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Trinity River Fall Fishing Report

by E.B. Duggan

The first day of Fall was last Friday September 22 and it sure feels like it. My fingers are stiff when I first get out of bed in the mornings. It is heck getting older. The leaves on the trees are turning and starting to drop on the ground, the grass is wet and the eves are dripping.  A fresh run of salmon and steelhead are moving up the Klamath and entering the Trinity River. I have been receiving some good news of fresh salmon with some ½-pounders around Weitchpec. Yes, I believe it is Fall! This means only one thing to the diehard fishermen and that is to get out the fishing rods, check you fishing reels and fishing line, sharpen hooks then go to your favorite tackle store to restock your fishing tackle. Don’t forget your fishing license and this year you won’t have to purchase a salmon card but you will have to purchase a steelhead report card. Yes, that is right because when fishing the Klamath and Trinity Rivers, there is NO taking of salmon so you won’t need a salmon card. This also means that you cannot keep or poses a salmon, and you must release ALL salmon without taking them out of the water.  You may keep hatchery steelhead and hatchery trout. You also might want to check out the rain gear.

Last week I told you about the Fish and Game Commission and I received several requests for the information of where to find these proposed regulation changes. So here it is. You can email your complaint to . The Commission meeting these regulations will be discussed and moved on is Dec.6 – 7in San Diego.

As for the hardware part, I should have said that “No scent can be used on artificial lures in an artificial lure fishing only area”, sorry about that. I hope you are able to read the proposed regulations,  and don’t forget to email your comments to the Fish and game Commission. 

Trinity River Hatchery: For week ending Sep. 16; Chinook salmon, jacks 13, adults 55, total 68, and season total 97; Coho salmon 0; steelhead 1, and season total 4.

Junction City weir: For the week ending Sep. 16; Chinook salmon, jacks 4, adults 10, total 14, season total 139.  Coho 0; adult Steelhead 2, ½-lbs 1, total 3, season total 36; Brown Trout, 0, season total 9. Redds counted from Lewiston to Cedar Flat 15.

Willow Creek weir: For the week ending Sep. 16; Chinook salmon, jacks  106, adults 71, total 177, season total 318; Coho; 0; steelhead, ½-lbs 4, adults 116   total 125, season total 120. (Don’t forget to return tags from tagged fish)

Klamath Iron Gate: For the week ending Sept. 20; Shasta River, Chinook salmon 90, season total 508; Bogus Creek 3, season total 3, Scott River 0. 

Fishing: For the last week, fishing has been improving from the Willow Creek weir down to the confluence of the Klamath River as more fresh fish enter the Trinity River. Above the W.C. weir fishing has been fair to good. Up river of downtown Willow Creek and below South Fork, fishing has been slow in the mornings but good in the late afternoon or evenings. We are starting to see more ½-pounders with the weather changes. I believe the cooler water is helping to bring more to the Trinity and if this keeps up I can only see fishing getting better. There is one problem though, and that is you will be hooking a lot of salmon while fishing for steelhead. I haven’t received much information from up river but I think that is due to the fire and some restrictions from Cedar Flat to Junction City but it should be good fishing for those Iron Heads above Junction City. 

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,199cfs and with the recent rains and colder weather fishing from Seiad Valley (Happy Camp) up, it should be great fishing for trout and ½-pounders. The news out of E-Ne-Nuck (Akins Creek area) has been very good with plenty of fresh fish, mostly salmon but a good mix of ½-pounders and small adult steelies. Fishing below Old Village out of Weitchpec has been nothing but good using #4 or #5 Mepps spinners in brass. One might find them at the old Pearson store in Weitchpec.  

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98 of capacity with inflows of 756cfs and releasing 717cfs into Clear Creek and to Keswick. Shasta is 76% of capacity (a decrease of 1% & minus 2ft) with inflows of 3,660cfs and releasing 7,683cfs, Keswick is 89% of capacity (an increase of 8%) with inflows of 8,389cfs and releasing 8,395 cfs; Oroville Lake is 40%  capacity (a decrease of 3% & minus 9ft), inflow is 2,099cfs and releases are 7,783 cfs; Folsom Lake is 71% of capacity (minus 3% & minus35ft.) inflows are 1,789cfs and releases are 3,795cfs. 

Trinity Lake: The lake is 43ft below the overflow (increase of 1ft) and 74% of capacity (1% decrease) Inflow to Trinity Lake is -5cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 1,315cfs to Lewiston Lake with 863cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant which is releasing  8,352cfs to the Sacramento River. 

Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 485cfs with water temps of 4965 and air is 606 degrees at 11:00 a.m. today. Limekiln Gulch is 4.9ft at 48490cfs, water temps of 47.9 degrees and air is N/A.  Douglas City is 6.4ft at 504cfs, water temps of 50.3, air is 60. Junction City is 1.9ft at 473cfs.  Helena is N/Aft at N/Acfs with water temps of N/A. Cedar Flat is 2.9ft at 616cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 693cfs air is 59 and water at 57. Hoopa is 11.7ft at 884cfs with water temps of 60.8.  Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 3,052cfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,199cfs.  Seiad Valley is 2.5ft at 1,449cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,503cfs, Salmon River is 1.8ft at 279cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 1,889cfs and Orleans is 3.3ft. at 2,168cfs and the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.4ft at 3,363cfs, with water temperatures of 61.1 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 4.87ft at 311267cfs. 

Temperatures in the Valley last week were 80/46 degrees and 1.35in of rain with a season total of 86.65in of rain and 3.5in of snow.

Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to be 89/49 degrees with a chance of scattered showers later in the week but mostly cloudy days. (Good for fishing)

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

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