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Rain is good, rivers on the rise

by E.B. Duggan


Sorry about last week but I was out of town and not able to make a fishing report. It has been raining almost all week and turning cold. The rain was good for the ground and the rivers as well as the fish. The cold has helped to cool the rivers and we are seeing fish move further up the rivers to spawn. For the Low Flow Closures on many of the north coast rivers, it has helped to open them up so fresh fish can move into and up the rivers. THIS equates to just one thing, “Fishermen and ladies get out that favorite fishing rod and get out on the water.” Even though it is late in the season, salmon are now moving into those rivers that still allow fishing for salmon!! Note: this is not the Trinity or the Klamath Rivers. The Trinity and Klamath are open to steelhead and trout but not the take of salmon. Mid-October saw the release of salmon and steelhead smolt into the Trinity and they are working their way down the river. This can be a problem if you happen to try to fish in the area that they are occupying at that time. If by chance you do run into them, you are best to relocate to another fishing area as they will just steal your bait or become a nuisance to your flies. 

At the present time of the legislative year, legislators are trying their best to attach their bill onto any piece of legislation they can to possibly get their bill passed, and onto the next stage. One that kind of bothered me was the Clean Water by Westland Water District that would allow them to take more water from the Trinity, and forgive their debt for the Central Valley Water Project. This amounted to a lot of money, and at the same time allowed Westland’s to NOT pay for their portion of the project that allowed them to receive water from Shasta and Trinity Lakes, and at lower prices. Thank goodness for several of our northern legislators as they stopped it for this year. The problem is, it WILL come back next legislative year. We are going to have to be ever vigilant if we want to have enough water for the rivers and fish, as well as the farms. Like I have said for many years, water is going to be the next “California Gold Rush.” 

Trinity River Hatchery: For the week ending Nov. 4; Fall Run Chinook salmon , jacks 543, adults 479, season total 1,022; Coho salmon, jacks 32, adults 2, total 34, season total 75; steelhead 31, season total 50. 

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 Nov. 4; Chinook salmon, jacks  1, adults 11, total 12, season total 1,891; Coho, jacks 6, adults 17, total 23, season total 63; steelhead, ½-lbs 1, adults 4,  total 5, season total 739. 

Klamath Iron Gate: For Oct. 21; Bogus Creek, Chinook 69, season total 2,010; Scott River Oct. 21, Chinook salmon 7, season total 2,199, Coho 91; Shasta River Oct. 21, Chinook salmon 237, season total 7,072.

Fishing: Fishing on the Lower Trinity this week has been slow due to the lack of fishermen fishing the river, rain and the first cold weather. Last week, the Willow Creek Weir was pulled in preparation for the rains this week. Although we did not receive great quantities of water from the sky, we did get a fair amount of rain. I also must note our first cold weather arrived. The sad news is that we did not receive a lot of fresh steelhead in the lower part of the river. As for the upper parts of the Trinity, many of the fish that were stuck in the Burnt Ranch Canyon were able to move out and on up the river which mad for much better fishing in the upper sections. My fellow fishing guide Todd LeBoeuf of Tiger Fishing did pretty well for his clients. He fished the upper area of Douglas City and was able to get 7 steelhead to the boat. The largest being 7lbs. So if you are looking to fish the Trinity for Thanksgiving Holiday I would suggest that you concentrate on the upper sections of the Trinity as more fresh fish will be moving out of the Burnt Ranch area this week.

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,103cfs; this is a slight decrease in the releases. The Seiad Valley (Happy Camp) has a little color but the flows are steady enough and should be increasing some with the rain showers  forecasted to be coming in this next week. With the possibility of rain showers, the flows could increase and move more fresh fish up the river. Fishing has been fair to good in the Happy Camp area this past week, but more rain showers should bring more fresh fish into the river system and could move more fish up into the upper river. 

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85% of capacity with inflows of 231cfs and releasing 228cfs into Clear Creek and to Keswick. Shasta is 85% of capacity (an increase of 1% & plus 2ft) with inflows of 7,948cfs and releasing 4,375cfs, Keswick is 89% of capacity (a decrease of 4%) with inflows of 4,462cfs and releasing 4,517cfs; Oroville Lake is 35%  capacity (an  increase of 1% &plus 4ft), inflow is 10,261cfs and releases are 34,057 cfs; Folsom Lake is 58% of capacity (plus 2% & plus 3ft.) inflows are 12,310cfs and releases are 2,144cfs. 

Trinity Lake: The Lake is 48ft below the overflow (increase of 0ft) and 71% of capacity (0% decrease) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 419cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 620cfs to Lewiston Lake with 315cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant and it is releasing  4,517cfs 52to the Sacramento River. 

Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 305cfs with water temps of 45.6 and air is 48 degrees at 2:00pm today. Limekiln Gulch is 4.7ft at 357cfs, water temps of 45.4 degrees and air is N/A.  Douglas City is 6.3ft at 390cfs, water temps of 45.5, air is 44. Junction City is 1.7ft at N/Acfs.  Helena is 8.9ft at 492cfs with water temps of 46. Cedar Flat is 3.4ft at 822cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,446cfs air is 49 and water at 47. Hoopa is 13.6ft at 2,319cfs with water temps of 48.9.  Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 6,831cfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,103cfs.  Seiad Valley is 2.7ft at 1,630fs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,920fs, Salmon River is 3ft at 1,009cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 3,503cfs and Orleans is 4.9ft. at 4,512cfs and the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 11.4ft at 10,592cfs, with water temperatures of 48.1 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 9.6ft at N/Acfs. 
Temperatures in the Valley last week were 64/39 degrees with 2.7in of rain with a season total of 8.3in of rain and 0.0in of snow. The temperatures for next week are expected to be 66/39 degrees with scattered showers most of the week and temperatures dropping for Thanksgiving weekend.

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

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