Rain, how much do we need?

Trinity River - Douglas City, CA

by E.B. Duggan

Rain and snow showers are predicted for the coming week. Many of the reservoirs are either full and releasing extra water, or close to full. In 2014, Water Bonds of several billion dollars were passed to try and increase water storage. Ultimately, only some studies were made,  but NO "new" water storage facilities were recommended, or in the planning stage. Now, Gov. Brown wants to use $347 million for flood repairs.

I agree that upgrade and repairs of the levees should come under water storage, but the rest should be charged to the State of Emergency Declaration. My question is, “Why the State Water Quality Control Board” has not considered more than just raising Shasta Dam for extra storage. New and more water storage is needed NOW while there is extra water to store.

Last week, while down in the Turlock / Modesto area, I was able to see that the Tuolumne and San Joaquin Rivers had over flowed their banks and flooding much of the area farm lands. At the same time, the Don Pedro, McClure and San Luis Dams had to release water (as well as Oroville). At the same time, the Klamath / Trinity, Mad, Van Duzen and Eel Rivers were flowing at peek flows. Yes, I know we are having a wet water year and everyone is suffering, but my question is, “Why is the Governor NOT trying to make more water storage?” rather than making a High Speed Rail System that goes NOWHERE! 

Yes, we are having a wet water year up here in the north state and it is definitely interfering with our winter fishing, but I do not know what else to do but to try to stay dry and warm.

Trinity River Hatchery Counts: TRH trapping summary for Feb. 19 - Feb.25; fall Chinook season totals, 1,512; spring Chinook season totals, 2,107, season totals 3,619; Coho season totals, 527; Steelhead, 47, season total 1,555.  

Fishing: This past week has been very wet and the rivers have been very high. Locally, I have not heard of any fishing. Sorry about that, but nobody has been fishing so I am not able to say fishing has been good. I do recommend that you keep an eye out for breaks in the storms and try to keep track of the river flows because there are fish in the river, but because of the high water we are not able to locate them. The minute the river flows start dropping, the upper Trinity will be fishable and you will be able to hook into some nice winter run steelhead. When Douglas City gauge reading is below 1,000cfs, it becomes fishable. Right now, D.C. is flowing at 1,210cfs.

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 6,040cfs and Seiad Valley is reading at 12.5Kcfs, so I cannot say the Klamath is fishable. With coming storms I don’t know when the water flows will drop enough to fish above I-5. If you have a good source to find out, then I would recommend you keep in contact with them. 

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99% of capacity with inflows of 1,578cfs and releasing 2,337cfs into Clear Creek & Keswick. Shasta is 89% of capacity (a decrease of 9% & minus 5ft) inflows of 33,002cfs and releasing 68,327cfs, Keswick is 88% of capacity with inflows of 68,427cfs and releasing 68,131fs; Lake Oroville is 77% of capacity (a decrease of 9% & minus 29ft), inflow is 26,892cfs and releases are 49,999cfs; Lake Folsom is 51% of capacity (minus 6% & minus 7ft.) inflows are 19,049cfs and releases are 23,725cfs. 

Trinity Lake: The lake is 36ft below the overflow (decrease of 11ft)and 78% of capacity (6% increase) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 4,311cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 504cfs to Lewiston Lake with 1,598cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant with 68,131cfs being released to the Sacramento River. 

Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 249cfs, water temps of 45.1 and air is 44 degrees at 10:00am. today. Limekiln Gulch is 5.2ft at 647cfs, water temps are 41.6 degrees and air is 60.  Douglas City is 7.3ft at 1,210cfs, water temps of 40.7 and air is 38. Junction City is 4.1ft at 2,000cfs.  Helena is 12.5ft at 2,440cfs with water temps of 42.4. Cedar Flat is 8.5ft at 4,480cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 9,960cfs air is 41and water at 44. Hoopa is 20.7ft at 16Kcfs with water temps of 45.3.  Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 29.2Kcfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 6,030cfs.  Seiad Valley is 9.5ft at 12.5Kcfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 13.7Kcfs. Somes Bar is estimated at 20.7Kcfs. Orleans is 13.2ft. at 26.9Kcfs. Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 21.2ft at 59.3Kcfs and water temperatures of 45.1 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 10.2ft at 6,480cfs. 

Temperatures in the Valley last week were 56/35 degrees with 3.8 inches of rain with a season total of 61.45in of rain and 2.5in of snow. Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to be 56/41 degrees; with rain, snow showers and scattered showers, Saturday thru Tuesday.

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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