We are still in an “Over Fishing” rating by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council. The PFMC will meet in March to come up with the recommended choices for fall chinook salmon quotas for the 2021salmon season, then in mid- or late April the PFMC will meet and make the “fall run chinook salmon” recommended quotas for the Klamath River Basin. Then the California Fish and Game Commission at its April meeting will issue the California fall run chinook salmon quotas. I know this is a confusing, but this is the process. On top of this the commission “could” possibly declare the spring chinook salmon a separate species and set another quota for them. So, you see, it gets quite complicated.

This is some of the data that is used to determine how many salmon we will get to keep for the 2021 salmon fishing season. The total of the return is 54,484 salmon (that is the total salmon return). The goal is 40,700 chinook salmon natural spawners for the Klamath River Basin, 2020 natural spawners were 26,190, the target was 36,206 natural area adult spawners to try and get out of the “Over Fished” PFMC declaration. Iron Gate Hatchery return of fall run chinook was 4,000 salmon and the Trinity River Hatchery adult fall run chinook salmon was 3,926. These returns are not meeting the hatchery goals for sustaining the hatchery fish returns. These figures indicate the “possibility” of a less quota for the Klamath River Basin fall run chinook salmon fishery for 2021. Remember I said the “possibility.” Stay tuned.

Trinity River Hatchery, Julian week 8 ending Feb. 25: Fall chinook salmon, 0 jacks, 0 adults, total 0, season total 3,926, total chinook salmon 7,103; coho, 0 jacks, 0 adults, total 0, season total 2,333; steelhead 22, season total 574.  

Fishing: We haven’t had much rain for the past week or so and the weather has been reasonably fair with some fishing, but not a lot of steelhead landings reported. The river is looking good, a little high but still good for some winter steelhead fishing.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85 percent of capacity (no change) with inflows of 373 cfs and releasing 277 cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 50 percent of capacity (an increase of 1 percent, plus 2 feet) with inflows of 4,933 cfs and releasing 2,790 cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 86 percent (a decrease of 4 percent) with inflows of 3,008 cfs and releasing 3,304 cfs into the Sacramento River. Lake Oroville is 38 percent of capacity (an increase of 1 percent, plus 3 feet) with inflows of 1,976 cfs with releases of 825 cfs into the Feather River.

Trinity Lake: The lake is 87 feet below the overflow (no change) and 52 percent of capacity with inflows of 679 cfs and releasing 518 cfs into Lewiston Lake with 207 cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant.  

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Lake is 96 percent of capacity (no change) and water releases are 311 cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperature of 47.1 degrees as of Monday morning, March 1. Limekiln Gulch is 4.77ft at 332 cfs. Douglas City is 6.46ft with flows of 429 cfs with water temperature of 45.1 degrees. Junction City is 1.99ft at 478 cfs. Helena is 8.93ft at 644 cfs with water temps of 44.3 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 4.16ft at 1,141 cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 4.29ft at 839 cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,980 cfs and water at 44.9 degrees. Hoopa is 14.77ft at 3,965 cfs and water is 45.2 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 9,998 cfs, a decrease of 9,286 cfs.

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