MORE ON TRINITY RIVER HATCHERY

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

Photo Credit: Courtesy of E.B Duggan

by E.B. Duggan
4-5-2020

It seems as though I made a mistake about the Trinity River Hatchery releases last week and I would like to correct them. The 2019 TRH egg recovery for 2019 Fall run Chinook salmon was 980,459 of the 6 million eggs needed. (correction) TRH usually collects around 6 million eggs to be able to rear 3.8 million Fall Chinook so they can release 2.9 million smolts and 900,000yearlings, for the 2020 TRH release of Fall Run Chinook salmon. TRH also needs to release 300,000 Coho salmon smolt and 348,000 steelhead smolt, also 100,000 yearlings for a total of 448,000 steelhead (not 480,000 steelhead) I do apologize for the mistake. With egg collection for the 2019 fish runs I still don’t see how the hatcher releases for 2020 will be able to meet the TRH goals. My question is; “Why were the returns so low to the Trinity River Hatchery?” This brings up the question “Should NMFS approver the Hoopa wear harvest plan?” Did the Hoopa weir cause the low return or was it something else? NMFS needs to take a serious look at the plan because it could mean the end of salmon fishing on the Trinity River. My perspective not fact at this time! 

The PFMC meeting in Vancouver Washington is in the process now for the 2020 fishing season and quotas of salmon to be allotted to the west coast. This includes the Klamath River Basin and In-River Sports fishing. All I can say is be prepared for a very limited salmon in-river sport fishing season. I do remember this same thing happening over on the Sacramento River years ago and they stopped salmon fishing for one year to let the stocks recover.

Trinity River Hatchery: Due to the COVID-19 virous and everyone being sanctioned to stay at home to work I have not received the final TRH counts yet.

Fishing; Because of the COVID-19and the “shelter -in-place” not many people are taking the chance to go out fishing right now. I did see one drift boated out with his son but I was unable to find out how they did. Right now, the Trinity is muddy from South Fork down to Willow Creek. With no rain in the future this should clear up in a couple of days.

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath at Weitchpec is flowing about 7,767cfs up. Because of this crazy weather I have still not been able to reach my contacts so I don’ have anything to report at this time.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 90% of capacity (an increase of 4%) with inflows of 2,735cfs and releasing 2,1035cfs on to Keswick and the Sacramento River. Shasta Lake is 80% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 2ft) with inflows of 7,901cfs and releasing 3,249cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 87% (an increase of 2%) with inflows of 5,288cfs and releasing 4,961cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 65% of capacity (an increase of 0% plus 2ft) with inflows of 3,941cfs with releases of 1,435cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 50% of capacity (an increase of 2% plus 2ft) with inflows of 2,993cfs with releases of 1,581cfs into the American river.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 32ft below the overflow (an increase of 2ft) and 80% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and inflows of 1,113cfs and releasing 2,487cfs into Lewiston Lake with 2,106cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 4,961cfs into the Sacramento River, up from last week.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 95% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and water releases are 301cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 48.2 degrees, as of 2:00pm today Sunday April 5,2020. Limekiln Gulch is 4.80ft at 372cfs. Douglas City is 6.52ft and flows of 462cfs. with air temps of 50 and water temperatures of N/A degrees. Junction City is 2.03ft at 483cfs. Helena is 8.88ft at 623cfs with water temps of 46.7 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.78ft at 963cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 4ft at 755cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,718cfs and air is 58 degrees and water at 48.6 degrees flows are up and muddy at present time. Hoopa is 13.83ft at 2,798cfs and water is 48.6 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 7,767cfs up from last week.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,369cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.93ft at 1,810cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,081cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 3,891cfs, and the Salmon River is 3.10ft at 1,150cfs. Orleans is 4.79ft at 4,969cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 11.86ft at 11,777cfs and water temps are N/A degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 9.83ft with flows of 5,843cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 16.07ft at N/A cfs.

Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 63 and a low of 39 degrees. Rain for the week was 2.6in with a water year to date of 36.33 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 83 and lows of 44 with some a mixture of partial sun and cloudy days. There appears to be some fishable days next week those who wish to make the trip. 


Websites: MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Willowcreekchamber.com,
from Willow Creek, CA Phone 530-629-3554, E-mail [email protected]


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