Weather has changed
Trinity River - Douglas City, CA
by E.B. Duggan
The weather has changed and we are definitely into fall weather. The water year for 2018 -2019 began October 1 and Willow Creek has received 0.9 inches of rain. On Oct. 3 Douglas City and Lewiston had a heavy rain cell come into their area and dropped 0.25 to 0.50 inches of rain that caused a wall of mud to come to out of the Deadwood Creek drainage and into the Trinity River. (Note that the Carr Fire burnt into the Deadwood Creek area and almost into Lewiston) This wall of mud started to move down the river and by 9:00 a.m. Douglas City store noted that the river was a solid wall of mud and moving down river. By Friday Oct. 5, it had reached Big Bar and moving down to Del Loma. This was very disturbing to many of the fishermen and I started to get phone calls to see if I knew what was causing it. After many phone calls I was able to find out that the Carr Fire in the Deadwood Creek Drainage area had not been rehabbed yet from fire suppression tactics and that is why so much silt and dirt was able to reach the creek and into the river.
Sometimes it takes a while to get fire damaged areas rehabbed from fires and this is one of those problems. I hope the US Forest Service will be able to try and get to that area soon. Funding will be the major hold up. The good part is that as of today, Sunday Oct 7th, the river has pretty well cleared its self up and the Willow Creek area just got a little discolored water.
Special Notice: The department of U S Commerce has declared the West Coast Fishery a disaster for 2015 to 2017 as of Sept. 25th. West Coast Commercial salmon fishermen will be able to apply for Disaster Relief Funds for July 2016 to March 2018. This will be very helpful to the fishing and support industries. Let’s just hope it will apply to the inland salmon fishing people also. I know that the last time this happened I went to the Golden State Fishermen’s Association meeting in San Francisco and was able to include $3 million for California Inland Fishery group that helped many guides and businesses receive funding.
Lower Klamath Count: For the week of Sept. 30; I was unable to get the report for this area.
Klamath Iron Gate: No report for this week; Shasta, Chinook salmon 4,115, season total 4,477; Bogus Creek, Chinook salmon 0, season total 14; Scott, Chinook salmon 0, season total 0.
Trinity River Hatchery: For the week of Sept.24 – Sept 30; Chinook salmon, jacks 145 adults 672 total 817, season total 1,542; Coho 0; steelhead, ½-lbs 1, adults 1, total 2, season total 3.
Junction City weir trapping: Week of Sep. 24 – Sep. 30; Chinook salmon; jacks 10, adults 87, total 97, season total 1,045. Coho, jacks 0, total 0, season to date 0; Steelhead; 1/2lbs 0, adults 5, total 5, season to date 61; Brown Trout 0 total 0, season to date 20.
Willow Creek weir trapping: Week of Sep. 24 – Sep. 30; jacks 125, adults 391, total 516 season total 857; Coho, jacks 0; adults 0, total 0, season 2; Steelhead, ½-lbs 1, adults 89, total 90 season total 221. The bears are raising hell at the weir and the new camera system is causing the fish to shy off from going through the tunnel. I hope this will change soon as there are plenty of fish stacking up below the weir.
Fishing: The Lewiston Dam is releasing water flows of 460fs. at 11:00 a.m. Sunday Oct.7. As of last Friday CDFW has not declared the Trinity has reached their quota for adult Chinook salmon and there is the possibility that the season could be extended to Oct. 21st. This is great news as there has not been very much harvesting of adult salmon on the Trinity. Also, the main part of the fall run has not arrived yet. After seeing the counts this last week at the W. C. weir we could be seeing that happen very soon though. I am seeing more fishermen along the river now and I am getting more reports of people landing fish, both steelhead and salmon. I think the weather change has had a lot to do with it as it is getting colder in the mornings and the water temps are dropping. My suggestion is to get out there now as there will not be a better time. Each week there seems to be more steelies arriving in the Willow Creek area and that only means that fishing is going to get hot.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing flows of 1,041cfs. This is a great time to fish the Upper Klamath from I-5 to the dam. I know fishing has really picked up in the Orleans to Happy Camp section of the river and the river has cleared as the temperatures have dropped. The Wetchpec section of the river has been reporting a good steelhead and salmon for some very good fishing.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98% of capacity (an increase of 1%) with inflows of 406cfs and releasing 105cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 42% of capacity (a decrease of 11% and 12ft) with inflows of 4,609cfs and releasing 6,261cfs, Keswick is 89% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) with inflows of 7,239cfs and releasing 7,705cfs; Oroville Lake is 37% capacity (a decrease of 2% & minus 6ft), inflow is8351cfs and releases are 3,615cfs; Folsom Lake is 47% of capacity (minus 1% & minus 1ft.) inflows are 1,035cfs and releases are 1,739cfs.
Trinity Lake: the Lake is 68ft below the overflow (an increase of 1ft) and 61% of capacity (0% decrease) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 129cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 936cfs to Lewiston Lake with 812s going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 7,705cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 460cfs with water temps of 50.6 degrees and air at 56 at 11:00am today Sunday Oct. 7. Limekiln Gulch is 5ft at 485cfs, with water temps of 49.5 degrees. Douglas City is 6.4ft at 487cfs, water temps of 51.2 degrees and air is 56 Junction City is 1.9ft at 467cfs. Helena is 8.8ft at 482fs with water temps of 51.2; Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.7ft at 544cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 626cfs and air is 59 with water at 56. Hoopa is 11.4ft at 677cfs with water temps of 90.
Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 2,605cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,041cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.2ft at 1,264cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,309cfs, Salmon River is 1.7ft at 204cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 1,724cfs and Orleans is 2.9ft. at 1,928cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.1ft at 2,839cfs, with water temperatures of 61.5 degrees. Flows for Smith River at Dr. Fine Bridge are 4.7ft at 285cfs.
The temperatures in the Valley last week were 72/48 with 0.9in of rain and a season total of 0.9in of rain (Oct 1 new water year). Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to reach 79/42 degrees with a cool down and some sunshine next week, then a couple of days of scattered showers the week after.
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