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Department of Interior Changes Mind

Department of Interior Changes Mind

E.B. Duggan
(530) 629-3554

Earlier this week, the Department of Interior came out with a news release. Interior spokesman, Russell Newell, made a news release that stated that the Department of Interior would not support Gov. Browns’ water project “The Twin Tunnels” that is to replace a system that pulls water south through the delta using giant pumps that harm fish. Later, spokesman Newell stated in an email to The Chronicle that the administration would continue to work with the state as the project moves forward. To me this is kind of wishy-washy on where the administration stands on the project. To make the things more palatable, the “Twin Tunnels” have been renamed and are now called the “California Water Fix”.  It is still going to cost us $17 billion and still cause problems in the delta no matter how you look at it.

Many of you have asked how the proposed leader regulations will affect fishing. The Department and the California Fish and Game Commission have struggled for years to eliminate snagging salmon and steelhead in anadromous waters. The following is an overview of that proposal. RESTRICTED LEADER LENGTH TO LESS THAN SIX FEET TO REDUCE FOUL-HOOKING (SNAGGING) OF SALMON AND STEELHEAD. In 2014, the Department formulated a snagging working group to help evaluate this issue. 

Proposal: Add Section 205 to Title 14, Leader length Restriction
Add to Title 14, Chapter 2, Article 1, to reduce the foul-hooking of salmon and steelhead in anadromous waters. 

“It shall be unlawful to use any configuration of fishing tackle in anadromous waters unless the distance between the terminal hook or terminal lure and any weight attached to the line or leader, whether fixed or sliding is less than six feet. For the purposes of this section, “weight” includes any product used to submerge the line or leader, including non-buoyant artificial flies or artificial lures, but does not include integrated or sinking fly fishing lines, lead core lines used while trolling from a boat, dropper weights used while trolling from a boat, or clipped weights used with downriggers systems.” For more information contact Kevin Shaffer, Chief, Fisheries Branch, Department of Fish and Wildlife, (916-327-8841) or 

Trinity River Hatchery: Oct 7 the TRH has suspended operations; Chinook salmon total the spring run is 1,379. 

Junction City weir: Oct. 7 JC Weir was pulled for the spring run Chinook salmon, season total 208  Coho 0,  adult Steelhead season total 52; Brown Trout season total 9. 

Willow Creek weir: For the week ending Oct. 21; Chinook salmon, jacks  22, adults 114, total 136, season total 1,848; Coho, jacks 6, adults 5, total 11, season total 38; steelhead, ½-lbs 2, adults 112,  total 114, season total 582. 

Klamath Iron Gate: Form Sep. 11  to Oct 1Bogus Creek, Chinook 220; Shasta River Sep 6 to sep 28 Chinook salmon 3,3305; Scott River from Sep212 to Oct 1, Chinook 90. 

Fishing: Fishing for the past week on the lower Trinity is still slow due to the lack of fishermen and lots of smolt in the river. The colder weather has eliminated many of the transients camping along the river in Willow Creek so one does not have to contend with that problem anymore. Fishing up river in the Junction City area has also slowed down some due to the lack of fresh fish coming into the river. Above J. C. should provide better fishing as there are more fish congregated in that area.  Low water flows on the Trinity are still causing some drifts to be difficult because of the channel changes due to this last winter’s high water. 

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,242cfs, this is an increase in the releases and should provide for some better fishing above I-5. The Seiad Valley (Happy Camp) should have cleared up by now and should provide some good fishing for trout and steelhead. I didn’t hear from my contact in Weitchpec or Orleans area this week so I am unsure of what the fishing conditions are in that area. 

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85% of capacity with inflows of 33078cfs and releasing 690cfs into Clear Creek and to Keswick. Shasta is 70 of capacity (a decrease of 1% & minus 22ft) with inflows of 3,964cfs and releasing 6,945cfs, Keswick is 94% of capacity (a increase of 6%) with inflows of 7,545cfs and releasing 7,455cfs; Oroville Lake is 35%  capacity (a decrease of 0% & minus 3ft), inflow is 2,408cfs and releases are 3,659 cfs; Folsom Lake is 56% of capacity (minus 4% & minus 2ft.) inflows are 915cfs and releases are 2,547cfs. 

Trinity Lake: The Lake is 126ft below the overflow (increase of 0ft) and 72% of capacity (0% increase) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 194cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 613cfs to Lewiston Lake with 313cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant and it is releasing  7,441cfs  to the Sacramento River. 

Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 300cfs with water temps of 51.7 and air is 73 degrees at 2:00 pm today. Limekiln Gulch is 4.7ft at 355cfs, water temps of 48.9 degrees and air is N/A.  Douglas City is 6.2ft at 368cfs, water temps of 51.1, air is 70. Junction City is 1.6ft at 421cfs.  Helena is 8.5ft at 388cfs with water temps of 51.6. Cedar Flat is 2.9ft at 485cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 594cfs air is 64 and water at 55. Hoopa is 11.5ft at 769cfs with water temps of 57.6.  Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 2,992cfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,242cfs.  Seiad Valley is 2.6ft at 1,540fs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,601fs, Salmon River is 1.8ft at 275cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 1,948cfs and Orleans is 3.9ft. at 2,223cfs and the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.4ft at 3,399cfs, with water temperatures of 56.9 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 5.2ft at 448cfs. 

Temperatures in the Valley last week were 70/48 degrees with 0.00in of rain with a season total of 3.45in of rain and 0.0in of snow. The temperatures for next week are to be 78/32.With a little bit of sunshine and clouds, then the following week we are expecting a week of scattered showers in the valley.     

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