Why Are We Not Trying to Store More Water

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

Why Are We Not Trying to Store More Water

by E.B. Duggan

With the storms we have had why is the California Department of Water Resources going to release 60,000Af of water from Trinity Dam into the Trinity River? Because it is that time when TRRP has decided, ( May I note; without public input or a TAMWG group) to do the winter releases for the return of Salmon and steelhead to the river. It is also to help spawning. Junction City is already at 625cfs. The releases will start February 15, 2023 through March 14,2023, so please be aware the Trinity River will have extra water flows during this time. Why not reserve the water to accumulate more water storage and release the water in the spring as the ROD requests? This goes for most of the reservoirs in the Central Valley Water Project. The state needs to figure out how to capture some of the extra water flows below the dams so that the state has water storage in reserve for drought years? Back to the Trinity, The ROD made recommendations for  water re leases in the spring for endangered species (Salmon and steelhead). Somehow the CDFR with a need to release extra water in late winter to help the fish when we are at high water flows already. We should be using natural water flows (storms) instead of trying to control nature! NOTE: of the 17 Major Reservoirs in the CVPA 14 are at 50% and of those only 3 are 75% of capacity. We need more water storage! Fish and farmers cannot survive without water!    

Warning; Once again I must warn people who want to use the US Forest Service Road into Sandy Bar (South Fork of the Trinity) the road is in horrible condition and you had better have a good four-wheel drive vehicle with good clearance or you may be in trouble. USFS should be maintaining these river accesses for the public. This includes Big Rock!

Trinity River Hatchery summary: Julian Week 3 ending Jan. 21, 2023; Fall Run Chinook Salmon, 1-adult, 0-jacks, total 1, season total 3,858; Coho salmon, 0-jack, 0-adult, total 0, season total 3,504; 77-steelhead, season total 269. It looks like the hatchery will make egg quotas for salmon but maybe not for steelhead this year.

Fishing: As I write this report the California Department of Water Resources is preparing to start to release water from Trinity Lake into the river. These releases, with the flows we already have, are going to make the river unfishable. It looks like we will have high water flows until March 14th before water releases will start to go down. If you have questions please call (530) 623-1800.

The only thing I can say is you might be able to fish during lower water flows and possibly catch a fish. One thing for sure is that the ½-pounders are going to be flushed out. If you want to know what the fishing is like in the upper river you can call; Indian Creek Lodge, Cory (530) 6236294, Junction City, Butch (530)623-2803, Pine Cove Marina Matt or Louise (530)778-3878.

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 10,0060cfs. This is a decrease of 2,930cfs.  Iron Gate Dam is releasing 976cfs. With these lower releases from Iron Gate the Klamath above I-5 should be in great shape for trout fishing and maybe hooking an adult or two. If you are thinking of fishing above I-5 you might want to call
Scott Caldwell-Guide Service- (530) 905-0758

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 8% of capacity (a decrease of 3%) with inflows of 377cfs and releasing 238cfs into Spring Creek. Shasta Lake is 58% of capacity (an increase of 2% plus 5ft) with inflows of 4,764cfs and releasing 2,816cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 87% (an increase of 1%) with inflows of 3,422cfs and releasing 3,294cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 69% of capacity (an increase of 5% plus15ft) with inflows of 5,603cfs with releases of 452cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 53% of capacity (an increase of 1% plus 2ft) with inflows of 5,276cfs with releases of 4,231cfs into the American river. Trinity Lake is 784,198F plus 26,718AF, with the new water releases I am not sure how long the lake will be able to stay above the Cole-Water Pool of 600,000AF. The Trinity Alps is the water source for Trinity Lake.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 141ft below the overflow (a decrease of 7ft) and 32% of capacity (an increase of 1%) with inflows of 1,158cfs and releasing 305cfs into Lewiston Lake with 26cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown and on to Keswick Power Plant, leaving 784,198AF in lake storage (an increase of 26,718AF), and releasing 3,294cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 95% of capacity (an increase of 0%) and water releases of 297cfs into the Trinity River, (to bump up to 475cfs 2/15/23) with water temperatures of 43.4 degrees, as of 10:30am today Munday February 13, 2023. Limekiln Gulch is 4.78ft at 374cfs. Douglas City is 6.54ft with flows of 473cfs with water temperatures of 42.1 degrees. Junction City is 2.25ft at 6251cfs. Helena is 9.36ft at 796cfs with water temps of 43.0 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 4.60ft at 1,380cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 5.09t at 1,494cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 2,874cfs and air is 44 degrees and water at 43.8 degrees, Hoopa is 15.19ft at 4,260cfs with water at 44.2 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 10,060cfs a decrease of 2,930cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 976cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.82ft at 1,714cfs. Indian Creek is 5.00ft at 548cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,262cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 4,459fs, and the Salmon River is     3.29ft at 1,341cfs. Orleans is 5.04ft at 5,500cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 11.88ft at 12,566cfs and water temps are 45.1 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jed Smith are 7.18ft with flows of 2,013cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 13.71ft at N/A cfs.

Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 59 and a low of 38 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.10in with a water year total to date of 50.89 inches and 0.00in of snow in Willow Creek. The predicted temperatures for next week are for high of 61 and lows of 20. The weather predicted for next week is freezing for a couple of days then warming up a bit.

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

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