The rain for last week was not as predicted, not even close. What little rain we did get was not enough to start any kind of large steelhead movement. The barometric pressure drop did help to start some movement in the upper river as fly fishing for steelhead started to get good, but not great yet. The rain that was predicted to come into the valley would have been enough to start some good steelhead fishing but it never came about.
Now let’s see if we can get through the winter without a lot of mudslides and water damage. We do need rain and snowpack to survive through next summer but with all the fire damage to our forests we have a problem of toxic runoff into our streams and rivers. It would be great if our legislators could get their heads out of you know where and start working for the people and the state (which is their job) instead of fighting each other all the time and creating deadlock which gets nothing done.
The fires are starting to get under control now which should allow for more fishing access on the mid-Klamath and the Trinity. It sure will be nice to NOT have any more fires for the remainder of this year. I believe that California has suffered enough from the fires as this was a record-setting year for fires in the state. Enough. We need money for fire prevention and restoration of the burn areas to try and start regeneration of the forests and try to save the quality of the water.
Trinity River Hatchery: Spring chinook subtotal, Julian week 42 ending Oct. 21, is on break for the spring run verses the fall run to separate the two species; season total 1,260; 0 coho; 3 adult steelhead. We did get enough eggs to reach the fall chinook salmon hatchery needs, now let’s hope we can reach the egg quota for coho salmon and steelhead hatchery needs.
Willow Creek weir, Julian 44 week ending Nov. 4: Chinook 0 jacks, 0 adults, total 0, season total to date 107; coho salmon 0 jacks, 0 adults, total 0, season total 0; steelhead half-pounders 0 adults, total 0, season total to date 198. This week was very mixed-up in counting the Willow Creek weir as the counts were low and mixed. I hope to have better information next week.
Recreational Harvest Count, mouth of Klamath, Julian week 44 ending Nov. 4: Chinook harvest above Highway 101 Bridge; 20 adults, 7 jacks, total 20, season total to date 3,289; Lower Klamath chinook salmon harvest total to date 1,651. It looks like the recreational harvest for the Klamath is over for the season, I should have better info next week. Sorry.
Fishing: Fishing the Willow Creek area was slow this past week as the rain did not bring forth the expected run of fish. Salmon are spawning up and down the river but I am not seeing a large amount of steelhead in the river at this time. The river is low, clear and turning cold. This is good but we need a good rain to get the steelhead moving. As for the upper Trinity, Kyle of Kyle Catanese Guide Service said he fished the Sacramento River for a couple of days the first of the week for trout but the boat traffic was so great that he came back to the Trinity to flyfish for steelhead. The barometric pressure from the low weather did cause some movement of the steelhead in the upper river and allowed his customers to have decent fishing with flies. Sunday they were able to get into a wave of nice adults and land six adults to 9 pounds with a couple of old salmon taking a fly or two. Tuesday they were able to hook seven adults and land four steelies to 6 pounds. I didn’t hear from Del Loma so I am not sure if there was any steelhead fishing in the area.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing at 2,023 cfs, an increase of 46 cfs from last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,036 cfs as of 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The Weitchpec area is still closed to the general public because of COVID-19 but the Orleans area up to Happy Camp is open to the public for fishing.
Upper Klamath River video count, Julian week 43 ending on Nov. 1: Shasta River, 6 chinook, season total 4,024, coho 0; Scott River, 0, season total 8, 0 coho; Bogus Creek, 49 chinook, season total 1,186, 0 coho. NOTE: the Scott River counting station is 18 miles upriver. On the lower river 600 live adult chinook salmon have been observed.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent) with inflows of 196 cfs and releasing 422 cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 45 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent, minus 1 foot) with inflows of 2,331 cfs and releasing 4,138 cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 80 percent (a decrease of 9 percent) with inflows of 4,442 cfs and releasing 4,816 cfs into the Sacramento River. Lake Oroville is 41 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent, minus 7 feet) with inflows of 798 cfs with releases of 8,553 cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 35 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent, minus 2 feet) with inflows of 826 cfs with releases of 1,471 cfs into the American River.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 82ft below the overflow (an increase of 1 foot) and 53 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent) with inflows of -35 cfs and releasing 528 cfs into Lewiston Lake with 232 cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Lake is 95 percent of capacity (no change) and water releases are 296 cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperature of 48.7 degrees as of 1:30 p.m. Sunday Nov. 8. Limekiln Gulch is 4.70ft at 327 cfs. Douglas City is 6.25ft with flows of 322 cfs with water temperature of 46.7 degrees. Junction City is 1.65ft at 339 cfs. Helena is 7.97ft at 358 cfs with water temp of 48.2 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.23ft at 361 cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 1.93ft at 47 cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 408 cfs and water at 50 degrees. Hoopa is 10.95ft at 516 cfs and water is 51.2 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 2,023 cfs, an increase of 46 cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,036 cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.09ft at 1,170 cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,208 cfs. Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,355 cfs. Orleans is 2.20ft at 1,507 cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.25ft at 2,631 cfs and water temp is 53.9 degrees. The Salmon River is 1.45ft at 152 cfs. Flows for the Smith River at Jedediah Smith are 4.64ft with flows of 247 cfs, and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are at 11.72ft.