Smoke in the valley has been pretty heavy for the past couple of days. The salmon are in the Trinity and fishing is fair to good. The Orleans area is heavy with smoke from the Happy Camp fire and the Red Salmon Complex. This fire is now up to 88,000 acres and is expected to continue to burn until it rains. Because of the terrain it is very hard to get under control. Back fires have been set to help get rid of understory and help from the fire coming into Hoopa Reservation, this also adds to the smoke.

Both reservations (Yurok and Hoopa) are still closed to non-residents. Add to that the helicopter support station at the Big Rock area and the fire camp at Veterans Park in Willow Creek plus the U.S. Forest Service closures that limits fishing areas on the lower Trinity Willow Creek area. The only area I see open in the Willow Creek area for now is private access to the river. With the heavy smoke I don’t recommend that people with breathing problems try to come up and fish at this time.

Water releases from Lewiston were increased to 1,050 cfs on Sept. 12 and will be ramped back to 450 cfs in a short time and then to winter flows of 300 cfs by Oct. 15.

The Willow Creek weir is in and operating at the Camp Kimtu Beach access now and we should be starting to get some fish counts in the near future.  

Junction City Weir, Julian week 35 ending Sept. 2: Chinook salmon, 10 jacks, 3 adults, total 13, season total 345; Coho 0; steelhead half-pounders 0, adults 0, total 0, season total 58; Brown trout 0, season total 13.

Recreational Harvest Count Mouth of Klamath, Julian week 36 ending Sept. 9: Below Highway 101 Bridge; Chinook harvest, 67 adults, 22 jacks, total 89, season total to date 288. Chinook harvest above Highway 101 Bridge; 177 adults, 272 jacks, total 450, total season to date 861.  

Fishing: Fishing the upper Trinity has started really pick up. Kyle Catanese of Kyles Fishing Guide Service fished the Junction City run Friday and hooked up  two jacks and one nice adult using bait. On Saturday (past) he fished the upper run of JC and fly fishing landed two half-pounders and three adult steelhead with one weighing 10 pounds.

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing at 1,989 cfs, a decrease of 35 cfs from the last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,059 cfs as of Sunday afternoon. The Weitchpec and Orleans areas are also seeing more fall run fish coming through from what Kenny Peugh, of Orleans, has been seeing. Happy Camp to I-5 is closed due to the Happy Camp fire. I-5 to Iron Gate should be fair to good for fishing trout right now if it were not for the smoke. The good thing is that the smoke has helped keep water temperatures from getting too warm so the salmon can move up the river.

Upper Klamath River weir count, Julian week 36 ending on Sept. 9: Shasta River; 2 chinook, 0 coho; Scott River, 0 chinook, 0 coho; Bogus Creek, 0 chinook, 0 coho.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent) with inflows of 1,657 cfs and releasing 1,817 cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 50 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent, minus 2 feet) with inflows of 2,251 cfs and releasing 4,894 cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 86 percent (a decrease of 9 percent) with inflows of 6,860 cfs and releasing 7,058 cfs into the Sacramento River. Lake Oroville is 47 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent, minus 1 foot) with inflows of 1,872 cfs with releases of 2,160 cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 47 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent, minus 1 foot) with inflows of 1,423 cfs with releases of 2,283 cfs into the American River.  

Trinity Lake: The lake is 71 feet below the overflow (an increase of 2 feet) and 59 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent) with inflows of - 67 cfs (including evaporation) and releasing 2,208 cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,188 cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant.  

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Lake is 98 percent of capacity (an increase of 1 percent) and water releases are 1,070 cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperature of 49.6 degrees, as of 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13. Limekiln Gulch is 5.67ft at 1,059 cfs. Douglas City is 7.33ft with flows of 1,020 cfs with water temperature of 51 degrees. Junction City is 2.95ft at 1,090 cfs. Helena is 9.88ft at 1,019 cfs with water temp of 54.2 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.79ft at 967 cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 1.84ft at 38 cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,005 cfs and water at 59.3 degrees. Hoopa is 11.15ft at 613 cfs and water is 62.3 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 1,989 cfs, a decrease of 835 cfs.  

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,059 cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.00ft at 1,099 cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,138 cfs. Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,238 cfs. The Salmon River is 1.40ft at 138 cfs. Orleans is 2.08ft at 1,376 cfs. The Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.08ft at 2,280 cfs and water temp is 64.4 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedediah Smith are 4.66ft with flows of 242 cfs and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are at 11.59ft.

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