Spring Has Sprung

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

Spring Has Sprung

by E.B. Duggan
3-28-2022

Last Sunday Spring came upon us with light showers, since then we have experienced nice weather with the possibility of another light set of showers to close this weekend. I don’t foresee any other moisture in the near future. Spring is supposed to bring rain but I think this year we are going to see a very dry year. The National Weather Bureau has predicted drought for the coming summer and has sent out water usage warnings to all large water users to reduce water usage. I, as a spring user, have received a drought notice from the State Water Resources Control Board to prepare for more drought impacts due to ongoing dry conditions. This is going to have some major impacts to farmers and water conditions for fish and fishing. Looking at the state reservoirs and their present capacity it looks very dim for water users. (Fish are water users also) What are our rivers going to look like? What kind of Fire Season will we have? Up hear in the far north we have already experienced wildfire. I think we had better pray for rain.

I apologize for not having the latest PFMC salmon proposals for you, as I just got them and have not had a chance to review them for a proper report for you fishermen. Hopefully I can have a full report for my next report. The Trinity River Hatchery has been doing great in receiving enough salmon to make their egg quotas for next year’s smolt releases. Now we have to hope and pray that the river will have enough water to sustain them on their trip down to the ocean.    

Lower Trinity River trapping summary: Outmigration smolt Julian week 12, ending March 25, 2022; Chinook 343- 0+, total 368, season total 439, 4- 1+, season total 16; Coho 1- 0+, total 2, 2- 1+, total 2; steelhead 0-0+, total 0, 4- 1+, total 37.

Shasta River trapping summary: Marked-recapture trial estimate 1,002,469 age 0+ Chinook salmon outmigration; screw trapping Chinook, 210- age 0+, total 795, 16-1+, Coho 13- 0+, 25-1+.

Scott River screw trapping summary: estimate outmigration Julian 12 week ending March 25, 2022; 6,484 age 1+ Coho salmon.

Fishing: The Lower Trinity has come up slightly due to and increased discharge from Lewiston Dam. The river is still gin clear here in Willow Creek so you will still need stealth for fishing the river. If you are still using spinners you might want to drop a size. Some of the people fishing the area are using a locally made spinner by Six Rivers Tackle that has been working well. You might want to try it as the last fisherman I talked to caught and released a 32inch steelhead with one. The upper river has been a little low lately but with the increase in the discharge it might start to pick up some.   

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 7,239cfs. This is an increase of 945cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,053cfs. The Orleans area is flowing good and the river is clear but I have not heard about anyone fishing so I can’t say much about fishing that area. The Happy Camp area should be producing some good trout fishing about now for those who wish to wet a line. If you are interested if fishing above I-5 I would give Scott Caldwell a call to see what the conditions are.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 86% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 498cfs and releasing 274cfs in to Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 38% of capacity (an increase of 0% plus 0ft) with inflows of 4,097cfs and releasing 3,079cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 86% (a decrease of 6%) with inflows of 3,319cfs and releasing 3,260cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 41% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 5ft) with inflows of 5,296cfs with releases of 1,875cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 57% of capacity (an increase of 3% plus 4ft) with inflows of 4,282cfs with releases of 1,382cfs into the American river.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 139ft below the overflow (an increase of 1ft) and 33% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 1,374cfs and releasing 610cfs into Lewiston Lake with 310cfs 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 95% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and water releases are 300cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 49.9 degrees, as of 12:00pm today Saturday March 26, 2022. Limekiln Gulch is 4.73ft at 341cfs. Douglas City is 6.39ft with flows of 380cfs with water temperatures of 52.6 degrees. Junction City is 1.85ft at 400cfs. Helena is 8.72ft at 566cfs with water temps of 52.6 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.59ft at 878cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.88ft at 362cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,240cfs and air is 65 degrees and water at 53 degrees, the river came up a little and is gin clear. Hoopa is 13.01ft at 1,950cfs and water is 53.9 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 7,239cfs an increase of 945cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,053cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.06ft at 1,920cfs. Indian Creek is 4.63ft at 403cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,323cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 3,599cfs, and the Salmon River is 3.72ft at 1,743cfs. Orleans is 5.02ft at 5,342cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 10.75ft at 8,059cfs and water temps are 53.6 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 6.31ft with flows of 1,155cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 13.96 ft at N/A cfs.

Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 83 and a low of 37 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.00in with a water year total to date of 40.09 inches and 5.0in of snow in Willow Creek. The predicted weather for next week is high of 70 and a low of 39. The predicted weather for next week is cloudy with sprinkles of sunshine in between. The Spring weather has not brought much rain yet. Let’s hope that will change soon.


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


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