Spring salmon fishing
At the April Fish & Game Commission meeting in Sacramento, the commissioners accepted a petition from the tribes for listing the spring chinook salmon as a threatened species and notified the public that the spring salmon fishery was closed to the take of any salmon. That meant no fishing for salmon. Later the commission, with the recommendation from CDFW, set a date of July 1 to Aug. 31 for a season on spring chinook of one salmon per day and two salmon in possession. This meant to me that no one could keep more than two spring chinook salmon after July 1, anyone! Are we different than tribal members, because there are nets out in the Trinity River on the Hoopa Reservation? If I can’t fish for salmon then why should it be any different for tribal members? I thought that the idea of not fishing for spring salmon was to protect the spring run from extinction. If we are trying to prevent the loss of a species of salmon then everyone should help and obey the law. It was the tribes that petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission to list the spring run of chinook salmon.
Fish Derby: It is that time of year for the Fish Lake Kids Fish Derby, set for Saturday June 22, at Fish Lake. The derby starts with a 7 a.m. signup, 9 a.m. fishing, casting and raffle prizes start, at noon fishing and casting ends. From noon to 1:30 p.m. there will be a free hot fog lunch, with prizes handed out at 2 p.m. There will be raffle drawings for extra prizes during the fishing. All kids are welcome from the ages of pre-school through 8th grade with a responsible adult at sign up.
Boat Races: The Willow Creek Hydroplane Boat Races were this past weekend, so fishing was poor on the river in the Willow Creek area. Each year, water providing, there is a series of boat races on the lower Trinity, one in the Hoopa area and one in the Willow Creek area from Big Rock to South Fork. This past weekend was Willow Creek's turn. The races are always exciting, but it stirs up the river and the fishing goes away for the weekend. I would say by today the fishing for steelhead and trout should pick up again.
Fishing: Fishing for trout and steelhead in the lower river should start to improve as the river flows drop down to summer water flows. The summer run of steelhead is just about over but with the fish releases moving through the lower river and more bugs and fly hatches coming about there should be some action on the lower Trinity.
Mid-Klamath: The Klamath at Weitchpec is flowing about 12,683 cfs so there isn’t very much action as far as fishing goes. The upper Klamath is about in the same shape right now as Iron Gate is releasing 2,917 cfs into the Klamath. I would hope that these higher water flows are about to start to reduce and fishing above I-5 will pick up again once the releases get below 1,200 cfs out of Iron Gate.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99 percent of capacity (no change) with inflows 3,612 cfs and releasing 3,437 cfs on to Keswick and the Sacramento River; Lake Shasta is 98 percent of capacity (plus 1 foot) with inflows of 9,117 cfs and releasing 9,511 cfs into Keswick; Keswick is 91 percent (a decrease of 7 percent) with inflows of 41,545 cfs and releasing 12,899 cfs into the Sacramento River; Lake Oroville is 97 percent of capacity (minus 1 foot) with inflows of 9,473 cfs with releases of 11,604 cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 97 percent of capacity (an increase of 1 percent) with inflows of 11,446 cfs with releases of 15,355 cfs into the American River.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 5 feet below the overflow (an increase of 1 foot) and 97 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent) and inflows are 3,153 cfs and releases are 6,058 cfs into Lewiston Lake with 580 cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 12,897 cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 2,321 cfs with a water temperature of 47.8 degrees as of Sunday; Limekiln Gulch is 6.95ft at 2,435 cfs and water temp of 47.4; Douglas City is 8.86ft and flows of 2,768 cfs with water at 47.5; Junction City is 4.95ft at 2,650 cfs; Helena is 13.14ft at 2,943 cfs with water temp of 48.3 degrees; Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 7.53ft at 3,532 cfs; South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 3.7ft at 630 cfs; Willow Creek is estimated at 5,162 cfs and water at 55 degrees; Hoopa is 15.31ft at 5,144 cfs and water is 58 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 12,683 cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 2,917 cfs; Seiad Valley is 5.67ft at 4,950 cfs; Happy Camp is estimated at 4,972 cfs; the Salmon River is 3.69ft at 1,572 cfs; Somes Bar is estimated to be 5,967 cfs; Orleans is 6.45ft at 7,539 cfs; the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 12.64ft at 14,658 cfs and water temp of 59.1 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 6.12ft and flows of 1,010 cfs, and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are at 12.78ft.