Short Term Good Fishing With Snow Coming

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

Photo Credit: Courtesy of E.B Duggan

by E.B. Duggan
1-17-2021

For now the Trinity is in great fishing condition with winter steelhead in the river. The river condition is just right in the upper part of the river with the lower section of the Trinity coming into great fishing condition for winter steelhead fishing. The weather predictions for the coming weekend are possible snow Sunday and Monday. We need the snow for sure but not just when winter steelhead fishing is getting HOT. I have heard of some very nice adults being caught and released. (up to 10lbs) I have no pictures to show you but if you have some send them to me and I will try to get them posted. (wen2fish@netzero.net)

I have not seen or heard any more about the “transfer of public facilities (water storage and transfer means) to the Westland’s Water District. I hope you all sent a message to your representative and senator as this is very important to the usage of our water. The guarantee of water delivery to the Westland’s Water District could affect the water storage of Shasta and Trinity Lakes. These are the life blood of our fishing. Without the necessary amount of water in these rivers we very well could lose our salmon and steelhead fishing. We have already seen what a drought can do to the rivers, what will happen if Westland’s takes the water to sell to the south?   

Trinity River Hatchery:  Sorry I didn’t receive the report for TRH this week.  Julian week 1 ending Jan. 7, 2021 Fall Chinook, 0- Jacks, 0-adults, total 0, season total 7,102; Coho, 1-jacks, 3-adults, total 4, season total 2,331; steelhead 25, season total 71. That is a 25 fish increase.

Upper Klamath River video count: Julian week 1 ending on Jan. 5, 2021; Shasta River; Chinook salmon 0, season total 4,101, Coho 2, season total 37; Scott River, Chinook salmon-0, season total 252; Coho salmon 2, season total 1,754; Bogus Creek; Chinook salmon,0, season total 2,289, Coho salmon 2, season total 147.

Fishing: Fishing the Willow Creek area has really improved as there are many drift boats and rafts fishing the area. As of this report I did not receive any reports of how they did but the river is in great shape for fishing. Prior to all the action Kimtu was the hot spot for bank fishers. I have not seen any fishermen using the Hiel Din trail for the mouth of South Fork nor the Campora Access. These have been very good areas for me to fish. As soon as the Doctor releases me, I will be back on the river fishing but for now I am confined to car access fishing no walk in. I haven’t seen the river this good for fishing for a long time I just hope we get a good snow pack for later water. 

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing @ 11,585cfs. This is an increase of 642cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 998cfs. The Weitchpec area is still closed to the general public because of the COVID 19 but there is some good action around Bluff Creek and Slate Creek Riffle. The Orleans area and as you move up the river to the Happy Camp fishing gets a lot better. If you are interested in fishing the Klamath above I-5 then I would try to contact Scott Coldwell Guide service.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 232cfs and releasing 511cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 46% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 1ft) with inflows of 4,160cfs and releasing 2,459cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 86% (a decrease of 7%) with inflows of 2,960cfs and releasing 3,260cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 35% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 1ft) with inflows of 1,149cfs with releases of 1,783cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 28% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 1ft) with inflows of 936cfs with releases of 1,256cfs into the American river.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 89ft below the overflow (a decrease of 0ft) and 51% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 715cfs and releasing 496cfs into Lewiston Lake with 399cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 3,260cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 98% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) and water releases are 316cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 46.5 degrees, as of 11:00am today Sunday Jan. 17, 2021. Limekiln Gulch is 4.75ft at 320cfs. Douglas City is 6.39ft with flows of 392cfs. with air temps of 43 and water temperatures of 46.0 degrees. Junction City is 1.85ft at 411cfs. Helena is 8.87ft at 623cfs with water temps of 45.7 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 4.09ft at 1,108cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is N/Acfa at N/Acfs. (Gauge is out of order) Willow Creek is estimated at 1,600cfs and air is 48 degrees and water at 46.5 degrees. Hoopa is 14.37ft at 3,443cfs and water is 47.3 degrees.

Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 11,585cfs an increase of 642cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 998cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.90ft at 1,785cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,290cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 4,947cfs, and the Salmon River is 4.25ft at 2,352cfs. Orleans is 6.87ft at 8,142cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 13.38ft at 17,648cfs and water temps are 47.6 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 9.62ft with flows of 5,452cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 16.09ft at N/A cfs.   Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 54 and a low of 41 degrees. Rain for the week was 1.37in with a water year total to date of 21.24 inches with no snow in Willow Creek. Forecasts for next week are for high of 71 and low of 33.
It looks like we are going to see some snow. Hopefully we are back into the winter mode and we will possibly have some snow for a possible snow pack for spring run off that will help fill our reservoirs. We also can use the water for a good return of fish for next year’s fishing.


Websites: MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Willowcreekchamber.com,
from Willow Creek, CA Phone 530-629-3554, E-mail yen2fish@yahoo.com


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