Proposed Klamath River Basin Salmon Harvest

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


by E.B. Duggan
5-4-2021

The Trinity River spring water releases have started. Today Sunday May 2, 2021 at 11:00am Lewiston Dam is releasing 1,406cfs into the Trinity River.

The sad news is that the Klamath River Basin Harvest proposed total is 1,221 Fall Chinook Salmon. Broken down; Lower Klamath from Weitchpec Bridge to the mouth is 610 salmon; Kamath Spit 183; (Of the 610 salmon for the Lower Klamath 183 will go the Spit and 427 will be allotted for the Lower Klamath from the 101 Bridge to the Weitchpec Bridge) Upper Klamath 207; Trinity River 404 (202 for Upper Trinity and 202 for the Lower Trinity) I know these numbers are not the final say so but May 11th and 12th the final decision will be made and it should come out close to these numbers. These quotas are not verry enticing for the Fall Chinook salmon fishing but it does allow for some harvesting for In-River Sport Fishing. This year is going to be a very short salmon season for everyone. Spring Chinook salmon season begins July 1st on the Trinity River. Fall Chinook salmon starts September 1st on the Klamath and August 15th for the Upper Klamath and Trinity Rivers. I know, you want a lawyer to help you unscramble these Quotas and Regulations but I have tried to make them as simple as possible.

All of this plus an Extremely Dry Water Year for the rivers you ask how are we going to have salmon fishing in the future? We need representation for In-River Sport Fishing! Both to the PFMC and to the California Fish and Game Commission. With out representation we the sport fishing community are out of luck!       

Water Boards and other agencies have also been reporting that water deliveries for this year are going to be much less than they have been in the past for farmers and cities. The rivers are not going to do much better. Fish need water and so do farmers if we want food.
Upper Klamath River Rotary Screw Trapping count: Julian week 17 ending on Apr. 29 , 2021; Shasta River; 10,554 Chinook salmon age 0+,  season total 203,195, Juveniles, 1yr old 5, season total 75; Coho salmon 15 age 0+, season total 59,233; Rainbow Trout age 1+, season total 1,189, Rainbow Trout age 2+ , season total 749; Scott River, 311 Chinook salmon age 0+, season total 3,218; 1yr old Chinook 6, season total 53; 1yr old Coho salmon 14, season total 71; 103 Rainbow Trout age 1+, season total 1,420,  Rainbow Trout age 2+, season total 1,637.

Fishing: The Willow Creek area fishing is still somewhat slow but the springers should be arriving soon. Hopefully it won’t get to hot so the salmon can move up the river into the cooler waters. I am still not hearing about much fishing going on in the upper Trinity. Most of the guides that fished the upper river have moved over to the Sacramento trout fishing. When the water releases start to drop fishing down at Weitchpec should pick up. Fishermen and rafters have been using the Old Village RD to take out and do some fishing.

It won’t be long before the TRRP start working on the river so that will mess up the fishing for Fall Run Chinook salmon. 

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 9,588cfs. This is a decrease of 169cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,247cfs. With the increase of water releases from Iron Gate fishing in the Upper Klamath for down runners and trout has gone crazy so fishing the Happy camp area could be great. I did not hear from Doug Cole of Marble Mountain Resort but I am sure fishing for trout has been on the up side. The Orleans to Weitchpec area water flows is still a little high but are on the way down.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 96% of capacity (an increase of 2%) with inflows of 364cfs and releasing 277cfs in to Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 50% of capacity (an increase of 3% plus 6ft) with inflows of 4,449cfs and releasing 7,069cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 78% (a decrease of 11%) with inflows of 7,384cfs and releasing 7,472cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 42% of capacity (an increase of 0% plus 6ft) with inflows of 2,501cfs with releases of 2,687cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 37% of capacity (an increase of 0% plus 0ft) with inflows of 1,941cfs with releases of 1,241cfs into the American river.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 84ft below the overflow (a decrease of 0ft) and 53% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 2,054fs and releasing 1,370cfs into Lewiston Lake with 36cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 7,472cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 93% of capacity (a decrease of 2%) and water releases are 1,401cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 49.9 degrees, as of 11:00am today Sunday May 2, 2021. Limekiln Gulch is 5.94ft at 1,311cfs. Douglas City is 7.96ft with flows of 1,333cfs. with air temps of 70 and water temperatures of 51.1 degrees. Junction City is 3.49ft at 1,440cfs. Helena is 11.09ft at 1,619cfs with water temps of 52.4degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 5.76ft at 2,112cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 3.07cfa at 370cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 2,482 and air is 62 degrees and water at 55.5 degrees. Hoopa is 14.11ft at 3,124cfs and water is 57.9 degrees. 
Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 9,588cfs a decrease of 169cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,247cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.58ft at 2,399cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,781cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 4,333cfs, and the Salmon River is 4.08ft at 2,131cfs. Orleans is 5.73ft at 6,464cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 11.48ft at 10,448cfs and water temps are 58.5 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 6.06ft with flows of 1,087cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 13.51ft at N/A cfs.  Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 86 and a low of 42 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.53in with a water year total to date of 44.12 inches and 1.5in of snow in Willow Creek. The weather predicted for next week is high of 87 and a low of 46. The weather predicted for next week is some sunshine for the first part of the week and then maybe a few scattered showers then overcast for the weekend.


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


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