SUMMER WATER & FISHING

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

Photo Credit: Courtesy of E.B Duggan

by E.B. Duggan
6-21-2020

Happy Soltis, Saturday was the longest day of the year and officially the start of summer. It also was Father’s Day. We are now going into the HOT summer days so be careful when you jump into the lake or the river as it will be cold!

The Fourth of July Weekend is coming up and July 1 will be the opening of salmon fishing for the Klamath River Basing for spring Chinook salmon. This year you will be limited to one, yes, I did say one (1) salmon per day no matter what size with two (2) salmon in possession. CDFW will be out there looking for violators so please be ware of this new regulation. We have been having some high water on the Trinity because of the “spring flush” and there have been spring Chinook going up the river. From what I have seen The Upper Trinity will have some nice spring salmon but this year they are going to be hard to locate because of the low return. I have not heard much about the mouth of the Klamath but with the HOT weather predicted for this week the fish are not going to want to linger around down there for very long. In fact, I would expect the fish are not going to want stay in the Willow Creek area very long either. With triple digit weather in the forecast I would expect all fish to head up river as fast as they could in order to get into the colder water.

Because of the low runoff from a low snowpack there is going to be a low supply of water for the Upper Klamath. What is this going to cause? Once again there is going to be “Water Wars” over who should get the water, fish or farmers. This is not a new subject. We have been there before! With us fighting over the amount of water going to fish or farms the government doesn’t have to worry about water storage. That is the problem; a limited amount of water storage! If the government would wake up and learn that MORE water storage is what we need for when there are drought years. Their answer is if there is “Water Wars” between fishermen and farmers we don’t have to do anything. Try more water storage!

Tribal Ceremonial Calendar: The following are Dates the Karuk Tribe will be holding Ceremonies along the Klamath river. Please be respectful and NOT try to fish in the following locations; July 20th - 24th, Pile Rocks at the mouth of Clear Creek; July 24th - August 2nd, Near Somes Bar; August 14th -23rd, Near Clear Creek; August 29th – September 7th, near [email protected] Camp Creek; Sept13th – Sept. 22, near Somes Bar. Remember there is plenty of river and other areas to fish.

Junction City Weir: Julian week 24 ending Jun 17; 1-adult Chinook salmon season total 2; Coho 0; steelhead 0; Brown Trout 0. 

Trinity River Water Releases: The Trinity releases are on their way down to summer water flows of 450cfs by 6:00am July 2. Today Lewiston Dam is releasing 707cfs into the Trinity River.

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing @ 4,327cfs. This is a decrease of 1,626cfs from the last report. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,099cfs as of this afternoon 12:00pm June 21st.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 1,722cfs and releasing 1,769cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 72% of capacity (a decrease of 4% minus 6.5ft) with inflows of 4,506cfs and releasing 10,550cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 94% (an increase of 4%) with inflows of 11,944cfs and releasing 11,890cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 64% of capacity (a decrease of 4% minus 10ft) with inflows of 1,531cfs with releases of 7,252cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 78% of capacity (a decrease of 4% minus 4ft) with inflows of 1,493cfs with releases of 3,336cfs into the American river.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 44ft below the overflow (an increase of 4ft) and 73% of capacity (a decrease of 3%) with  inflows of 335cfs and releasing 2,447cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,740cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 11,8906cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 73% of capacity (a decrease of 3%) and water releases are 707cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 51.8 degrees, as of 12:00pm today Sunday June 21, 2020. Limekiln Gulch is 5.31ft at 724cfs. Douglas City is 6.95ft and flows of 718cfs. with air temps of 87 and water temperatures of 55.3 degrees. Junction City is N/Aft at N/Acfs. Helena is 9.58ft at 904cfs with water temps of 62.2 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.93ft at 1,022cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.57ft at 199cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,221cfs and air is 82 degrees and water at 64 degrees. Hoopa is 12.65ft at 1,630cfs and water is 65.4 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 4,327cfs a decrease of 1,626cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,099cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.447ft at 1,448cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,561cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 2,037cfs, and the Salmon River is 2.44ft at 660cfs. Orleans is 3.36ft at 2,697cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 9.69ft at 5,259cfs and water temps are 67.9 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 6.02ft with flows of 942cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 12.66ft at N/A cfs.    

Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 96 and a low of 54 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.01in with a water year to date of 42.47 inches, with snow in willow Creek of 1.45in. Forecasts for next week are for temperatures in triple digits, highs of 111 and lows of 56. The temperatures for next week are expected to reach into triple digest of 104 to 111 degrees. Looks like HOT weather to come our way.


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


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