Dirty river

The Trinity River Restoration Program is working on a restoration project and I have been receiving reports of the river being dirty from just below the Round House down to below Junction City area of the river. From what I could find out was that the TRRP is working in that area. The problem is the work is causing large amounts of turbidity in the river. This used to be prohibited and all of the material were pre-washed before it could be used in or along the river.

Who is the watchdog now? It appears that the Trinity Management Council and the TRRP can just do whatever they choose to do to the river without some repercussion. I would hope that our representatives, both state and federal, would look into this and maybe call for an audit of the restoration program to see what our $15 million per year is doing, because I surely do not see any large production of steelhead, coho salmon and chinook salmon going out and returning to the Trinity River. This was the original intent of the program. The River Restoration Program has gotten totally out of control ever since the TAMWG (public input) portion of the restoration program was not funded and thereby disbanded in 2017. (TAMWG was where the public could make comment and ask for changes to any proposed river restoration.) The turbidity in the river can cover up spawning beds and smother the eggs.

Hoopa weir: Is to be installed the week of Aug. 5 depending upon water flows in the river. It is supposed to take about a week to be installed at the up-river area of Tish Tang beach. Hoopa Tribal Fisheries will be in charge of the weir and fishing the area. The Tribal Fisheries stated they plan to harvest 3,000 fall chinook salmon and some of the tail end of the spring run. They plan to harvest all Brown trout as they are an invasive species that kill juvenile salmon; all adipose fin clipped hatchery steelhead; all hatchery clipped coho salmon. Operations are to be completed when the 3,000 fall chinook salmon goal is reached. 32,000 fall chinook salmon are available to be harvested by the Hoopa and Yurok Tribal members with 6,400 available to the Hoopa. The problem I see is, “what will the Trinity River Hatchery do for hatchery coho salmon spawning if all of the hatchery marked coho are taken at the Hoopa weir?” From what I have been able to find out is that the program for this weir has not been approved by NOAA or NMFS nor has BIA OK’d the use of this weir!

Fishing: Fishing above the Round House has been very good. Both Todd LeBoeuf, Tiger T Guide Service, and Liam Gogan, Trinity River Outfitters, have reported great fishing with limits of salmon and summer steelhead being put into the boat. Last Wednesday Todd took out Robert Thompkins and Dave Ivis in the upper river and was able to get them both a nice bright salmon and hookup a steelhead or two. Ivis’ salmon was 12 pounds. The problem is trying to get customers to come over to the Trinity to fish for one salmon when a person can fish the ocean or the Sacramento and catch two salmon. Liam told me he was having the same problem even though he is able to limit his customers out. Well the good news is that Sept. 1 is just 25 days away for the fall run salmon fishing to kick-in and then you can have one adult and one jack plus two steelhead.

Summer river releases are just a few days away just as the Labor Day weekend hits us the Boat Dance water releases for the Trinity will happen. I am not sure how much water is going to be released but in the past it has a significant amount and really got the salmon coming up the river.

Mid-Klamath: The Klamath at Weitchpec is flowing about 2,918 cfs and the river is a nice green but will probably start to change as the river drops a little more for the summer flows. We should see more salmon as the river drops and the fall run starts showing up. Aug. 15 the fall salmon fishing opens for the lower Klamath (below the Weitchpec Bridge). Right now there are very few fishermen out on the mid-Klamath, mostly locals. River temperatures are starting to climb a little bit right now but hopefully the water releases for the Boat Dance will help cool it down some.

Junction City Weir counts: Week ending July 29; Chinook salmon, 1 jack, 1 adult, total 49, season total 71; coho 0; steelhead 33, season total 46; Brown trout 5, season total 10.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98 percent of capacity (an increase of 1 percent) with inflows 1,604 cfs and releasing 1,641 cfs on to Keswick and the Sacramento River; Shasta is 88 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent, minus 2 feet) with inflows of 3,3555 cfs and releasing 9,494 cfs into Keswick; Keswick is 93 percent (a decrease of 1 percent) with inflows of 11,457 cfs and releasing 10,903 cfs into the Sacramento River; Lake Oroville is 87 percent of capacity (a decrease of 3 percent, minus 7 feet) with inflows of 2,881 cfs with releases of 10,597 cfs into the Feather River; Folsom Lake is 85 percent of capacity (a decrease of 2 percent, minus 2 feet) with inflows of 2,784 cfs with releases of 3,938 cfs into the American River.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 15 feet below the overflow (an increase of 1 foot) and 90 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent) and inflows are 151 cfs and releases are 1,870 cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,372 cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 10,903 cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 498 cfs and water temperature of 54.8 degrees as of 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3. Limekiln Gulch is 5.17ft at 545 cfs; Douglas City is 6.71ft and flows of 567 cfs with turbidity of 3.60; Helena is 9.06ft at 541 cfs with water temp of 62.9 degrees and water turbidity of 3.60; Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.27ft at 742 cfs; South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.44ft at 154 cfs; Willow Creek is estimated at 896 cfs and water at 64 degrees; Hoopa is 12.07ft at 1,108 cfs and water is 66 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 2,918 cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 949 cfs; Seiad Valley is 2ft at 1,125 cfs; Happy Camp is estimated at 1,176 cfs; the Salmon River is 2.15ft at 349 cfs; Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,461 cfs; Orleans is 2.93ft at 1,810 cfs; the Klamath River at Terwer Creek gauge is out. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 4.96ft and flows of 321 cfs and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are at 11.84ft.

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