More rain predicted
For the past week it has been good weather and the rivers have been dropping at a fairly steady rate. The Trinity has been looking good for the last couple of days and the river below South Fork has started to clear up. According to the latest weather report we can expect some more rain and possibly some snow after the weekend. Highway 299 has been having some slide troubles west of Junction City and there has been traffic delays of 10-20 minutes, so be aware. If the weather forecast is correct, we can expect more slide problems in that area so please drive safely.
Recent research has identified a genetic variation in the Klamath-Trinity spring run chinook salmon, upending prevailing scientific variations about the fish. This could create a problem for spring run salmon if the science is correct. One thing I can think of is it could cause restrictions to fishing for the spring run and limit salmon fishing to just fall run chinook. Spring run chinook salmon migrate early in the year, meaning they require habitats with cold water for the summer layover until spawning season in the fall. This translates into the need for more cold water which would mean less water draws from cold water streams for cannabis operations and would require to be monitored. It could also cause the need for less water draws from reservoirs. If spring run chinook are listed as endangered, salmon fishing could come to and end or at the least be very restricted. This poses another problem, if Gov. Gavin Newsom adds the 300,00 homes he expects to build in the coming year, where is the extra water (300,000AF) going to come from for farming? I can see another water war coming!
NOTE: Don’t forget Humboldt Steelhead Days hatchery fish derby is still going on until Feb. 23. Anglers can still sign up for the derby by going to humboldtsteelheaddays.com.
Klamath Iron Gate Hatchery: Right now, the counts are still going up for the hatchery and Scott River. I hope to have more on this by next week.
Trinity River Hatchery: TRH for the week of Jan. 22-28; Chinook 1, season total 7,705; coho 0, season total 745; steelhead 155, season total 1,119.
Redd Survey: No survey last week due to the weather and the river being too high to safely navigate the river.
Fishing: The South Fork was really dumping mud and slate from the two slides upriver below Hyampom which made fishing below the South Fork almost impossible. With no rain for the week the Trinity is still dropping and coming into fishable condition. Upriver of Junction City has been good fishing for winter steelhead and the closer to the hatchery the better fishing for hatchery steelhead. As the river dropped the fishing got better for the mid-sections of the river. Right now, the Trinity is looking very good for winter steelhead fishing.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,228 cfs at this time which makes it somewhat high but fishable above I-5. Keep an eye for the weather because it is predicted for rain and possible snow in the next week or so. Look for the water flows, as the they drop fishable conditions fishing from I-5 to Happy Camp will get better. Seiad Valley is flowing 2,820 cfs. Right now the mid-Klamath is o the verge of becoming good fishing. The lower sections of the Klamath are unfishable but could become fishable soon if we don’t get more rain.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 87 percent of capacity (a decrease of 1 percent) with inflows of 461 cfs and releasing 506 cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick; Shasta is 63 percent of capacity (an increase of 5 percent and plus 9 feet) with inflows of 9,828 cfs and releasing 2,320 cfs into Keswick; Keswick is 91 percent of capacity with inflows of 2,888 cfs and releasing 3,125 cfs into the Sacramento River; Lake Oroville is 39 percent of capacity (an increase of 4 percent plus 19 feet) with inflows of 6,061 cfs; Folsom Lake is 44 percent of capacity (an increase of 10 percent plus 10 feet) with inflows of 6,931 cfs.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 61 feet below the overflow (a decrease of 4 feet) and 64 percent of capacity (an increase of 1 percent), inflows are 1,520 cfs and 268 cfs is being released into Lewiston Lake with 104 cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 3,125 cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 332 cfs as of Sunday; Limekiln Gulch is 4.90ft at 415 cfs and water temperature of 44 degrees; Douglas City is 86.61ft and 508 cfs with water at 43.6 degrees; Junction City is 2.45ft at 729 cfs; Helena is 10.12ft at 984 cfs with water temp of 44.7; Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 5.36ft at 1,876 cfs; South Fork of the Trinity is 5.65ft at 2,100 cfs; Willow Creek is estimated at 3,976 cfs and water at 44.9 degrees; Hoopa is 6.39ft at 6,058 cfs and is 45 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 14,342 cfs.
Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,228 cfs; Seiad Valley is 3.99ft at 2,826 cfs; Happy Camp is estimated at 3,281 cfs; Somes Bar is estimated to be 5,825 cfs; Orleans is 7.04ft at 8,284 cfs; the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 13.81ft at 20,669 cfs and water temp of 45.2 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 8.88ft and flows of 3,543 cfs. The Salmon River is 4.45ft at 2,456 cfs.