Trinity River - Willow Creek Weir Fish Report for 3-29-2020
FALL CHINOOK SALMON ARE THE SUSTAINABLE
Trinity River - Willow Creek Weir - Willow Creek, CA (Humboldt County)
by E.B. Duggan
With the Trinity River Hatchery returns and the egg collection there is a question of whether Fall Run Chinook salmon, Coho salmon and steelhead will be sustainable on the Trinity River. If this happens how is the National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) going to plan for the recovery of the Klamath River Basin Fishery? Coho salmon are a listed fishery and steelhead are listed below the Klamath River. With the 2019 TRH egg recovery for 2019 Fall run Chinook salmon at 980,459 of the 6 million eggs needed to raise 750,000 Fall Run smolt to release in 2020. The hatchery needs to release 3 million Chinook salmon smolt, 300,000 Coho smolt, 480,000 steelhead smolt (380,000 fingelings-100,000 yearlings) into the Trinity River to sustain the fishery as it is supposed to be for the Trinity River. If too many fish are harvested by one group versus another group then the TRH can not recover enough eggs to sustain the fishery let alone recover fish runs pre-1964 as the ROD requires for mitigation of the Trinity Dam. At the present I don’t see it happening if the present harvesting continues. Right now, there is a group that has a petition to the California Fish and Game Commission to list steelhead as endangered, Coho salmon are already listed. Now is NMFS going to list Fall Run Chinook salmon for the Klamath River Basin because of the low return and the low TRH egg collection? These are serious questions that could affect the ability for fishing opportunities.
I was unable to connect to the webinars for the TMC and PFMC meetings because of my lack of knowledge of to use the internet. Sorry, but I am trying to collect the information so I can pass it on to you. Darn the COVID-19, it has really messed up these meetings for the 2020 fishing. I guess we will have to hope and pray for better fishing in the future. Trinity River Hatchery: I have not received the last report for the TRH because of the difficulties caused by COVID-19.
Upper Klamath fish video counts: The Klamath River Video station has closed for this year.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath at Weitchpec is flowing about 4,827cfs. Because of this crazy weather I was unable to reach my contacts so I don’ have anything to report at this time.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 86% of capacity (an increase of 1%) with inflows of 2,174cfs and releasing 2,015cfs on to Keswick and the Sacramento River. Shasta Lake is 79% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 1ft) with inflows of 5,008cfs and releasing 3,074cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 85% (an increase of 3%) with inflows of 4,910cfs and releasing 4,913cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 65% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 1ft) with inflows of 2,483cfs with releases of 1,346cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 48% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 1ft) with inflows of 2,054cfs with releases of 1,780cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 30ft below the overflow (a decrease of 1ft) and 81% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and inflows of 599cfs and releasing 1,969cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,668cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 4,913cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 81% of capacity (a crease of 1%) and water releases are 301cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 48.2degrees, as of 12:00pm today Sunday March 29,2020. Limekiln Gulch is 4.27ft at 327cfs. Douglas City is 6.37ft and flows of 381cfs. with air temps of 51 and water temperatures of N/A degrees. Junction City is 1.83ft at 403cfs. Helena is 8.45ft at 488cfs with water temps of 48.6degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.09ft at 672cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 3.05ft at 320cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 992cfs and air is 58 degrees and water at 49 degrees. Hoopa is 12.62ft at604cfs and water is 50.1 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 4,827cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,048cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.55ft at 1,508cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,676cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 2,424cfs, and the Salmon River is 2.65ft at 799cfs. Orleans is 3.70ft at 3,223cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 10.11ft at 6,280cfs and water temps are N/A degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 6.99ft with flows of 1,733cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 13.46ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 60 and a low of 34 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.19in with a water year to date of 33.62 inches, with snow in willow Creek, snow of 1.45in. in the valley to date. Forecasts for next week are for temperatures in the highs of 68 and lows of 42 with some a mixture of partial sun, lithe rain and cloudy overhead. There appears to be some fishable days next week if one does not mind a little rain.
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