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Trinity water flows

by E.B. Duggan

The winter water flows are here! Oct. 14 water releases from Lewiston Dam to the Trinity River would drop 450cfs to 400cfs; Oct. 15 water releases from Lewiston Dam into the Trinity River would drop from 400cfs to 350cfs; Oct 16 water releases from Lewiston Dam to the Trinity River would drop from 350cfs to 300cfs, these flows will continue for the winter months. For the last several weeks, the Trinity River water flows have been decreasing due to the lack of rain fall and the river is becoming shallow in many spots for drift boats. The good news is that many steelhead are doing their best to get up river to reach the creeks they will spawn in. This is the same for Chinook salmon. You can bet that after the first heavy rains the Trinity will see a large inflow of Fall run salmon and steelhead. For right now, the fish that are in the river are holding in some of the deep pools and the rest are trying to get up river. 

Have you emailed the Fish and Game Commission about the regulations changes? If not we are running out of time. Send your email to and state you would like to have the meeting closer to where the rules will affect the fishermen not at the other end of the state. The reduction of leader length for flossing (snagging) is a good idea but it is not a good rule for fly fishing. Let them know how you feel. 

Central Valley Project begins the 2018 water year with 8.9 million acre feet of water as to 2016/17 water year at 4.9 million acre feet of water. This is good news for farmers. Note: Southern California Metropolitan Water District as well as several others back Gov. Brown’s water tunnels but the Centro Valley Farmers that use the CVP water complain it is too expensive at $17Billion.  

Trinity River Hatchery: For the week ending Oct 7; Chinook salmon, jacks 73, adults 415, total 488, and season total 1,379; Coho salmon 0; steelhead 0, and season total 4.

Junction City weir: For the week ending Oct. 7; Chinook salmon, jacks10, adults 11, total 21, season total 208  Coho 0,  adult Steelhead 5 , ½-lbs 0, total 52, season total 63; Brown Trout, 0, season total 9. 

Willow Creek weir: For the week ending Oct. 7; Chinook salmon, jacks  107, adults 165, total 632, season total 1,284; Coho, jacks 3, adults 1, total 4, season total 4; steelhead, ½-lbs 3, adults 103   total 272, season total 1,556. 

Klamath Iron Gate: From Sep. 11  to Oct 1 - Bogus Creek, Chinook 220; Shasta River Sep 6 to sep 28 Chinook salmon 3,3305; Scott River from Sep12 to Oct 1, Chinook 90.

Fishing: Fishing for the past week on the lower part of the Trinity has been slow due to the lack of fishermen. It could be because of the Highway closures or lack of camping spaces or some other reason I am not aware of. The one thing I do know is that fish are making their way up to the Willow Creek Weir because the numbers are still up into the hundreds. As for upriver, the fish are having a hard time getting up through the Falls area. I must remind you that the river from the Falls area at Hawkins Bar up to the Bridge at Cedar Flat is closed until December 31 due to the low water flows as is many of the other north coast rivers are. There is still Hwy 299 closures by escort only from Big French Creek to Junction City because of Hwy rehab from the fires.  From Junction City to Lewiston there are road closures so fishing in that area should be good. Del Loma is still having good fishing when the people go fishing but very few are fishing at this time.

Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,173cfs. and this should provide for some good fishing in Seiad Valley (Happy Camp) as well as from I- 5 up to Iron Gate Dam. This part of the Klamath is HOT for trout and small adult steelhead. With the fish that have been moving through Weitchpec fishing the Upper Klamath should only get better.

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 92% of capacity with inflows of 99cfs and releasing 710cfs into Clear Creek and to Keswick. Shasta is 72% of capacity (a decrease of 1% & minus 2ft) with inflows of 3,611cfs and releasing 6,785cfs, Keswick is 94% of capacity (a increase of 3%) with inflows of 7,430cfs and releasing 7,369cfs; Oroville Lake is 36%  capacity (a decrease of 0% & minus 3ft), inflow is 1,947cfs and releases are 3,318 cfs; Folsom Lake is 62% of capacity (minus 2% & minus 2ft.) inflows are 1,396cfs and releases are 2,327cfs. 

Trinity Lake: The Lake is 46ft below the overflow (increase of 0ft) and 73% of capacity (1% decrease) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 125cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 617cfs to Lewiston Lake with 267cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant and it is releasing  7,369cfs 52to the Sacramento River. 

Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 362cfs with water temps of 48.1 and air is 63 degrees at 12:00 pm Sunday. Limekiln Gulch is 4.8ft at 432cfs, water temps of 46.1 degrees and air is N/A.  Douglas City is 6.3ft at 442cfs, water temps of 47.8, air is 58. Junction City is 1.8ft at 473cfs.  Helena is 8.8ft at 481cfs with water temps of 48.8. Cedar Flat is 2.7ft at 544cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 607cfs air is 55 and water at 50.2. Hoopa is 11.6ft at 823cfs with water temps of 54.5.  Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 2,893cfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,193cfs.  Seiad Valley is 3.1ft at 1,339cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,90cfs, Salmon River is 1.7ft at 231cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 1,840cfs and Orleans is 3.4ft. at 2,070cfs and the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.2ft at 2,009cfs, with water temperatures of 55 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 4.7ft at 257cfs. 

Temperatures in the Valley last week were 75/37 degrees with frost and 0.00in of rain with a season total of 0.00in of rain and 0.0in of snow. The temperatures for next week is to be 84/37.We are going to see some clouds then some rain in the middle of the week then a week of sunshine. It looks like fair weather coming our way when we could use more rain to help dampen the fires up here.  

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

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