PFMC Meetings

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

PFMC Meetings

by E.B. Duggan
4-11-2022

The Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) is meeting as I wright this column. Boy was I ever out of the ball park on the estimate for In-River Sport Fishing. I stated that we would probably get between 12% to 15% of the harvestable salmon this year because of the drought. Come to find out that the Ocean Commercial fishery were declared “over fishing” and are restricted to low or no fishing this season. Because of that the In-River Sport Fishery will be increased to about 25%. The In-River Sport Fishing is estimate to receive 2,200 to 2,500 Chinook salmon for the In-River Sport Fishermen. This is a great increase considering the drought and the In-River Fishery was declared “over fished” three years ago and are now in the planning stage for reestablishing a plan for natural escapement and harvesting quotas. The 2,200 – 2,500 is a good number for us sport fishers because of the low returns and NOT making the in-river natural escapement of 40,700 in-river natural escapement. I know it don’t sound like much but it is an improvement from last year’s quotas. We will get to fish for salmon in the Klmath and Trinity rivers.
 
It looks like the drought is going to hurt all rivers because the snow levels are only 39% of normal this year at this time. What little rain we got the last week did nothing for the reservoirs. We need more snow in the higher elevations of the mountains. Snow is the element that makes for our spring flushes and helps fill the reservoirs. We are going to be short of water for all needs this year. I hate to say that but is the bare truth and everything is going to hurt. Farmers have already pulled acreage from growing because of the lack of water. We don’t think much about it but if farmers don’t grow crops, we are going to see prices go up in the grocery store.   
 
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. I haven’t received any new information for the Trinity.
 
Shasta River trapping summary: Marked-recapture trial estimate 1,245,782 age 0+ Chinook salmon outmigration, an estimated 595 Coho age 1+ have out-migrated from the Scott River; screw trapping Julian week 14 ending Apr. 8, 2022; Chinook, 280,814- age 0+, total 254,236, 16-1+; Coho 102- 0+, total 124, 132-1+. Total 160.
 
Scott River screw trapping summary: estimate outmigration of 186,206 total age 0+ have out-migrated from the Scott and 18,922 age 1+ have out migrated from the Scott River, Julian 14 week ending Apr. 8, 2022; 8,390 age 0+, 65 age 1+ Chinook; Coho salmon age 0+ 0, 1+ 551 Coho salmon have out-migrated form the Scott River.
 
Fishing: I still have not seen many fishermen working the Lower Trinity, Willow Creek area. I must be out too late or looking in the wrong places. The weather has been very conducive for fishing and the river has been dropping and is still in the low 50s. Good conditions for down runners to make a brake for the estuary and head out to sea. I have heard that the fly fishers are doing fair in the Upper Trinity but most are over on the Sacramento after trout.
 
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 6,772cfs. This is an increase of 694cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 3,255cfs. The Orleans River area has increased some allowing better fishing conditions but no fishermen. Fishing should be better for the Happy Camp and I-5 area with the increase of water releases from Iron Gate Dam on the Klamath.
 
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 91% of capacity (an increase of 2%) with inflows of 5920cfs and releasing 2782cfs in to Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 38% of capacity (an increase of 0% plus 1ft) with inflows of 4,147cfs and releasing 3,222cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 91% (an increase of 1%) with inflows of 3,658cfs and releasing 3,255cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 48% of capacity (an increase of 0% plus 1ft) with inflows of 3,088cfs with releases of 3,157cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 62% of capacity (an increase of 2% plus 3ft) with inflows of 2,899cfs with releases of 1,264cfs into the American river.
 
Trinity Lake: The lake is 138ft below the overflow (an increase of 0ft) and 33% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 869cfs and releasing 1,096cfs into Lewiston Lake with 796cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 3,255cfs into the Sacramento River.
 
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 96% of capacity (a decrease of 2%) and water releases are 300cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 49.6 degrees, as of 10:00am today Saturday April 9, 2022. Limekiln Gulch is 4.71ft at 331cfs. Douglas City is 6.36ft with flows of 361cfs with water temperatures of 51.3 degrees. Junction City is 1.79ft at 374cfs. Helena is 8.60ft at 527cfs with water temps of 52.1 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.30ft at 754cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.61ft at 265cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,079cfs and air is 51 degrees and water at 53.5 degrees, the river has come up some and is still gin clear. Hoopa is 12.65ft at 1,630cfs and water is 55 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 6,772cfs a decrease of 694cfs.
 
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,345cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.24ft at 2,079cfs. Indian Creek is 4.48ft at 351cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,430cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 3,601cfs, and the Salmon River is 3.52ft at 1,541cfs. Orleans is 4.88ft at 5,142cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 10.57ft at 7,566cfs and water temps are 54.2 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 6.64ft with flows of 1,425cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 13.27 ft at N/A cfs.
 
Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 88 and a low of 36 degrees. Rain for the week was 1.45in with a water year total to date of 42.35 inches and 5.0in of snow in Willow Creek. The predicted weather for next week is high of 67 and a low of 38. The predicted weather for next week is rain showers the first part of the week turning into rain and some snow at the higher elevations making travel a bit sloppy. If you are planning to make the trip up here be sure to drive safely.
 
Good Fishin and Good Luck but remember; “keep your tip up with a tight line lands fish”

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


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