New regulations for spring salmon

At the Feb. 6 California Fish and Game Commission meeting, the Karuk Tribe and the Salmon River Restoration Council submitted a petition to the commission suggesting that declining population trends and a low abundance of the spring run chinook salmon makes the species vulnerable to extinction. Once a petition for listing a species is presented and accepted by the commission emergency action has to happen. This action is to enact regulations that work the same as if the species was actually listed.

Therefore, a temporary set of regulations may be put in effect for one year or until the California Endangered Species Act is enacted for the species being asked for listing and it is listed as threatened or endangered. For the year the regulations are as though the spring run chinook are listed and CDFW will have to hold public hearings for a reason the Klamath River Basin spring chinook salmon should or should not be listed.

After the public hearings the CDFW shall present options for the commission to make a determination if the Klamath Basin spring chinook should be listed under the CESA and only then shall the spring chinook be listed and a recovery plan shall be provided for their recovery.

Regulations: The Klamath River is closed to the take of spring run chinook salmon from the mouth of the river to Iron Gate from Feb. 21 to Aug. 14 (subject to the approval of the Office of Administrative Law); the Trinity River mainstem from the mouth to the Bridge at Highway 299 at Cedar Flat, Feb. 21 through Aug. 31; from Feb.22 to Oct. 15 no salmon shall be taken from the Old Lewiston Bridge to the Bridge at Highway 299, Cedar Flat. CDFW will also be working on regulations for ocean fishing, sport and commercial. Remember, these regulations are only temporary until there is a determination to list or not list the spring run chinook salmon.

Notice: Who turned off the power? Much of eastern Humboldt County and Trinity County were without power for most of last week, Feb. 10-15 (including me, and again this weekend). This is why there was no Fishing Report for last week and having trouble this week. Sorry!

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, week of Jan. 29 through Feb. 4: Chinook 0, season total 7,706; coho 0, season total 745; steelhead 270, season total 1,636.

Redd Survey: No surveys are being taken due to the weather conditions and the river being too high to safely navigate.

Fishing: A couple of weeks ago the Deadwood Creek drainage started breaking loose and it was having huge amounts run off of debris and mud, then add the large amounts of water from the North Fork and Canyon Creek, the Upper Trinity was unfishable. I am still getting reports of large amounts of water coming from those creeks. The weather for this week is predicted to be good with sunshine and that should bring some hope that the upper Trinity should be great for winter steelhead fishing. From Jan.21 through the first week of February the counts up at the hatchery have been the best in several years. This being the case, steelhead fishing should be great with lots of hatchery fish to harvest.

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,849 cfs at this time which makes it somewhat high, but above I-5. Keep an eye for the weather as it is predicted sunshine for the next week and should be very fishable above I-5 until the next series of storms are predicted to come in. Right now, anything from I-5 down are impossible to fish. If we get a week of sunshine the upper Klamath will be good fishing.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 89 percent of capacity (a decrease of 9 percent) with inflows 22,060 cfs and releasing 5,022 cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick; Shasta is 51 percent of capacity (an increase of 11 percent and plus 46 feet) with inflows of 18,885 cfs and releasing 2,022 cfs into Keswick; Keswick is 87 percent of capacity (a decrease of 4 percent) with inflows of 3,000 cfs and releasing 3,151 cfs into the Sacramento River; Lake Oroville is 40 percent of capacity (an increase of 1 percent, plus 7 feet) with inflows of 5,837 cfs with releases of 1,158 cfs into the Feather River; Folsom Lake is 66 percent of capacity (an increase of 12 percent, plus 32 feet) with inflows of 17,814 cfs with releases of 19,204 cfs into the American River.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 55 feet below the overflow (a decrease of 6 feet) and 68 percent of capacity (an increase of 3 percent), inflows are 2,743 cfs and 223 cfs is being released into Lewiston Lake with 2,500 cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 3,207 cfs into the Sacramento River.

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 300 cfs as of 2 p.m. Sunday; Limekiln Gulch is 5.11ft at 567 cfs and water temperature of 42.7 degrees; Douglas City is 7.13ft and 938 cfs and water at 42.3 degrees; Junction City is 23.62ft at 1,420 cfs; Helena is 11.66ft at 1,843 cfs with water temp of 44.1 degrees; Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 7.44ft at 3,253 cfs; South Fork of the Trinity is 8.18ft at 4,297 cfs; Willow Creek is estimated at 7,550 cfs and water at 44 degrees; Hoopa is 19.58ft at 13,443 cfs and is 44 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 25,985 cfs.

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,849 cfs; Seiad Valley is 5.17ft at 4,246 cfs; Happy Camp is estimated at 4,788 cfs; Somes Bar is estimated to be 8,968 cfs’ Orleans is 8.95ft at 12,404 cfs’ the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 11.60ft at 40,384 cfs and water temp of 43.9 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 11.60ft and 9,495 cfs, and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.62ft at 9,480 cfs. The Salmon River is 5.14ft at 3,436 cfs.

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