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Happy New Fishing Year

by E.B. Duggan

2018 starts the New Fishing Year so don’t forget to turn in your harvest cards and report cards to CDFW by January 31, 2018. To report online, click here, and enter your information, or you can snail mail in you report /harvest cards to the address on your fishing license. Until April of 2018 you will not need a salmon harvest card because the salmon season has not been approved yet for the 2018 salmon season. Of course, if you happen to hook into a salmon you must release it without taking it out of the water. The PFMC has not determined whether or not enough salmon returned to the rivers to make the natural escapement goals. For the Klamath River Basin it is 40,700 returning natural Chinook salmon spawners. The Klamath River Basin is the determining factor for the North Coast Chinook salmon fishing season. If the Klamath Basin Chinook returns don’t meet the natural spawning return goals for three consecutive years the Pacific Fishery Management Council can make an “over fishing” declaration and then there would not be a salmon fishing season. CDFW and other regulatory agencies would have to come up with some type of recovery plan before salmon fishing could be returned. Let’s hope that the good weir counts this last year are enough to show we met the natural spawning escapement goals.

We need a good rain to get fresh fish moving into the rivers again. Right now it is on again and off again fishing. From what I have experienced and the guides I have talked to, some days it is great fishing and then days of skunked fishing. Of course it is great if you are fishing on the great days and you are hooking lots of fish but if you happen to hit the off day and are skunked, you are one of the unhappy fishers. The steelhead are moving up the rivers and you have to move ahead of them if you plan to hook you one.

Trinity River Hatchery: For the week ending Jan. 7 ; Fall Run Chinook salmon , jacks 0, adults 0, total 0, season total 5,632, Coho salmon, jacks 0, adults 1, total 1, season total 418; steelhead 16, season total 801.  

 Klamath Iron Gate: Did not receive a report this week. For the week ending Dec.18; Bogus Creek, Chinook season total 2,247, Coho 0, season total 27; Scott River, Chinook salmon 0, season total 2,255, Coho 331; Shasta River Dec. 18, Chinook salmon season total 9,928, Coho season total 12. 

Fishing: Last week, fishing on the Upper Trinity and Lower Trinity were great. Todd LeBoeuf of Tiger TS Guide Service reported hooking many ½-pounders in the Lewiston / Douglas City area as well as a good mix of adults to 11lbs. While on the Lower Trinity, Matt Mitchell fished the Lower Trinity and was able to duplicate that same type of fishing on the South Fork to Big Rock run. Although he was not able to land an 11-poiunder for his customer he did land a nice sized adult.     

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 972cfs. This is a slight increase from a week ago but it didn’t seem to change fishing on the Klamath above I-5. Fishing in the Happy Camp Area was steady as Seiad Valley was flowing 1,596cfs. The Orleans area was seeing an increase of water flows from some the feeder streams and fishing was a little more difficult. Weitchpec was seeing water flows of 4,628cfs which made fishing very difficult. One had to pick the right spot for some decent fishing. 

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85% of capacity (even 0%) with inflows of 328cfs and releasing 1,100cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 71% (an increase of 1% and 1ft) with inflows of 4,890cfs and releasing 2,480cfs, Keswick is 93% of capacity (a increase of 7%) with inflows of 3,385cfs and releasing 3,393cfs; Oroville Lake is 35%  capacity (a decrease of 0% & minus 2ft), inflow is 5,419cfs and releases are 2,913 cfs; Folsom Lake is 55% of capacity (minus 2% & minus 2ft.) inflows are 2,789cfs and releases are 2,328cfs. 

Trinity Lake: The Lake is 48ft below the overflow (increase of 01ft) and 112% of capacity (1% increase) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 1,080cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 545cfs to Lewiston Lake with 235cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant and it is releasing  3,393cfs to the Sacramento River.

Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 310cfs with water temps of 44.3 and air is 44 degrees at 1:00pm today. Limekiln Gulch is 4.7ft at 349cfs, water temps of 44.2 degrees.  Douglas City is 6.2ft at 365cfs, water temps of 44.8, air is 43. Junction City is 1.7ft at 405cfs.  Helena is 8.8ft at 463cfs with water temps of 4.6. Cedar Flat is 3.1ft at 713cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 972cfs air is 48 and water at 46.5. Hoopa is 12.5ft at 1,428fs with water temps of 48.  Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 4,628cfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 972cfs.  Seiad Valley is 2.7ft at 1,596fs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,792fs, Salmon River is 2.7ft at 736cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 2,464cfs and Orleans is 4.1ft. at 3,200cfs and the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 9.9ft at 6,568cfs, with water temperatures of 47.7 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 7.3ft at 2,080cfs. 
Temperatures in the Valley last week were 60/41 degrees with 0.8in of rain with a season total of 20.1in of rain and 0.0in of snow. The temperatures for next week are expected to be 65/41 degrees with scattered showers turning into rain for the weekend and then back into scattered showers for the next week, this could be the rain the river needs.    

from Willow Creek, CA Phone 530-629-3554, E-mail

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