Finally, the Trinity River Hatchery is seeing some adult steelhead. This past week the Trinity has sent the message to the steelhead down in the Klamath to start going up the Trinity. This past week the Trinity Valley has seen a significant amount of rain to raise the river and we are seeing fresh adult steelhead moving in the Trinity River. I was wondering when we would have enough rain to make the fish start moving. The river is up about 3 feet in Willow Creek and is showing lots of color. It looks like the Coon Creek slide on the South Fork is making the S.F. a milky slate color and dumping into the main stem of the river. The upper river is just a good steelhead color and providing enough color for good fishing.
Down Willow Creek way we are seeing more color with about one to two feet of visibility. As you move down river the milky slate color turns into a greenish brown with just enough color to make good bait fishing from the banks. Finally, us old fogies can fish from the bank and hook into some nice adult Iron Heads. Half-pounders are fun, but it is really great to hook into a hard fighting adult steelhead. I find it a little harder to run up or down the bank while fighting an adult steelhead but that flush of adrenalin rushing through your veins is great. In about two to three days we should see some fairly good fly fishing as the river clears.
I am sorry to say that the Hoopa Reservation is still closed to non-residents. I know it would be great to be able to fish many of the good fishing areas of the reservation, but I am afraid that the coronavirus is still a problem, therefore non-residents are asked to please stay off the reservation.
Trinity River Hatchery, Julian week 1 ending Jan. 7: Fall chinook, 0 jacks, 0 adults, total 0, season total 7,102; Coho, 1 jack, 3 adults, total 4, season total 2,331; steelhead 25, season total 71. That is a 25 fish increase.
Upper Klamath River video count, Julian week 1 ending on Jan. 7: Shasta River, chinook salmon 0, season total 4,101; Coho 2, season total 37; Scott River, chinook salmon 0, season total 252; Coho salmon 2, season total 1,754; Bogus Creek, chinook salmon 0, season total 2,289; Coho salmon 2, season total 147.
Fishing: Fishing the Willow Creek area is improving now that the river has risen and we got some color. There are finally some native adults in the Trinity. Don’t get all wound up as there ae still plenty of hatchery adults in the river, too. Fishing the lower Trinity below the South Fork is better bait fishing or throwing hardware right now but it won’t be long before the river clears up enough for the fly fishers to get out there and do their thing. The problem is that one of the slides on the South Fork is really dumping in some slate and making the river dirty. Upriver fly fishing is the way to go but I have received word that those throwing hardware are doing good also.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing at 10,943 cfs. This is a huge increase. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 987 cfs as of Saturday morning. The Weitchpec area is still closed to the general public because of the COVID-19 but there is some good action around the lower Orleans area. As you move up to the Happy Camp area fishing gets a lot better for small adults and half-pounder action. If you want to fish the upper river above I-5 then I would try to contact Scott Coldwell Guide Service.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85 percent of capacity (no change) with inflows of 414 cfs and releasing 141 cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 45 percent of capacity (no change) with inflows of 5,053 cfs and releasing 2,597 cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 92 percent (an increase of 1 percent) with inflows of 3,346 cfs and releasing 3,260 cfs into the Sacramento River. Lake Oroville is 35 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent, minus 1 foot) with inflows of 3,346 cfs with releases of 3,260 cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 30 percent of capacity (no change) with inflows of 1,461 cfs with releases of 1,956 cfs into the American River.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 89 feet below the overflow (a decrease of 1 foot) and 51 percent of capacity with inflows of 512 cfs and releasing 711 cfs into Lewiston Lake with 395 cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Lake is 98 percent of capacity (no change) and water releases are 316 cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperature of 45.3 degrees as of Saturday Jan. 9. Limekiln Gulch is 4.75ft at 320 cfs. Douglas City is 6.39ft with flows of 392 cfs with water temperature of 43.3 degrees. Junction City is 1.88ft at 422 cfs. Helena is 8.59ft at 531 cfs with water temp of 42.7 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.68ft at 917 cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 4.25ft at 314 cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,836 cfs and water at 43 degrees. Hoopa is 14.79ft at 3,995 cfs and water is 44.4 degrees.
Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 10,943 cfs. Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 987 cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.90ft at 1,785 cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 2,290 cfs. Somes Bar is estimated to be 4,947 cfs. The Salmon River is 3.95ft at 1,970 cfs. Orleans is 6.21ft at 6,945 cfs. The Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 13.49ft at 18,106 cfs and water temp is 45.6 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedediah Smith are 11.04ft with flows of 8,371 cfs, and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are at 17.33ft.