Trinity River Report, Holiday Cheer!

Klamath River - Middle

by E.B. Duggan

I hope everyone had a great Turkey day and didn’t eat too much Turkey and pumpkin pie. 
While down south with family for the Holiday I read in the paper that Westland’s Water District was lobbing the Government to forgive $375 million debt for them to take 100,000 acres of their 600,000 acres of land out of irrigation. Also one of their lobbyist, whom they paid over $1 million to represent them to congressmen resigned so he could apply for the Water Control Board. On top of this Senator Feinstein submitted a Water Bill to help balance water releases from the reservoirs to allow more water to be shipped south for farmers and cities use. Later in the week Senator Boxer came out with a scathing report that water releases need to be balanced so that farmers and fishermen / fish companies are not fighting each other over water usage. Ho how true is that? Later Senator Boxer stated that we needed more water storage for drought years, again how true is that? What is the State doing about the $2 Billion Water Bond passed in 2012, not much that I have been able to find out? Congressman Huffman has to step up and try to get some of that Water Bond money used for extra water storage in the state just for the same reason. For the past 20 years the state has done nothing for more water storage as the state population has increased to the point that we use more water.

CDFW / Yurok Spawning Survey: main stem of the Trinity from Lewiston to Cedar Flat; Nov. 30, 26 redds were counted for a total of 1,625 redds for the season. Derek Rupert of USFW stated that the lower count possibly could be Coho redds as fall run Chinook have just about stopped coming into the Trinity.  

TRH: The hatchery has reached their egg quota for the spring run; as of Oct 29 thru Nov. 4; Dec. 3 thru Dec. 9, Fall Chinook salmon entering the hatchery; adults 43, season total 1,508, Chinook Total 3,615, Coho 58, season total 451, steelhead 15, season total 531.

Klamath River Weir counts: Nov.30, Bogus Creek, 780 salmon, Shasta River 2,897 salmon, Scott River 959. 

Fishing: Fishing has been very slow due to the heavy rains and rising rivers for the last week but the good news is that the rivers are dropping fast and could be fishable during this week. The present forecast of rain and possible snow for the coming weekend could put a damper on fishing. I have not heard about many fresh steelies coming into the Trinity so maybe these new storms could start the winter run of steelhead start coming into the mouth of the Klamath and up into the Trinity. Usually around Christmas / New Years is when we start to see fresh steelhead come into the Lower Trinity and then January –February is when we see more adults in the upper section of the river. Right now the upper Trinity is coming into good fishing but there is very few fresh fish up there so fishing is hard but those willing to work at fishing are able to hook some adults for their efforts. 

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate is releasing 990cfs; fishing above I-5 has been fair to good according to Scott Caldwell of S C Fishing. There has been a fair amount of trout and small adults available for some good fishing in that area but below Happy Camp it is hard fishing due to the high waters. We are looking at 1.3Kcfs at Orleans and higher at Weitchpec. 

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 89% of capacity with inflows of  1,011cfs and releasing 372cfs into Clear Creek; Shasta is 65% of capacity (increase of 3% &7ft), inflows are 19,734cfs and releases are 4,720cfs; Keswick is 91% of capacity with inflows are 5,3887fs and releasing 4,839cfs; Lake Orville is 44% of capacity (a increase of  1% & plus 4ft), inflow is 38,295cfs and releases are 2,156cfs; Lake Folsom is 51% of capacity (plus 13% & plus 14ft.) inflows are 36,031cfs and releases are 1,296cfs.

Trinity Lake: The Lake is 102ft (an increase of 5ft.) below the overflow and 46% of capacity (2% increase) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 5,063cfs and the Trinity Dam is releasing 524cfs to Lewiston Lake with 212cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant with 5,387cfs being released to the Sacramento River. 

Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 312fs, water temps are 45.6 and air is 39 degrees at 11:00am. today. Limekiln Gulch is 5.0ft at 517cfs, water temps are 43.1 and air is 39.  Douglas City is 6.8ft at 784cfs, water temps of 42.6 and air is 39. Junction City is 2.9ft at 1,160cfs.  Helena is 11.4ft at 1,730cfs with water temps of 43.2.  Cedar Flat is 8.2ft at 4,060cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 10.7Kcfs, air is 46 and water at 46.  Hoopa is 21.8ft at 19.2Kcfs with water temps of 46.9.  Flows at the mouth of the Trinity at Klamath River are estimated to be 13.7Kcfs.

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 990cfs.  Seiad Valley is 5.2ft at 4,380cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 5,283cfs. Somes Bar is estimated at 16.7Kcfs. Orleans is 10.9ft. at 17.3Kcfs. Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 20.9ft at 56.8Kcfs and water temperatures of 46.9 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 12.6ft at 12.1Kcfs.

Temperatures in the Valley last week were 52/34 degrees with 4.85inches of rain with a season total of 29.45in of rain and a trace of snow and snow on the passes. Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to be 52/38 degrees; next week is expected to be rain and showers with some snow. In between there are expected to be some good fishing days but it will be cold. 

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

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