More Rain for the Trinity

Trinity River - Douglas City, CA

by E.B. Duggan

If one can believe the weather forecasts, the Trinity River Valley can expect more rain in the next two weeks. As I perused the weather forecasts for the Trinity River area, it says that rain and scattered showers are expected starting this coming Sunday through the following week. If this is to happen all but the upper most part of the Trinity would be fishable. This could also affect the South Fork of the Trinity because of the huge drainage. The good news is that more water flowing down the Trinity could bring in more fresh Iron Heads and that could equate to some very good steelhead fishing. If the rain stays to scattered showers, the upper river will be fishable most of the time. The lower part of the river could possibly be fishable if the rain stays light and not come down like it usually does. My advice would be to have some phone numbers that you could call for different parts of the river. Remember, the Trinity from the dam to the confluence of the Klamath is 112 miles.

Something I forgot to bring out last week was that the South Fork of the Trinity opened to fishing for steelhead November 1st. This is a catch and release barbless artificial lure fishery. The steelhead run that goes up the South Fork are wild native fish, so please be extra careful on how you release these fish. This is a fun and great fishery but we want to keep it open to fishing and the way to do that is make sure we release these fish properly so they can go up and spawn.

CDFW and the Yurok tribe have been surveying the main stem of the Trinity for spawning, and the count to date is 52 redds last week to a total of 1,380 redds for the season. This could be the start of a good recover for the Klamath / Trinity water shed.

TRH: The hatchery has reached their egg quota for the spring run; as of Oct 29 thru Nov. 4; Chinook salmon entered the hatchery; adults 183, season total 2,306, Coho 12, season total 12, steelhead 112.

Willow Creek Weir counts: high water from storms have moved the weir and efforts of recovering it are under way

Klamath River Weir counts: Bogus Creek, 763 salmon, Shasta River 2,830 salmon, Scott River 709 as of Nov. 6. Fishing: Fishing kind of picked up a little bit in the upper river after the last rain but I haven't seen much improvement in the lower part of the river. I did see an improvement in the water conditions from the South Fork down and there are more local fishermen out fishing. For the last week I have seen several vehicles parked at the Hel Den Trail head at the South Fork Bridge but I was not able to find out if they have been catching fish and the same thing at the Big Rock area in Willow Creek.

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate is releasing 978cfs; fishing above I-5 should be fair to good for trout with a few adult steelhead but as you went down river fishing got harder due to high river flows. Seiad Valley river gauge was flowing 1,990cfs so any further down river would be even harder to fish. The weather forecast for this area is expected to get more rain. Orleans, Weitchpec and down river are starting to come into fishing shape but the rain forecast for the next week could negate that.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 86% of capacity with inflows of 5cfs and releasing 422cfs into Clear Creek; Shasta is 62% of capacity (increase of 0% &0ft), inflows are 4,324cfs and releases are 4,297cfs; Keswick is 77% of capacity with inflows are 4,839cfs and releasing 4,566cfs; Lake Orville is 40% of capacity (a decrease of 4% & plus 2ft), inflow is 1,915cfs and releases are 3,748cfs; Lake Folsom is 39% of capacity (plus 1% & plus 1ft), inflows are 1,760cfs and releases are 1,219cfs.

Trinity Lake: The Lake is 109ft (an decrease of 1ft.) below the overflow and 40% of capacity (2% decrease) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 1,175cfs and the Trinity Dam is releasing 231cfs to Lewiston Lake with 76cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant with 4,866cfs being released to the Sacramento River.

Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 299fs, water temps are 51.3 and air is 49 degrees at 11:00a.m. today. Limekiln Gulch is 4.7ft at 324cfs, water temps are 50.5 and air is 49. Douglas City is 6.1ft at 373cfs, water temps of 51 and air is 48. Junction City is 1.5ft at 420cfs. Helena is 8.8 at 536cfs with water temps of 51.2. Cedar Flat is 3.6ft at 914cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,388cfs, air is 53 and water at 52.5. Hoopa is 13.4ft at 2,090cfs with water temps of 53.4. Flows at the mouth of the Trinity at Klamath River are estimated to be 7,550cfs.

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 972cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.1ft at 1,990cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,207cfs. Somes Bar is estimated at 3,9600fs. Orleans is 6ft. at 6,550cfs. Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 10.7ft at 8,340cfs and water temperatures of 54.2 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 8ft at 2,770cfs.

Temperatures in the Valley last week were 66/40 degrees with 0.65inches of rain with a season total of 17.05in of rain and 0.00in. of snow. Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to be 66/32 degrees, next week is expected to be partly cloudy with showers and rain and then more showers.

Good Fish'en and Good Luck but remember; "Keep your tip up with a tight line lands fish."

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

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