With the COVID-19 restrictions still in place, where does one go to fish? That is the question. The water releases are on their way down but will still have some increases from rain and bump-ups for the Trinity releases.
Right now, it is a hard question for me as I have not heard from any of my fishing contacts for a week. The Trinity River is open to steelhead fishing all year long but closed to salmon fishing right now. Spring chinook salmon fishing on the Klamath will open on July 1 from Weitchpec Bridge down to the mouth.
For the past week I was down south checking out Shaver, Bass, McClure and McSwain lakes. Bass Lake and Shaver Lake were not open to the public yet but McClure Lake was open to fishing from the shore with McSwain Lake boat launch to open to local residents only. Crazy!
The governor says to shelter-in-place and be safe but the Forest Service closes most of the river accesses. Most county governments say fishing is OK as it is a solitude environment with plenty of area for distancing.
I just hope that by July 1 we can get out there and fish. I know the ocean charter boat captains would love to be able to take people out to fish and make a living.
The spring water releases are still in effect on the Trinity at this time and the valley has had some rain this past week but I don’t see much area for one to go fishing on the Trinity yet. The weather is supposed to be better this coming week, we will see.
The South Fork of the Trinity spring chinook salmon are still in danger as only 12 to 14 spring run salmon were seen in the upper reaches. I have seen that there is a restoration project proposed for this area but I don’t know if or when it will happen and if it is too late to help the run recover.
Trinity River water releases: The Trinity releases are to be at 900 cfs by June 13, right now BOR is releasing 976 cfs from Lewiston Dam. There is to be a slight boost to 1,400 cfs on June 14 and then back down to summer flows of 400 cfs by July 2.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath at Weitchpec is flowing about 10,303 cfs. Like I said earlier, I have not had contact with any of my mid-river fishing people for the past week so I cannot tell you what the fishing possibilities are for this report. With Iron Gate releases of 1,192 cfs I would expect fishing above I-5 would not be good at this time either.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 94 percent of capacity (a decrease of 4 percent) with inflows of 1,572 cfs and releasing 1,877 cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 78 percent of capacity (a decrease of 3 percent, minus 4 feet) with inflows of 5,984 cfs and releasing 6,899 cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 86 percent (a decrease of 4 percent) with inflows of 8,786 cfs and releasing 8,994 cfs into the Sacramento River. Lake Oroville is 69 percent of capacity (a decrease of 2 percent, minus 5 feet) with inflows of 2,975 cfs with releases of 4,210 cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 76 percent of capacity (an increase of 4 percent, plus 4 feet) with inflows of 2,102 cfs with releases of 1,968 cfs into the American River.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 47 feet below the overflow and 77 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent) with inflows of 1,326 cfs and releasing 2,188 cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,212 cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 8,994 cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Lake is 94 percent of capacity (a decrease of 4 percent) and water releases are 976 cfs into the Trinity River, with a water temperature of 49.3 degrees as of Sunday, May 17. Limekiln Gulch is 5.72ft at 1,086 cfs. Douglas City is 7.74ft and flows of 1,137 cfs with water temperatures of 50.9 degrees. Junction City is 5.25ft at 1,240 cfs. Helena is 11.18ft at 1,639 cfs with water temp of 51.2 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 6.02ft at 2,313 cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 3.13ft at 3.65 cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 2,678 cfs and water at 53.5 degrees. Hoopa is 14.10ft at 3,112 cfs and water is 56.0 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 10,303 cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,192 cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.23ft at 2,070 cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,380 cfs. Somes Bar is estimated to be 4,297 cfs, and the Salmon River is 4.63ft at 2,897 cfs. Orleans is 6.15ft at 7,191 cfs. The Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 11.68ft at 11,140 cfs.
Flows for the Smith River at Jedediah Smith are 8.61ft with flows of 3,767 cfs, and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are at 15.04ft.