Water, How Will We Get Some?

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

Water, How Will We Get Some?

by E.B. Duggan
4-4-2022

We are in our third year of drought and the California Reservoir System is in trouble for water storage. Of the 17 reservoirs for the Central Valley Water Project only 7 of them are over 50% of capacity. The Governor has declared a water disaster and has recommend that ALL Water Districts should cut back 10% to 15% of their water usage and that all watering of lawns and washing of cars should stop. The California Government says the $2.6 Billion of Federal Government moneys will bolster the Delta after three years of drought. The new pact is called, “a memorandum of understanding” and “reflects a realization that with climate change, the system is collapsing quicker than laws and regulations that exist can manage or heal the system”. I believe that with the California population doubling from 20 million to nearly 40 million since the last major improvement of water storage, of the last 20 plus years, that we need more water storage than provided, but where is the water going to come from? Farmers need water, fish need water to survive and people need water. The sky is not providing it! So again, I ask where is the water going to come from? The nearest storm is predicted to come next week and proposed to go north!

The PPFMC is supposed to come out with their predictions of how many salmon there is going to be for harvest over natural escapement. This will be divided between Tribal Harvest (50%), Ocean Commercial Harvest, Ocean Sport Harvest and In-River Sport Fishing Harvest. The In-River Sport Fishing usually gets anywhere from 12% to 17% of the Harvestable salmon but could go as low as 10%. With the drought I suspect that we, the In-River Sport Fishing group, will get about 12% to 15% of the harvestable salmon this fishing season. I wish everyone Good Fishin!

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. No update as of today.

Shasta River trapping summary: Marked-recapture trial estimate 1,159,440 age 0+ Chinook salmon outmigration; screw trapping Julian week 13 ending Apr. 1, 2022; Chinook, 253,441- age 0+, total 254,236, 16-1+, Coho 20- 0+, 28-1+.

Scott River screw trapping summary: estimate outmigration of 10,115 total, Julian 13 week ending Apr. 1, 2022; 4,825 age 0+, 61 age 1+ Coho salmon.

Fishing: I have not seen many fishermen working the Lower Trinity, Willow Creek area this past week nor have I been able to receive any new fishing information from up river. The river is still open to steelhead fishing but the lower river is full of smolt and not many adults so that may be the problem. The Trinity is dropping and gin clear right now. I hope I can have better fishing information by next week.

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 6,078cfs. This is a decrease of 1,161cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,320cfs. The Orleans River area has been dropping but still has good water flow but the river is gin clear. I have not heard about anyone fishing up that way so I can’t say much about fishing that area. The Happy Camp area has been producing some fair to good trout fishing. 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 89% of capacity (an increase of 3%) with inflows of 564cfs and releasing 275cfs in to Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 38% of capacity (an increase of 0% plus 1ft) with inflows of 3,578cfs and releasing 3,134cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 90% (an increase of 4%) with inflows of 3,361cfs and releasing 3,263cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 48% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 2ft) with inflows of 3,601cfs with releases of 3,261cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 60% of capacity (an increase of 3% plus 3ft) with inflows of 3,145cfs with releases of 1,316cfs into the American river.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 138ft below the overflow (an increase of 1ft) and 33% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 965cfs and releasing 615cfs into Lewiston Lake with 321cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 3,263cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 94% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and water releases are 294cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 49.4 degrees, as of 10:30am today Sunday April 3, 2022. Limekiln Gulch is 4.70ft at 327cfs. Douglas City is 6.34ft with flows of 349cfs with water temperatures of 50 degrees. Junction City is 1.78ft at 369cfs. Helena is 846ft at 483cfs with water temps of 51.1 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.16ft at 696cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.73ft at 306cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,002cfs and air is 50 degrees and water at 52 degrees, the river is dropping and is still gin clear. Hoopa is 12.63ft at 1,613cfs and water is 53.1 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 6,078cfs a decrease of 1,161cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,320cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.13ft at 1,981cfs. Indian Creek is 4.34ft at 306cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,287cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 3,237cfs, and the Salmon River is 3.19ft at 1,228cfs. Orleans is 4.43ft at 4,465cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 10.32ft at 6,834cfs and water temps are 52.8 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 5.86ft with flows of 838cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 12.59 ft at N/A cfs.

Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 78 and a low of 36 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 90 and a low of 37. The predicted weather for next week is early week sunshine with stormy weather for the weekend with possible snow in the higher elevations which could make the passes a little slippery. 


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


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