Trinity River - Willow Creek Weir Fish Report for 7-16-2023
Summer Flows and Heat Waves
Trinity River - Willow Creek Weir - Willow Creek, CA (Humboldt County)
by E.B. Duggan
I all had a safe Fourth of July and enjoyed the Holiday, as I did with family.
We are approaching the “Dog Days of Summer” with the usual July “Heat Wave”. The temperatures in the Valley along the Trinity River have been scorchers. Again, we are seeing 105 plus temperatures along the Trinity. Yesterday we saw 108 and expect the same for a few more days. This is great days for tubing and rafting the river but not very good for fishing! On my way home yesterday, I was able to see many rafters and kayakers in the upper river. I hope they were using a good sun screen as it was HOT. Bigfoot Rafting was so busy they barley had enough room for parking. Many of the other rafting companies were busy also. Willow Creek saw many sun bathers at Big Rock and Kimtu Beach. This is great but the water is still cold for swimming so people want to be careful as hypothermia can set in and cause drowning. Adults really want to watch the little ones as the current can take them away in a second if you are not keeping an eye on them.
If you haven’t been watching the news about the rivers and water flows you might wat to go to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com July 13, 2023 report “Clean Trinity River” to read about the Alternatives to River Management. I found this to be a very interesting report and sets of Alternatives for River Management. It states serval good Alternatives to help save the salmon and improve the economy for the Trinity Lake area businesses. Support is needed to help save our salmon runs in California. Similar problems happened to the Cowlirz River Spring Chinook run in Washington. The difference is that Washington Fish and Wildlife increased their production of Spring Run Chinook Salmon almost double. They used the same genetics as their fish and had to bring in some Kalama River Adults to supplement the necessary egg collection to meet the hatchery need. The Trinity Hatchery could do the same thing only not have to bring in another strain as our genetics are the same fish on the Trinity River. They only have to increase the egg collection by using some more of the wild fish eggs instead of decreasing the number of smolt releases increase them. Yes, they will be releasing more hatchery fish into the river (they have the same genetics as our wild fish) but not all of the return has to be used and let some of the hatchery fish go into the wild. IT WOULD increase fishing opportunities immensely and help with the returns. Not immediately but in three to five years we could see a great increase of fish to be harvested. CDFW would see an increase of revenue from fishing license fees and fishermen would have more opportunities to fish. This would also bring in more revenue for the local economy.
The “Fishing Disaster Relief” legislation is kind of stalled right now that the legislators are on summer break but hopefully, they will get back on it after their break and the businesses that are affected will be able to get some relief for their losses from canceling salmon fishing for this year. I have hopes but I haven’t seen much movement of the legislation lately. I know many fish guides have suffered and many small businesses have suffered because of it. Please contact your local state and federal legislators and ask them to do something soon.
Junction City Weir summary: Julian Week 27 ending July 8, 2023; Spring Chinook, 39 jacks, seasonal total of 40, 650 adults, total of 689, seasonal total 832; Coho Salmon 0, summer steelhead; 0- ½-pounders, 37- adults, total 37, seasonal total 49; 1-Brown Trout, seasonal total 11.
Fishing: The river has dropped to summer flows but is still fairly high due to the snow melt. As for all intensive purposes fishing is on the slow side right now as many people are taking use of summer vacation and using the river for many different recreational purposes. In the Willow Creek area Kimtu Beach and Big Rock are open for sun bathing and swimming. If you are interested in rafting you can contact Bigfoot Rafting, Brianna Carreira (530-629-2263).
With salmon season closed we still have trout fishing on most of the rivers as well as the Sierra Streams are open to fishing. Some of us just might have to change tactics for this year but there is some fishing out there to be had. Go Get It!
Mid-Klamath and Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing 4,379cfs, this is a decrease of 2,31cfs from last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 901cfs. Iron Gate on the Klamath should be fair to good fishing for trout above I-5. If you are interested you might want to give Scott Caldwell a call (530-905-0758) or if you might want to fish the Happy Camp Area you might call Marble Mountain Resort, Doug Cole (530-469-3322). For now, those are your best options. The Klamath is still dropping for summer time flows and there are some fish still in the upper river. I hope to have some better fishing information later.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99% of capacity (an increase of 1%) with inflows of 892cfs and releasing 860cfs into Whiskeytown Reservoir. Shasta Lake is 90% of capacity (a decrease of 5% minus 19ft) with inflows of 4,981cfs and releasing 9,998cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 96% (an increase of 12%) with inflows of 11,188cfs and releasing 10,986cfs into the Sacramento River. Oroville Lake is 97% of capacity (a decrease of 3% minus 6ft) with inflows of 3,037cfs with releases of 7,662cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 93% of capacity (a decrease of 2% plus 2ft) with inflows of 3,052cfs with releases of 4,361cfs into the American river. Trinity Lake is 1,423,635AF an increase of 5,912AF.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 73ft below the overflow (a decrease of 1ft) and 58% of capacity (an increase of 0%) with inflows of 909cfs and releasing 1,336cfs into Lewiston Lake with 885cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown and on to Keswick Power Plant, and releasing 10,986cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 97% of capacity (an increase of 2%) and water releases of 451cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 54 degrees, as of 12:00am today Sunday July 16, 2023. Limekiln Gulch is 4.90ft at 457cfs. Douglas City is 6.84ft with flows of 553cfs with water temperatures of 63 degrees. Junction City is 2.11ft at 545cfs. Helena is 9.06ft at 683cfs with water temps of 66.6 degrees. Burnt Ranch at Cedar Flat is 3.43ft at 825cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 3.33ft at 239cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,064cfs and air is 92 degrees and water at 61.2 degrees, Hoopa is 12.32ft at 1,51cfs with water at 56.2 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 4,379cfs a decrease of 2,731cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 901cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.17ft at 1,216cfs. Indian Creek is 3.99ft at 174cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,390cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 2,524fs, and the Salmon River is 2.28ft at 574cfs. Orleans is 3.43ft at 3,098cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.91ft at 4,377cfs and water temps are 72.1 degrees. Dangerous temperatures for salmon are 72 degrees or 17 Celsius. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 4.84ft with flows of 397cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.85ft at N/A. Temperatures for the Valley last week had a high of 108 and a low of 55 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.00in with a water year total to date of 76.00 inches and 0.00in of snow for a total of 7.50in. in Willow Creek. The predicted temperatures for next week are for high of 93 and a low of 59. Next week is going to be sunny and hot so be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and be sure to stay hydrated.
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