The Rain is Doing Good Things

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

Photo Credit: Courtesy of E.B Duggan

by E.B. Duggan
11-15-2020

Rain for this last storm came to just over two inches, not only did it do good for the river and fish but really helped with the fires. We still have more rain coming! The fires seem to be coming under control and in some instances is helping to put the fires OUT. (Thank goodness) As for the streams and rivers they are finally getting some help by creating flows of such that the fish (steelhead) are moving.

For the last several weeks the counts at the Willow Creek weir were low but with this new storm the steelhead should start to enter the Klamath and move on up the rivers to their spawning areas. We probably could see a late surge of Winter Chinook, I hope. We will just have to wait and see. 
As I was checking the different flows, I saw many of the streams rising which means that the rivers will also soon be raising. This is a good thing for the fish as they can finally reach their spawning grounds. I have noticed that the Coho counts have been low. I wonder if maybe they are just late this year or are, we seeing a decrease of the Coho runs. I do know that the restoration programs are supposed to help the restore the return of endangered species which Coho salmon are a targeted species.       

Trinity River Hatchery: Julian week 43 ending Oct. 28, 2020 starts the hatchery break for the Fall Run from the Spring run. The Spring Run total 1,260; 0-Coho; 3-Adult steelhead. At this time there are not counts for the Fall run.

Willow Creek weir: Julian 44 week ending Nov. 4, 2020; 4-Jacks, 7-Adults, total 11, season total to date 130; Coho salmon 0-Jacks, 0-Adults, total 0, season total 69; steelhead 0 -1/2-lbs, 0- Adults, total 00 season total to date 199. This week was very mixed up in counting the Willow Creek weir because the counts were low and the river started to rise which meant the weir had to be removed to prevent damage from the rising waters.

Recreational Harvest Count Mouth of Klamath: Julian week 44 ending Nov. 4, 2020; Chinook Harvest Above Highway 101 Bridge; 0-adults, 11-jacks, total 11, season total to date 2,846; Lower Klamath Chinook salmon harvest total to date 1,651. It looks like the Recreational Harvest for the Klamath River is over for the season.

Fishing: Fishing the Willow Creek area is slow and wet. Not many fishermen were out. I would expect that a few local steelheaders went out during the breaks form the rain but I did not see any as I was holed up in the house staying warm and dry. After this next storm we should see a good influx of Iron Heads move into the Trinity. It will be hard fishing but as the river drops fishing will get much better.

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing @ 2,023cfs. an increase of 46cfs from last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,036cfs as of 1:30pm Sunday afternoon. The Weitchpec area is still closed to the general public because of the COVID 19 but the Orleans area up to Happy Camp is open to the public for fishing. 

Upper Klamath River video count: Julia week 44 ending on Nov. 4, 2020; Shasta river; 4-Chinook, season total 4,051, Coho 0; Scott River, 0, season total 8, 0-Coho; Bogus Creek; 80 - Chinook, season total 1,629, 0-Coho. NOTE: the Scott River counting station is 18 miles upriver. On the lower river 600 live adult Chinook salmon have been observed.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 246cfs and releasing 407cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 45% of capacity (a decrease of 0% minus 1ft) with inflows of 3,640cfs and releasing 4,376cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 83% (an increase of 3%) with inflows of 4,687cfs and releasing 4,804cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 39% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 7ft) with inflows of 1,079cfs with releases of 4,298cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 34% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 1ft) with inflows of 1,552cfs with releases of 1,212cfs into the American river.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 86ft below the overflow (an increase of 1ft) and 52% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 45cfs and releasing 443cfs into Lewiston Lake with 147cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 4,804cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 98% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and water releases are 296cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 46.6 degrees, as of 11:00am today Sunday Nov. 15, 2020. Limekiln Gulch is 4.72ft at 338cfs. Douglas City is 6.28ft with flows of 337cfs. with air temps of 50 and water temperatures of 47.3 degrees. Junction City is 1.70ft at 356cfs. Helena is 8.04ft at 375cfs with water temps of 46.8 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.83ft at 409cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.13ft at 78cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 487cfs and air is 50 degrees and water at 47.3 degrees. Hoopa is 11.52ft at 816cfs and water is 48.2 degrees.

Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 1,3363cfs a decrease of 687cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,031cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.30ft at 1,312cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,930cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,552cfs, and the Salmon River is 2.45ft at 600cfs. Orleans is 2.87ft at 2,152cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 9.82ft at 5,662cfs and water temps are 50.1 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 11.49ft with flows of 9,432cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 15.19ft at N/A cfs. 

Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 54 and a low of 29 degrees. Rain for the week was 2.6in with a water year to date of 2.83 inches with snow in Willow Creek of 0.00in. Forecasts for next week are for high of 61 and low of 39. We are seeing temperatures more like winter every week. The forecast for coming week is for scattered showers with a possible heavy storm to hit the following weekend. Remember this is not for sure as the computer forecasts are not that accurate. 


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


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