Rain and snow expected for the weekend
Trinity River - Willow Creek Weir - Willow Creek, CA (Humboldt County)
by E.B. Duggan
I hope everyone had a good and safe New Year’s weekend. I have to apologize to all my readers for not having a Fishing Report for the last several weeks. My computer crashed. I had to try and recover my data then buy a new compute and transfer the data into the new computer. Not easy, as I am still trying!
Take note: The month of January is report and harvest card reporting time. You want to make sure that you fill out your salmon report and steelhead harvest cards then send them into CDFW, the address is on the bottom of the card or you can send them in by email, whichever you prefer, but please send the information in. You may ask why? The information is essential for the coming 2019 salmon and steelhead fishing season.
The weather has been very fickle as to what it wants to do. One time it says it will rain and the next it says it won’t. The good news is that we are starting to get a good snow pack in the Sierras. The last snow pack report stated that we were at 67 percent of normal for this time of year, but with this new set of storms coming in that should change very quickly.
The Trinity River has been dropping at a steady rate and is starting to get low for this time of year. I know we are behind for rainfall at this time of year but the new set of storms coming in is going to make a big difference in the water flows. We will soon see. For the next week or so you want to double check for road conditions before you make the trip up to the Trinity as Hwy 299 has been having some slides between Junction City and Del Loma. Right now, the highway is good but it can change at any time when we are having storms.
Klamath Iron Gate: the counts are still going up for the Scot and Shasta Rivers but I am still having trouble getting the data.
Trinity River Hatchery: TRH has started to spawn steelhead and salmon for eggs at the hatchery and I expect the hatchery will have no trouble reaching their egg quota. Right now, the total Fall Chinook salmon entering the hatchery is 7,268.
Willow Creek weir trapping: I am still having some trouble downloading the data for here.
Redd Survey: The Redd survey has been doing well with 18 Redds counted in the upper reach last week for a total of 2,58 Redds counted on the Trinity.
Fishing: For the last week the Trinity has been crystal clear and cold with water temperatures running in the low 40s. Last week, my fishing buddy Tom and his friends fished the Trinity from the South Fork down to Big Rock and was able to hook into a fair amount of ½-pounders but no adults. This was not good fishing news for the Willow Creek area, but talking to Todd LeBoeuf of Tiger T Guide Service the upper Trinity was fishing well for his clients. Todd was able to average 6 – 9 steelhead per trip with 3-5 adults for fly fishing, hardware and plugs or bait. His best trip was 11 steelhead. With the clear water fly fishing was hard, but successful for the client. One of his trips was with a grandpa and his grandson; that was the trip that landed 11 steelhead. They were fishing plugs and bait.
Fishing the upper river is hard due to the changing of the river from the restoration projects. One could run plugs at the head of riffles and bait into the deeper holes. Visibility in the upper river has been 6ft or better, so if you are running plugs, you need to be out about 40 to45ft when back trolling. When the new storms hit, I would expect some mud from the Carr Fire complex (around Deadwood Creek drainage) to come into the Upper Trinity and mud from South Fork on the Lower Trinity. It shouldn’t take too long.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 954cfs. at this time. The Upper Klamath has been fishing well for he last couple of weeks for the report I received last week. This is good news because I was unable to get a report for a while. Happy Camp is a little hard fishing at this time, but after the storms blow by it should pick up again. The Orleans area has been ½-pounders only but that will change with more water coming down. Weitchpec has been fishing hard for adults but doing well for ½-pounders on spinners.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 85% of capacity (a decrease of 2%) with inflows of 319cfs and releasing 289cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 50% of capacity (an increase of 0% and plus 6ft) with inflows of 4,499cfs and releasing 3,455cfs, Keswick is 86% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 6ft) with inflows of 3,636cfs and releasing 3,886cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 29% of capacity (a decrease of 0% minus 2ft) with inflows of 2,921cfs and releases of 2,407cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 32% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 4ft) with inflows of 259cfs and releases of 289cfs.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 71ft below the overflow (an increase of 01ft) and N/A% of capacity (an increase of 0%) inflows are N/A cfs and N/A cfs is being released into Lewiston Lake with N/A cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing N/A cfs into the Sacramento River. (The Lake graff is out right now).
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 292cfs and water temperatures of N/A degrees and air at N/A as of 10:00am Saturday Jan. 5, 2019. Limekiln Gulch is 4.7ft at 321cfs and water temps of 41.3, Douglas City is 6.2ft and 366cfs. Junction City is N/A at 389cfs. Helena is 8.6ft at 436cfs with water temps of 41.6. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3ft at 656cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 949cfs and air is 43 degrees and water at 42. Hoopa is 12.6ft at 1,511cfs and air is 41.3. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River are estimated to be 4,431cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate is releasing 964cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.4 at 1,448cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,584cfs, Salmon River is 2.6 at 659cfs, Somes Bar is flowing at 2,246cfs. Orleans is 43.7ft at 2,920cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 9.5ft at 6,158cfs and water temps of 40.4 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Dr. Fine Bridge, I was not able to get today.
Temperatures in the Valley last week were 49 high and 27 low. Rain for the week was 0.03in and total rain for the water year to date is 16.86 inches with no snow in the valley yet. Rain and snow is predicted for the Weaverville area this week but I am still unable to get into the weather format yet.
Good Fish’en and Good Luck but remember; “keep your tip up with a tight line lands fish”
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