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Smoked Fish

by E.B. Duggan

The smoke in the valley is dependent upon the inversion layer as to how smokey the valley is. I can remember a few years back when the smoke was sooo bad in the valley from fires that the salmon you caught would be practically smoked by the time you got it back to camp or home. Lately the smoke from the fires up by Somes Bar was just as bad and the air in the Trinity Valley was not much better. The fires between Somes Bar and Happy Camp and in the Marble Mountains Wilderness are causing the smoke but the inversion layer is causing the smoke to follow the rivers and up the valleys. Some days the smoke starts to clear up then the very next day it is dmokey again. I have not heard how the smoke is above I-5 so it could be good fishing up there. 

The Boat Dance Releases; I imagine that you have heard by now that water releases the Bureau of Reclamation is releasing into the Trinity River for the Hoopa “White Dear Skin Ceremonies” which includes the “Boat Dance” as an integral part of the Ceremonies. This water is NOT part of the designed water releases for the Trinity River; it is the determination of BOR and cannot be declared as part of the Trinity River Water Flow Releases. 

Speaking of Ceremonies, the Karuk Tribe will be having their World Renewal Ceremony near Camp Creek Sept. 2nd to 11th. So be aware that a portion of the Klamath River near Orleans will be closed to fishing but open to fishing for hatchery steelhead and hatchery trout above and below the Ceremonial area. There should be signs along Hwy 96 defining the area.  

Fishing: Fishing for Spring Salmon on the Trinity River is still open or another week (August 31st) from the mouth of the South Fork up to the Old Lewiston Bridge. There are some guides fishing the area from Bucktail down to Junction City but the river construction in the Sky Ranch area is creating turbidity (dirty water) down to Junction City so fishing that area for the time being is not the best place to fish. The guides fishing above the Indian Creek area are getting one to two fish per trip so it s hard fishing on the Trinity right now but I am sure that it is going to get better after these water releases.  

Junction City weir: Junction City weir counts as of Aug 19for Spring Chinook salmon; adults 13, season jacks 3, adults 48, season total 56. 

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,008cfs so the upper part of the Klamath should be in very good fishing condition for hatchery trout and hatchery steelhead. That is barring any heavy smoke conditions. The problem would be down the Seiad Valley area because of the smoke. North Coast Air Quality Control has stated that people with breathing or heart problems should not subject themselves to the heavy smoke as it could worsen their health. 

The Salmon River salmon counts are very low and the Karuk Tribe has requested that the Spring Chinook be listed as endangered species. I do understand that this year is a low fish return but the best way to help the fish is to stop fishing them for a year or two to see what will return after that then look at more serious means. A listing would really affect ALL fishing not just spring salmon. 

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is98% of capacity with inflows of 1,491cfs and releasing 1,383cfs into Clear Creek & on to Keswick. Shasta is 82% of capacity (a decrease of 4% & minus 5ft) with inflows of 3,515cfs and releasing 8,021cfs, Keswick is 91% of capacity with inflows of 9,067cfs and releasing 9,430fs; Oroville Lake is 52% of capacity (a decrease of 6% & minus 19ft), inflow is 1,240fs and releases are 8,536cfs; Folsom Lake is 83% of capacity (minus 6% & minus 5ft.) inflows are 2,443cfs and releases are 3,906cfs. 

Trinity Lake: The Lake is 34ft below the overflow (increase of 4ft) and 79% of capacity (3% decrease) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 458cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 2,204cfs to Lewiston Lake with 1,150cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant and 9,430cfs being released to the Sacramento River. 

Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 446cfs (and going up) water temps of 52.1 air is 87 degrees at 12:00 noon today. Limekiln Gulch is 4.9ft at 470cfs, water temps of 51.1 degrees and air is N/A.  Douglas City is 6.4ft at 492cfs, water temps of 55.6, air is 87. Junction City is 1.9ft (muddy) at 473cfs.  Helena is 9ft at 546cfs with water temps of 59.5. Cedar Flat is 2.9ft at6436cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 729cfs air is 84 and water at 68. Hoopa is 11.3ft at 828cfs with water temps of 71.8.  Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 3,019cfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,008cfs.  Seiad Valley is 2.3ft at 1,270cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,334cfs. Somes Bar is estimated at 1,864cfs. Orleans is 3.3ft. at 2,141cfs. Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.3ft at 3,184cfs, water temperatures of 70.1 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 4.9ft at 311cfs. 

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