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California Fish and Game Commission ready for big changes!

by E.B. Duggan

Yes the CDFG is at it again. It appears that the non-fishers have convinced the Commission to make some changes to the Fish & Game Regulations for river fishing. Someone convinced them they should shorten up the leader length. Remove any weight to flies; use no additive to hardware (spinners-spoons) and several others I don’t remember at this time. This will affect all types of fishing. The next thing you will not be able to use is scented plastics.

All of this is to be done down at the San Diego meeting, nowhere near the areas that fresh water fishing takes place and too expensive for the average fisherman to travel to protest the possible changes. It seems like we went through this many years ago up in Eureka, CA for salmon regulations. The fishing public requested that changes to the fresh water fishing regulations should be held close to the area affected so that those most affected could testify at their meeting. The trouble is that all of those commissioners are gone and the new ones don’t care. All fisher persons should write the CDFG and state representative to let them know how this will affect the fishing industries and fishing licenses (cost of).

How would these changes affect you the fisher person? It would mean you could no longer use any type of weight to your fly, you could not use long leaders over three to five feet, you would not be able to use artificial scent on your spinner or other type of hardware and possibly not use scented plastic baits. These are some serious regulation changes. CDFG email:

Trinity River Hatchery: For week ending Sep. 9; Chinook salmon, jacks 7, adults 22, total 29, season total 29; Coho salmon 0; steelhead 3.

Junction City weir: For the week ending Sep. 9; Chinook salmon, jacks 2, adults 3, total 5, season total 125; Coho 0; adult Steelhead 31, ½-lbs 0, total 31, season total 33; Brown Trout, 0, season total 9.

Willow Creek weir: For the week ending Sep. 9; Chinook salmon, jacks 79, adults 55, total 134, season total 141; Coho; 0; steelhead, ½-lbs 3, adults 44,  total 47, season total 91. (Don’t forget to return tags from tagged fish)

Fishing: For the last week or so, fishing has been fair to good, depending upon the weather and smoke. This past week, there has been no or very little smoke with overcast skies. On the lower section the fishing has been good in the early mornings and late afternoons. During mid-day it has been very slow for steelhead, the problem is that one hooks a salmon once in a while and you have to be careful to not take it out of the water to release it. I have a catch and release net and it works pretty well for not taking a salmon out of water and releasing it. I must say it is quite a thrill to hook a salmon on steelhead gear. Up river fishing is slow because of the fire areas but above them you will have no problem hooking fish. The problem being smoke, sometimes there is a lot of smoke and other times there is no smoke. If you want to fish in this area you just have to take a chance or call someone you know who lives in that area. 

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,187cfs; this should be a good flow for fishing the upper section of the Klamath above I-5. Areas around Happy Camp are still burning so there might be a problem fishing that area. The news out of E-Ne-Nuck (Akins Creek area) has been producing some nice adult steelhead with a good mix of ½-pounders. There is a problem of hooking salmon when using roe so be sure not to take them out of the water to release them.

My contact, Tommy Wilson in Weitchpec, is well and back to fishing. Tommy said that the mouth of the Trinity was full of fish, and fishing below there is having good results. 

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98 of capacity with inflows of 1,400cfs and releasing 1,530cfs into Clear Creek and to Keswick. Shasta is 77% of capacity (a decrease of 2% & minus 5ft) with inflows of  4,307cfs and releasing 7,091cfs, Keswick is 87% of capacity (an increase of 8%) with inflows of 8,547cfs and releasing 8,352 cfs; Oroville Lake is 42%  capacity (a decrease of 5% & minus 10ft), inflow is 1,161cfs and releases are 7,433 cfs; Folsom Lake is 79% of capacity (minus 5% & minus 5ft.) inflows are 1,958cfs and releases are 3,859cfs. 

Trinity Lake: The Lake is 42ft below the overflow (increase of 4ft) and 75% of capacity (2% decrease) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 182cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 2,008cfs to Lewiston Lake with 608cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant and 8,352cfs being released to the Sacramento River. 

Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 485cfs with water temps of 49.5 and air is 66 degrees at 11:00 a.m. Sunday. Limekiln Gulch is 4.9ft at 490cfs, water temps of 48.7 degrees and air is N/A.  Douglas City is 6.4ft at 504cfs, water temps of 51.6, air is 67. Junction City is 1.9ft at 473cfs.  Helena is N/A ft at N/A cfs with water temps of N/A. Cedar Flat is 2.8ft at 623cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 673cfs air is 65 and water at 61. Hoopa is 11.5ft at 787cfs with water temps of 63.9.  Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River and Klamath River are estimated to be 2,857cfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,187cfs.  Seiad Valley is 2.4ft at 1,331cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,387cfs, Salmon River is 1.7ft at 231cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 1,83994cfs, Orleans is 3.23ft. at 2,070cfs and the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.2ft at 3,06cfs, with water temperatures of 66 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 4.7ft at 267cfs. 

Temperatures in the Valley last week were 95/44 degrees and 0.00in of rain with a season total of 85.3in of rain and 3.5in of snow. Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to be 87/44 degrees with some early morning showers late Monday morning and sunshine all of next week.

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