Cyanobacteria Blue-Green Algae

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


by E.B. Duggan
5-31-2021

 Memorial Day Weekend to many is the start of summer. With temperatures reaching into the 100’s it does remind us of summer. It also starts the warming of the rivers. Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green algae) was discovered on the Lower Mad River. It also starts the blooming of Cyanobacteria on the Eel, Klamath ad Trinity Rivers. What does this mean to the rivers? One it causes itching to humans that swim in the rivers, two it can cause liver failure to animals who swim in the rivers and worst-case scenario it creates lack of oxygen in the water which causes blindness or even death to fish. The Trinity River does get Blue-Green algae in parts of the river. How long will it take the Trinity to Turn into the Eel only science can really tell. My experience is that once the algae starts to show up it is only a matter of time before the river dies and the salmon and steelhead die off or don’t return. If you doubt me then just look at the experience of the Eel River. I really don’t want to see this happen to the Trinity. There has to be action now or we could see the same thing happen to the Trinity as happened to the Eel.
 
Once again, I was able to find people fishing at the upper Kimtu Beach area and down below the Big Rock area but not much along the river above Cedar Flat. He Bridge at Hwy 299 and Trinity River, I was probably too late in the day. At Kimtu Beach you have to get there really early in the morning or you will have deal with sun bathers and swimmers. Remember that the Trinity River is closed to the take of salmon until July 1 and that is above the mouth of the South Fork.  Upper Klamath River Rotary Screw Trapping count: Julian week 21 ending on May 21, 2021; Shasta River; 830 Chinook salmon age 0+, season total 238,800, Juveniles, 1yr old 1, season total 115; Coho salmon 2 age 0+, season total 128; 157 Rainbow Trout age 1+, season total 340, 8 Rainbow Trout age 2+, season total 2,844; Scott River, 781 Chinook salmon age 0+, season total 6,797; 1yr old Chinook 0, season total 59; 30 Coho salmon 1yr+, season total 150; 50 Rainbow Trout age 0+, season total 586, 28 Rainbow Trout age 1+, season total 1,356.
 
Fishing: There are people fishing on the river but not many that I could find. From what I saw there was very little catching and what were landed were mostly small. I was not unable to get any info about the upper river other than what I saw and I did not see any fish caught. The river looks great for fishing but it is hot, 100 plus degrees by noon. With these temperatures it is not very conducive for fishing. It looks like a very hot summer is coming our way and that is going to warm the river more which makes for hard fishing. If this is the case you are going to have to get before dawn and get to your fishing place as the sun comes up in order to find cool water.
 
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 5,257cfs. This is a decrease of 4,162cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,240cfs from Iron Gate but I am not hearing about much fishing in the Upper Klamath.
 
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 96% of capacity (an increase of 2%) with inflows of 909cfs and releasing 353cfs in to Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 44% of capacity (a decrease of 8% plus 21ft) with inflows of 1,797cfs and releasing 7,150cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 93% (an increase of 4%) with inflows of 7,678cfs and releasing 7,060cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 38% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 7ft) with inflows of 1,100cfs with releases of 3,689cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 37% of capacity (an increase of 1% minus 2ft) with inflows of 1,250cfs with releases of 1,277cfs into the American river.
 
Trinity Lake: The lake is 88ft below the overflow (an increase of 2ft) and 52% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 703cfs and releasing 1,709cfs into Lewiston Lake with 655cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 7,060cfs into the Sacramento River.
 
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 92% of capacity (a decrease of 2%) and water releases are 1,054cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 51.7 degrees, as of 1:00pm today Monday May 31, 2021. Limekiln Gulch is 5.67ft at 1,040cfs. Douglas City is 7.40ft with flows of 1,079cfs. with air temps of 97 and water temperatures of 54.9 degrees. Junction City is 3.05ft at 1,060cfs. Helena is 10.41ft at 1,268cfs with water temps of 59.1 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 4.76ft at 1,457cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.53cfa at 209cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,666cfs and air is 94 degrees and water at 62 degrees. Hoopa is 13.06ft at 1,998cfs and water is 64.7 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 5,257cfs a decrease of 2,511cfs.
 
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,240cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.68ft at 1,608cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,776cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 2,533cfs, and the Salmon River is 2.64ft at 726cfs. Orleans is 3.49ft at 3,259cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 9.48ft at 5,707cfs and water temps are 65.8 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 5.23ft with flows of 483cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 12.06ft at N/A cfs. 
 
Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 91 and a low of 44 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.00in 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 103 and a low of 49. The weather predicted for next week more sunshine for the first part of the week then more sunshine for the rest of the week. We are going to see HOT weather for the next week so take plenty of water to keep hydrated. 

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


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