Trinity River - Willow Creek Weir Fish Report for 6-25-2022
REDDS SURVEYS STARTED FOR STEELHEAD
Trinity River - Willow Creek Weir - Willow Creek, CA (Humboldt County)
by E.B. Duggan
Steelhead surveys have been done by the Watershed Research and Training Center on some cold-water tributaries of the Trinity River. They found a surprising high number of Redds (gravely beds) on Browns Creek, a tributary of the Upper Trinity. They also found a fair number of Redds on Hayfork Creek, a cold-water tributary of the South Fork of the Trinity River. These are good signs of the possible future return of native steelhead into the river system. These surveys are important for returns of native fish as it gives us an idea of possible returns. It would be great if the Trinity River Restoration Program had put more effort into the restoration of some of our cold-water watershed’s creeks instead of putting watershed money into the main stem of the river that doesn’t seem to be making much difference in native fish stock returns. This was the supposed theory behind the Restoration Program.
This early HOT weather is starting to heat up the Trinity a little early. As I look at the different river gauges for the Trinity, I am finding water temperatures are rising much earlier that normal. What with the low water pool (30% of capacity) How are we going to provide the necessary cold water for the out-migrating smolt to survive. Cold water is very important for future fish returns. If the outmigration fish do not have the necessary cold water to reach the estuary and the ocean, we will not have fish returns in future years.
I was informed that I made a mistake in last week’s report. I stated that spring salmon season had a length limit of 23 inches. This is incorrect there is no length limit! The regulations for the July 1st opining of spring salmon fishing is 1 Chinook salmon per day with 2 Chinook salmon in possession. (Any size) Sorry!!
Shasta River screw trapping summary: an estimated 1,497,650 Chinook salmon aged 0+ and 2,378 Coho aged 1+ have outmigrating form the Shasta River for the week of June 10, 2022; 380,365 aged 0+ and 31 aged 1+ Chinook salmon have outmigrated; 245 aged 0+ and 549 aged 1+ Coho out-migrated out this past week.
Scott River screw trapping summary: an estimate of 509,485 age 0+ Chinook Salmon have out-migrated from the Scott River from Jan. 13 to Jun. 10, 2022 and an estimated 82,014 age 1+ Coho have out migrated; this week 30,611age 0+ and 67 age 1+ Chinook; 588 age 0+ and 1,780 age 1+ Coho salmon have out-migrated this week.
Junction City weir summary: Julian week 24 ending June 17,2022; 286 adult Chinook, 6 jack, total 289, season total400; 0 Coho; 4 steelhead, total 4, season total 7; 1 Brown trout, total 1, season total 1.
Fishing: Again summer is here and the heat with it!. I am sorry to say I have seen nothing but sun bathers and tubing going on in the Willow Creek area. This is good because people are starting to recreate on the river. It also makes it hard to fish but most fishing occurs during the early early morning and the sun bathers and tubers are not on the river yet.
Up river I am seeing more rafters and kayakers than fishers but I may not be getting up there early enough as most fishing is above Helena and the North Fork right now. Salmon season starts July 1st above the South Fork of the Trinity. This means that Greys Falls and Burnt Ranch Falls will be open to fishing.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 4,388cfs. This is a decrease of 645cfs. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,023cfs. The Weitchpec is looking good for the opener (July 1st) as water temperatures are in the mid to high 60s. Terwer Creek gauge is reading 68.1 degrees, which is lower than Hoopa. This tells me that the Hoopa Gorge is cooling down the Trinity as it enters the Klamath. This is very good news as it allows the spring run to make it up the river before it gets really hot. If you want to try above I-5 you might give Scott Coldwell of SC Guide Service a call at 530-905-0758.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 498cfs and releasing 512cfs in to Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 39% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 0ft) with inflows of 3,577cfs and releasing 3,687cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 91% (an increase of 2%) with inflows of 4,424cfs and releasing 4,239cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 50% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 5ft) with inflows of 1,669cfs with releases of 6,50cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 86% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 1ft) with inflows of 1,848cfs with releases of 3,085cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 150ft below the overflow (an increase of 1ft) and 30% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 386cfs and releasing 786cfs into Lewiston Lake with 420cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 4,239cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 94% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and water releases are 444cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 56 degrees, as of 10:00am today Saturday June 25, 2022. Limekiln Gulch is 4.86ft at 436cfs. Douglas City is 6.49ft with flows of 444cfs with water temperatures of60.9 degrees. Junction City is 1.93ft at 448cfs. Helena is 8.70ft at 559cfs with water temps of 63.9 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.19ft at 708cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.46ft at 252cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 960cfs and air is 80 degrees and water at 63 degrees, the river is still gen clear and at summer flows. Hoopa is 12.40ft at 1,424cfs and water is 70 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 4,388cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,023cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.52ft at 1,473cfs. Indian Creek is 4.00ft at 210cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,683cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 2,233cfs, and the Salmon River is 2.55ft at 731cfs. Orleans is 3.36ft at 2,934cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 9.75ft at 5,667cfs and water temps are 68.1 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 6.17ft with flows of 1,123cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 12.86 ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 104 and a low of 48 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.00in with a water year total to date of 55.13 inches and 5.0in of snow in Willow Creek. We have been experiencing some hot weather this past week with more predicted. The predicted weather for next week is high of 101 and a low of 55 with lots of sunshine.
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