The Red Salmon Complex fires continue to grow and are now more than 22,000 acres. A lot of the smoke blows west toward Redding but some it is in the Weaverville area, a lot of the smoke lays along the Upper Klamath in the Seiad Valley, Happy Camp, Orleans section of the upper to mid-Klamath areas and sometimes when the wind shifts we get some in the Trinity-Hoopa valleys. Right now, we are getting a mix of overhead clouds and smoke which helps to cool down the weather. This week we are expecting more triple digit weather again.
From what I have heard the Hoopa Tribal Council are expected to consider re-evaluating the COVID-19 restrictions and maybe open the reservation for fishing trespass. I hope what I hear is true because fall chinook salmon season opened Tuesday, Sept. 1. It would be great if we could fish the Trinity near the mouth and up into the reservation. I will try to verify this information and also check with the Yuroks to make sure you will be able to fish these areas.
The Willow Creek weir is having to change because the property that Fish and Wildlife used to have permission to cross has sold and the new owners have not given permission to go through their property. I hope this will change but for now it is not a done deal. I hope to have some weir counts for the Willow Creek area soon because we are way past the normal time for the weir to go in. You may ask why do we need it anyway? Well it really helps to get a good count on the salmon and steelhead before the South Fork of Trinity to see if there are spring fish going up the South Fork. Right now, that run is virtually non-existent because of the minimal returns for the last couple of years.
I did hear something about the Hoopa weir going back in down at Tish Tang but because of the COVID-19 restrictions I have not been able to verify that. The word is that it will be going back in after the Labor Day holidays. I really hope not, as from the fishing reports of last year it really had an affect on our fish returns to the Hatchery in Lewiston.
Junction City Weir, Julian week 33 ending Aug. 19: Chinook salmon, 5 jacks, 12 adults, total 17, season total 320; coho 0; steelhead, half-pounders 0, adults 2, total 2, season total 64; Brown trout 0, season total 12.
The Willow Creek weir hopefully will be installed sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Fishing: Fishing has been kind of slow because of the heat and warm water. The Willow Creek area has been really slow although there are some fall salmon going through because some early fall chinook salmon are showing up in the upper river, mostly jacks but few bright adults have been spotted. This could be good news. I suspect that they are going through in the dark of night during the cool water.
There have been a good amount of summer steelhead caught and released this year in the upper Trinity as per fishing guide Kyle Cantanese because he has been doing well when he has been going out. I don’t know if this is a good sign but I sure hope so for the fishing community. If you plan to be fishing this area be reminded that there will be plenty of moss in the river until we get some cold water. What that means is that you will spend a lot of time clearing your fishing line.
Don’t forget fishing is closed in the Falls area Aug. 31 from the bridge at Hawkins Bar up to the Bridge at Cedar Flat on Highway 299.
Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing at 1,613 cfs, an increase of 158 cfs from the last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,099 cfs as of Sunday morning. Fishing from I-5 to the Dam should really be great now but again I would expect it will be an early morning fish with the expected triple digit weather.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99 percent of capacity (an increase of 1 percent) with inflows of 1,658 cfs and releasing 1,795 cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 53 percent of capacity (a decrease of 2 percent, minus 5 feet) with inflows of 3,345 cfs and releasing 6,751 cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 93 percent (an increase of 1 percent) with inflows of 8,976 cfs and releasing 9,065 cfs into the Sacramento River. Lake Oroville is 49 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent, minus 4 feet) with inflows of 1,865 cfs with releases of 2,477 cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 50 percent of capacity (a decrease of 2 percent, minus 2 feet) with inflows of 2,245 cfs with releases of 2,881 cfs into the American River.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 64 feet below the overflow (an increase of 2 feet) and 63 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent) with inflows of 214 cfs and releasing 2,147 cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,665 cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Lake is 99 percent of capacity (an increase of 3 percent) and water releases are 479 cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperature of 50.2 degrees as of Sunday. Limekiln Gulch is 1.94ft at 464 cfs. Douglas City is 6.56ft with flows of 484 cfs with water temperature of 55.4 degrees. Junction City is 2.01ft at 514 cfs. Helena is 8.52ft at 509 cfs with water temp of 60.2 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.68ft at 513 cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 1.85ft at 39 cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 552 cfs and water at 69 degrees. Hoopa is 11.21ft at 644 cfs and water is 71.4 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 1,613 cfs an increase of 163 cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,099 cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.03ft at 1,115 cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,151 cfs. Somes Bar is estimated to be 813 cfs. The Salmon River is 1.46ft at 156 cfs. Orleans is 2.18ft at 969 cfs. The Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.15ft at 2,396 cfs and water temp is 71.3 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedediah Smith are 4.73ft with flows of 267 cfs and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are at 11.70ft.