Trinity River Fishing Report

Trinity River - Willow Creek Weir - Willow Creek, CA (Humboldt County)

by E.B. Duggan


Trinity River water releases are now back to TMC recommended releases, now that repairs are completed on the release gate. Water flow changes are to reach maximum releases at 04:00am Sunday May 19th 9,000cfs, then start ramping back down; Tuesday May 20th to 7,000cfs, Friday May 31st flows to reach 2,150cfs by 2:00pm. After reaching 2,150cfs the flows will start to go back up to simulate snow melt for spring runoff.  During these water flow releases you must be aware that the river currents will be changing and the river is dangerous. Please act accordingly.   

The Headwaters Report stated there should be a definitive Adaptive Management plan for the TRRP. I was of the understanding that the Trinity Adaptive Management Working Group (TAMWG) was advising the TMC of just that since 2005. Some of this was accepted and some not! I believe a complete Reorganization of the TRRP and TMC would be a great improvement to the River Restoration Program. It also might reduce the cost of doing restoration. The ROD calls for Adaptive Management and who better to advise the TMC and TRRP than stakeholders who live and work along the river!   

The idea of electro shocking the upper river to eliminate Brown Trout is not in the best interest of fishing because it gives us another opportunity to fish. Several years ago, the CDFW recommended to the Fish and Game Commission that the limit on Brown Trout be increased from two to five trout per day with ten in possession on the Trinity and it appears that it has had some affect because it has become harder to find Brown Trout in the upper river. If this is true then it would be a waist of money to try and remove what Brown Trout that are still in the river. The money would be better spent on producing more fish from the hatchery.

With the water releases and rain the Trinity has been hard to fish and most of the fishing guides have moved over to the Sacramento River for fishing. Up until the rains of last week the Sac was fishing pretty good. A fishing friend of mine Steve and his wife fished over there last week and were able to have a 50 fish day. Some of the Trout they caught and released were bright chrome steelhead on their way up to spawn. I have heard that Whiskeytown Lake is turning over (the thermal incline) and that kokanee are on the bite near the dam.

Fishing: fishing has been tuff this last week because of the highwater flows. Hopefully the higher flows will flush out the rivers and pathogens’ that have been causing the juveniles to die and we will start getting better returns of the salmon and steelhead.

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are down to 1,258cfs right now and could be good for some trout fishing above I-5. If this is correct then you might want to try the Upper Klamath. The Mid and Lower Klamath are definitely out for fishing right now.

Lake Conditions:  Whiskeytown is 98% of capacity (an increase of 1%) with inflows 2,0685cfs and releasing 1,379cfs on to Keswick and the Sacramento River. Shasta is 96% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 4ft) with inflows of 15,632cfs and releasing 5,979cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 92% (a decrease of 3%) with inflows of 7,833cfs and releasing 7,972cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 96% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 3ft) with inflows of 13,860cfs with releases of 13,375cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 95% of capacity (an increase of 2% plus 2ft) with inflows of 11,271cfs with releases of 9,482cfs into the American river.

Trinity Lake: the lake is 10ft below the overflow (a decrease of 10ft) and 97% of capacity (an increase of 3%) inflows are 5,563cfs and releases are 7,715cfs into Lewiston Lake with N/A cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 8,044cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 2,720cfs and water temperatures of 46 degrees and air at N/A as of 9:00am today Monday May 20, 2019. Limekiln Gulch is 9.2ft at 6,163cfs and water temps of 46.1. Douglas City is 11.74ft and flows of 7,689cfs. with air temps of 44 and water at 45.9.1 degrees. Junction City is 8.531ft at 7,830cfs. Helena is 18.4ft at 9,381cfs with water temps of 46.1 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 11.21ft at 9,978cfs. South Fork of the Trinity is 4.96ft at 981cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 10,959cfs and air is 50 degrees and water at 49 degrees. Hoopa is 19.69ft at 13,720cfs and is 50 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 22,022cfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate is releasing 1,258cfs. Seiad Valley is 4.69ft at 43,026cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 3,999cfs, the Salmon River is 4.5ft at 2,522cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 5,780cfs. Orleans is 7.05ft at 8,302cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 14.84ft at 24,880cfs and water temps of 52.2 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 6.556ft and flows of 1,335cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 13.13ft at N/A cfs. Temperatures in the Valley last week were 94 hi with a low of 44. Rain for the week was 2.35in with total rain for the water year to date of 64.55 inches, with snow of 4.5in. in the valley to date. Forecast for the next week is some sunshine during the midweek and scattered showers with some light rain for Saturday.

from Willow Creek, CA Phone 530-629-3554, E-mail [email protected]

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