Trinity River - Willow Creek Weir Fish Report for 11-1-2020
Winter Type Weather is Coming
Trinity River - Willow Creek Weir - Willow Creek, CA (Humboldt County)
by E.B. Duggan
There is very little to no smoke from the fires now. Highway 96 in the Happy Camp area is open on a limited basis so please be careful. All areas above I-5 on the Klamath is clear with no fire danger at the present, that goes for just below I-5 on Hiway 96 down to Seiad Valley. Most all of the firefighters are gone now from the Willow Creek area so there is access to a lot more water to fish the Trinity. The only area that is restricted in the Willow Creek area now is the weir area but there is plenty of other fishing area now.
Here lately we have been experiencing winter like weather on the Lower Trinity with colds down to 32 degrees and with afternoons in the mid to high 60s. The good news is that fishing for Fall Chinook salmon on the Lower Trinity is still open to fishing for adult Fall Chinook salmon until this coming week then it will be closed to the take of Adult Fall Chinook salmon. The bad part is that most of all the salmon in the Willow Creek area are really dark. There are lots of jack salmon in the area still but I and most of the locals won’t keep them. I would think that we would be seeing some steelhead coming in but I and others I have talked to have not found many. The weather is right and the water temperatures are good but the river is low and clear so I am guessing that might be the problem.
Trinity River Hatchery: Spring Chinook subtotal Julian week 42 ending Oct. 21, 2020 is on break for the Spring Run verses the Fall Run to separate the two species; season total 1,260; 0-Coho; 3-Adult steelhead.
Willow Creek weir: Julian 42 week ending Oct. 21, 2020; 4-Jacks, 13-Adults, total 17, season total to date 107; Coho salmon 7-Jacks, 14-Adults, total 21, season total 67; steelhead 2-1/2-lbs, 49- Adults, total 53, season total to date 198.
Because of the lateness in installing and trapping at the WC weir this years count is going to be off for the usual Klamath Basin In Ocean abundance estimate will most likely make next years salmon season very hard to set for the Klamath River Basin Fall Chinook salmon fishing. Let, keep our fingers crossed that CDFW will be able to come up with a better Fall salmon season than this year.
Recreational Harvest Count Mouth of Klamath: Julian week 42 ending Oct. 21, 2020; Chinook Harvest Above Highway 101 Bridge; 20-adults, 7-jacks, total 20, season total to date 3,289; Lower Klamath Chinook salmon harvest total to date 1,651.
Fishing: Fishing the Willow Creek area is slow for adult Chinook salmon because most of the adults are up river spawning. The good part is that now that the fires are more under control and the firefighters are gone, we have a lot more river area to fish. I just wish that the Hoopa Reservation would open up to the general public to fish. The river is in good condition for steelhead fishing there is just no steelhead in the river yet. Most of the guides that were fishing the Upper Trinity are now over on the Sacramento River fishing for trout and from what I have heard trout fishing over there is HOT. For right now I guess we will have to be happy to fish for jack salmon (catch & release). At least there is some type of fishing for us until those winter steelhead start showing up. Which I hope will be pretty soon.
Two weeks ago, Todd LeBoeuf took me and my great grandson Braydon Ford, fishing on the Junction City run and we did pretty well! This was the first time my great grandson had ever fished on a river from a drift boat. Braydon was able to catch and release 4 nice jack salmon, lost one and los one steelhead. He out fished me.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing @ 1,977cfs. a decrease of 56cfs from last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,031cfs as of Sunday afternoon. The Weitchpec area is still closed to the general public because of the COVID 19 and the Orleans area has slowed down some for fishing but up river is starting to show some fly-fishing action.
Upper Klamath River video count: Julia week 42 ending on Oct, 17th; Shasta river; 51-Chinook, season total 3,681, Coho 0; Scott River, 3- Chinook, season total 3, 0-Coho; Bogus Creek; 103-Chinook, season total 864, 0-Coho. NOTE: the Scott River counting station is 18 miles upriver. On the lower river 600 live adult Chinooks salmon have been observed.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 86% of capacity (a decrease of 4%) with inflows of 422cfs and releasing 669cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 46% of capacity (a decrease of 0% minus 1ft) with inflows of 2,981cfs and releasing 4,506cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 89% (an increase of 9%) with inflows of 5,077cfs and releasing 5,005cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 42% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 3ft) with inflows of 881cfs with releases of 1,705cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 36% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 3ft) with inflows of 813cfs with releases of 1,617cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 82ft below the overflow (an increase of 2ft) and 54% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 82cfs and releasing 664cfs into Lewiston Lake with 291cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 5,611cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 95% of capacity (a decrease of 3%) and water releases are 301cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 48.9 degrees, as of 11:30pm today Sunday Nov. 1, 2020. Limekiln Gulch is 4.70ft at 327cfs. Douglas City is 6.25ft with flows of 322cfs. with air temps of 58 and water temperatures of 48.0 degrees. Junction City is 1.64ft at 335cfs. Helena is 7.95ft at 353cfs with water temps of 49.3 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.23ft at 361cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 1.89ft at 41cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 402cfs and air is 56 degrees and water at 50.3 degrees. Hoopa is 10.89ft at 485cfs and water is 54.7 degrees.
Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 1,977cfs a decrease of 56cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,031cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.07ft at 1,157cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,123cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,350cfs, and the Salmon River is 1.39ft at 136cfs. Orleans is 2.18ft at 1,489cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.11ft at 2,357cfs and water temps are 53.1 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 4.48ft with flows of 196cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.56ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 98 and a low of 33 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.00in with a water year to date of 0.15 inches with snow in Willow Creek of 0.00in. Forecasts for next week are for high of 86 and lows of 32. The temperatures are getting more like winter. It’s about time and maybe it will rain some more to help the rivers and put out the fires.
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