Two More Weeks Before Winter is Here

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

Photo Credit: Courtesy of E.B Duggan

by E.B. Duggan
12-6-2020

Winter will officially be here in two more weeks! The days are getting shorter as winter approaches. That is nice as you won’t have to get up so early to go fishing but you also won’t have as long to fish. It never ends, the good verses the bad. The shortest day of the year is always a good sign because the days are going to get longer after that.

The Hoopa reservation is still under quarantine which means that access through Hoopa lands are restricted to “Residents Only”. This also restricts non-residents from fishing the lower parts of the Trinity below Willow Creek. (From Tish Tang to the confluence of the Trinity to the Klamath river). This is usually the best part of the river to fish at this time of the year as the winter steelhead are starting to move into the TrinityI have often hiked down to the big hole below the old Pearson’s store and had great fishing for the early winter run.

Trinity River Hatchery: Julian week 46 ending Nov. 18, 2020 Fall Chinook, 973- Jacks, 1,437-adults, total 2,410, season total 5,271; Coho, 399-jacks, 103-adults, total 502, season total 1,106; steelhead 1, total 1, season total 12.

Willow Creek weir:  Julian 46 week ending Nov. 18, 2020; 1-Jacks, 4-Adults, total 5, season total to date 144; Coho salmon 0-Jacks, 1-Adults, total 1, season total 71; steelhead 1 -1/2-lbs, 0- Adults, total 25 season total to date 225. Note: The Willow Creek was officially closed (removed) the Julian week 46.

Somehow, I have not been able access or locate the Redds web site location so I have not been able to get the recorded counts of the different locations on Trinity River. 

Fishing: The Willow Creek area has been fishing slow the past week or so. We have been waiting for a good rain storm to come into the area. This last storm only brought in a depression with very little rain. Willow Creek only got 0.03 inches of moisture, not very much to make any difference to the water flows. The upper part of the Trinity has really been good fishing. The problem is there is so many drift boats and rafts on can hardly find a place to fish. Hopefully we will see more rain soon and get some more steelhead moving.

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing @ 2,584cfs. an increase of 1,212cfs from last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,053cfs as of 3:00pm 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 with plenty of places for fishing. 

Upper Klamath River video count: Julia week 45 ending on Nov. 11, 2020; Shasta river; 4-Chinook, season total 4,077, Coho 0; Scott River, Chinook salmon-102, season total 117, 636-Coho for a season total of 652; Bogus Creek; 62 – Chinook salmon, season total 2,007, 0-Coho.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 238cfs and releasing 401cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 44% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 1ft) with inflows of 3,352cfs and releasing 3,065cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 91% (an increase of 5%) with inflows of 3,356cfs and releasing 3,511cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 36% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 4ft) with inflows of 683cfs with releases of 2,355cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 32% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 1ft) with inflows of 759cfs with releases of 1,350cfs into the American river.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 87ft below the overflow (an increase of 0ft) and 52% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 138cfs and releasing 455cfs into Lewiston Lake with 164cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 3,511cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 99% of capacity (an increase of 3%) and water releases are 291cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 45.4 degrees, as of 1:30pm today Sunday Dec. 6, 2020. Limekiln Gulch is 4.70ft at 291cfs. Douglas City is 6.26ft with flows of 327cfs. with air temps of 52 and water temperatures of 44.3 degrees. Junction City is 1.66ft at 342cfs. Helena is 8.05ft at 378cfs with water temps of 44.4 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.36ft at 403cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.08ft at 70cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 473cfs and air is 51 degrees and water at 44.4 degrees. Hoopa is 11.18ft at 628cfs and water is 44.3 degrees. 
Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 2,454cfs a decrease of 64cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,009cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.12ft at 1,203cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,320cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,568cfs, and the Salmon River is 1.85ft at 288cfs. Orleans is 2.57ft at 1,856cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.61ft at 3,080cfs and water temps are 45.6 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 5.96ft with flows of 902cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 12.71ft at N/A cfs. 

Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 51 and a low of 32 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.03in with a water year to date of 5.59 inches with snow in Willow Creek of 0.00in. Forecasts for next week are for high of 68 and low of 40. Winter weather is here but winter is still two weeks away. It sure feels like winter here but we are not seeing any rain while southern California is trying to burn up. Crazy! The forecast for the coming week is cloudy the first part of the week with to possibility of showers after the weekend. 


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


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