concentrate in the pools where the salmon pool up, which helps spread the disease. There were a few fish in the Mid –Klamath that were trapped and showed signs of the disease but unknown as to how many had mover on up river at this time. Trapping of more salmon and monitoring will be an ongoing process to determine how far and how many salmon were infected. It is hoped that the pulse will move the fish on up the Trinity and Klamath out of the infected area.

The Willow Creek Weir was installed this week in Willow Creek and the first trapping reports are due out by the end of this week. All precautions are being taken to prevent the pulse flow from washing out the weir. All I can say is that this has been one heck of a week with the HOT weather, low water flows, the mouth sanding in and the Fall salmon run starting to enter the Klamath. With the mouth of the Klamath sanding up, the Spit has been moving to the south allowing for greater fishing access. I guess we are lucky to have any salmon coming into the river. Maybe the pulse will be enough to blow out the mouth and start the mouth moving it back to the north which would allow the fish a straight shot from the ocean to the statuary.

Lower Klamath River Harvest: below Hiwy 101 Bridge Aug 19, 2016; total Chinook harvested 243, number of adults harvested 69, number left of quota 486; above Hiwy 101 Bridge 12; number of adults harvested 64 number left of quota 103.

Junction City Weir: Aug 6 thru Aug 12; Chinook salmon, 6 adults, total 45; Coho 0; Steelhead, 1 adult, 0-½-pounders, total 15; Brown trout 1, adults 3, total 8.

Fishing: This past week has been HOT, 102 – 105 and the river temperatures have been 53.6 to 74.5 degrees. I can see why it has been slim pickens for anglers. The reports I have received from up river have been poor. The anglers who were smart enough to get up before day break and get to the river at first light are the ones who have had any fishing luck at all. By 10a.m. the river temperatures are warm enough to take a bath in and the fish are looking for any incoming cool water they can find. There are a few dark spring salmon hanging out but most are up in their spawning streams. Your best bet is to try and hook a summer steelie if you can get them to bite. This next week we should see some cooling of the air temps and hopefully water temperatures. The proposed water releases from Lewiston into the Trinity will put the fish back onto the bite and I should get some reports of fish being landed. September 1st the Falls (Grays & Burnt Ranch) area closes to fishing. The closure will be from the Cedar Flat Bridge down to the Hawkins Bar Bridge.

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate releases have increased to 1,680cfs and with the cold water pulse coming from the Trinity, we should see some movement of salmon on the Lower Klamath which means that fishing should pick up in the Weitchpec area. The increase of water flows from Iron Gate should really open up the bite for trout in the Happy Camp to I-5 area. I can only see better fishing as the river flows increase and the water cools down for the trout fishing and salmon move up the river headed to the hatchery at Iron Gate. Once the fish start to move up the river, places like the mouth of Bluff Creek, below Slate Creek, as well as the cold water from Hopkins Creek, are going to be the hot spots for fishing.

Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99% of capacity with inflows of 1,041cfs and releasing 948cfs to Clear Creek; Shasta is 74% of capacity (decrease of 2% & 2ft), inflows are 1,710cfs and releases are 9,505cfs; Keswick is 95% of capacity with inflows are 10,652cfs and releasing 10,188cfs; Lake Orville is 59% of capacity (a decrease of 4% & minus 12ft), inflow is 1,220cfs and releases are 9,3581fs; Lake Folsom is 41% of capacity (minus 4% & minus 6ft), inflows are 1,676cfs and releases are 4,095cfs.

Trinity Lake: The Lake is 105ft (an increase of 2ft.) below the overflow and 45% of capacity 10% decrease) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 108cfs and the Trinity Dam is releasing 1,340cfs to Lewiston Lake with 868cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant with 10,137cfs being released to the Sacramento River.

Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 472cfs, water temps are 55.3 and air is 74degrees at 10:00a.m. today. Limekiln Gulch is 4.9ft at 430cfs, water temps are 53.6 and air is 60. Douglas City is 6.2ft at 458cfs, water temps of 58.1 and air is 73.Junction City is 1.6ft at 451cfs. Helena is 8.6ft at 466cfs with water temps of 61.5. Cedar Flat is 2.6ft at 503. Willow Creek is estimated at 531cfs, air is 70 and water at 69.5. Hoopa is 11.3ft at 579cfs with water temps of 74.5. Flows at the mouth of the Trinity at the Klamath are estimated to be 2,849cfs and water temperatures of 74 degrees at Weitchpec. Water temperatures on the Klamath at Tully Creek are 73.4.

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,680cfs. Seiad Valley is 3ft at 1,870cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,910cfs. Somes Bar is estimated at 2,160cfs. Orleans is 3.6ft. at 2,270cfs. Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.1ft at 2,390cfs and water temperatures of 72.7 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 4.8ft at 251cfs.

Temperatures in the valley last week were 105/58 degrees with 0.00 inch of rain with a season total of 80.05in of rain and 1.35in. of snow. Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to be 95/55 degrees, with sunshine all week.

Good Fish’en and Good Luck but remember; “Keep your tip up with a tight line lands fish.”

Websites: MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Willowcreekchamber.com,
from Willow Creek, CA Phone 530-629-3554, E-mail yen2fish@yahoo.com

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