FISHING HAS BEEN HARD THE HEAT AND SMOKE

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

Photo Credit: Courtesy of E.B Duggan

by E.B. Duggan
8-23-2020

The Red/Salmon Fire complex fires continue to grow and are now almost 19,000 acres. A lot of the smoke blows west towards Redding but some it is in the Weaverville area, a lot of the smoke lays along the Upper Klamath in the Seiad Valley, Happy Camp, Orleans section of the Upper to Mid Klamath areas and sometimes when the wind shifts we get some in the Trinity-Hoopa Valleys. Right now, we are getting a mix of overhead clouds and smoke which helps to cool down the weather. Next week we are expecting more triple digit weather again up into 106 degrees.

From what I have heard the Hoopa Tribal Council are expected to consider re-evaluating the COVID-19 restrictions and maybe open the reservation for fishing trespass. I hope what I hear is true because Fall Chinook salmon season opens Tuesday September 1st. It would be great if we could fish the Trinity near the mouth and up into the reservation. I will try to verify this information and also check with the Yuroks to make sur you will be able to fish these areas.

The Willow Creek weir is having to change because the property that Fish and Wildlife used to have permission to cross has sold and the new owners have not given permission to go through their property. I hope this will change but for now it is not a done deal. I hope to have some weir counts for the Willow Creek area soon because we are way past the normal time for the weir to go in. You may ask why do we need it anyway? Well it really helps to get a good count on the salmon and steelhead before the South Fork of Trinity to see if there are Spring fish going up the South Fork. Right now, that run is virtually non-existent because e of the minimal returns for the last couple of years.

I did hear something about the Hoopa weir going back in down at Tish Tang but because of the COVID-19 restrictions I have not been able to verify that. The word is that it will be going back in after the Labor Day Holidays. I really hope not as form the fishing reports of last year it really had an affect on our fish returns to the Hatchery in Lewiston last year. 
Junction City Weir: Julian week 33 ending Aug. 19, 2020; Chinook salmon, 5-jacks, 12- adults, total 17, season total 320; Coho 0; steelhead, ½ lbers 0, adults 2, total 2, season total 64; Brown trout 0, season total 12.
The Willow Creek weir hopefully will be installed sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Fishing: Fishing has been kind of slow because of the heat and warm water. The Willow Creek area has been really slow although there are some Fall salmon going through because some early Fall Chinook salmon are showing up in the upper river, mostly jacks but few bright adults have been spotted. This could be good news. I suspect that they are going through in the dark of night during the cool water.

There have been a good amount of summer steelhead caught and released this year in the Upper Trinity as per Kyle Cantanese (fishing guide) because he has been doing well when he has been going out. I don’t know if this is a good sign but I sure hope so for the fishing community. If you plan to be fishing this area be reminded that there will be plenty of moss in the river until we get some cold water. What that means is that you will spend a lot of time clearing your fishing line.

Don’t forget the fishing will close in the Falls area Aug. 31st from the bridge at Hawkins Bar up to the Bridge at Cedar Flat on hwy. 299.

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing @ 1,1,613cfs. an increase of 158cfs from the last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,099cfs as of this morning. Fishing from I-5 to the Dam should really be great now but again I would expect it will be an early morning fish with the expected triple digit weather. 

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99% of capacity (an increase of 1%) with inflows of 1,658cfs and releasing 1,795cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 53% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 5ft) with inflows of 3,345cfs and releasing 6,751cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 93% (an increase of 1%) with inflows of 8,976cfs and releasing 9,065cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 49% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 4ft) with inflows of 1,865cfs with releases of 2,477cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 50% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 2ft) with inflows of 2,245cfs with releases of 2,881cfs into the American river. 

Trinity Lake: The lake is 64ft below the overflow (an increase of 2ft) and 63% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with  inflows of 214cfs and releasing 2,147cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,665cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 9,065cfs into the Sacramento River. 

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 99% of capacity (an increase of 3%) and water releases are 479cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 50.2 degrees, as of 10:30am today Monday August 24, 2020. Limekiln Gulch is 1.94ft at 464cfs. Douglas City is 6.56ft with flows of 484cfs. with air temps of 70 and water temperatures of 55.4 degrees. Junction City is 2.01ft at 514cfs. Helena is 8.52ft at 509cfs with water temps of 60.2 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.68ft at 513cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 1.85ft at 39cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 552cfs and air is 69 degrees and water at 69 degrees. Hoopa is 11.21ft at 644cfs and water is 71.4 degrees. 

Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 1,613cfs an increase of 163cfs. 

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,099cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.03ft at 1,115cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,151cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 813cfs, and the Salmon River is 1.46ft at 156cfs. Orleans is 2.18ft at 969cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.15ft at 2,396cfs and water temps are 71.3 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 4.73ft with flows of 267cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.70ft at N/A cfs. 

Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 106 and a low of 56 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.00in with a water year to date of 42.47 inches, with snow in Willow Creek of 1.45in. Forecasts for next week are for several more days of triple digits with highs of 103 and lows of 66. The temperatures for next week are expected to reach into triple digits during the week. With high temperatures of 103 or above be sure you want to be sure to stay well hydrated and be sure to have lots sun screen with cold water.


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


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