More rain, then sun for the week
Trinity River - Willow Creek Weir - Willow Creek, CA (Humboldt County)
by E.B. Duggan
More rain and then some sunshine sounds great. This makes for more water storage, just what we need. One little thing, Governor Newson plans to try and add another 300,000 homes to California to try to help solve the housing shortage. Now add to that the 60,000 or more homes lost to the fires we are talking another 300,000AF (acre feet) of water. Who is going to provide this water, or should we ask where is it going to come from? We are already in water wars over who gets how much and from where. Another 300,000AF per year for the next ten years to meet Governor Newsom’s proposal of providing 5 million new homes in the state is going to strip all the water in the state to provide the water needed for those proposed homes. The extension of Shasta Dam to help provide extra water is already under legal threat. So, how do we provide extra water for the needs of the state? Ask your legislators!
The South Fork of the Trinity River is in need of water for the survival of the spring run Chinook salmon. The count for the spring run has been decreasing since 2013. In 2017, the count was less than 20 and the 2018 count was 12. We are looking at the possibility of this run becoming extinct. There is the possibility of cannabis water draws being a very good reason there is less water for the salmon. Restoration of habitat could possibly help save this run, but cool water is needed and many of the cold-water streams that feed into the South Fork have dwindled down to near trickles.
NOTE: One of our stalwarts in fishing is calling it quits! Yes, we are losing another old-time fishing partner, Tim Brady has finally said he wants to retire and try to enjoy life at his pleasure. Tim is closing the Trinity Outdoor tackle shop in Weaverville. Good Luck and great retirement to you Tim.
PFMC: The Pacific Fishery Management Councils Draft Salmon Management Plan for rebuilding the Sacramento fall Chinook and the Klamath River fall Chinook salmon, is out for public review and comment. You can review the plan on their website, and please send you comments to the council.
How is the upcoming PFMC meetings impacted by the government shutdown? The implications are that some meetings for the statistical teams will not occur as the teams are on furlough, and the information they provide could possibly not be available for fisheries consideration. The council’s March meeting in Vancouver, Washington will occur and conduct as much business as possible. The April meeting in Calif. is also planned to go forward. The meeting dates and locations are on the website.
Humboldt Steelhead Days: The annual hatchery steelhead derby started Saturday Jan. 19th and runs through to Feb. 23. Anglers can sign up for the contest or get information at humboldtsteelheaddays.com.
Klamath Iron Gate: The counts were still going up for the Scott and Shasta Rivers before the rains came but the Scott has really come up and flows are presently reaching 3,271cfs.
Trinity River Hatchery: TRH for the week of Jan. 22 thru Jan. 28; Chinook 1, season total 7,705; Coho 0, season total 745; Steelhead 155, season total 1,119.
Redd Survey: No survey last week due to the weather and the river too high.
Fishing: The river this week is blown out, Willow Creek is looking at 18,455cfs, and the river bar in front of my house is about to go under water. Prior to the storms, the Trinity was seeing a good run of fresh fish coming through, but the storms have just about wiped out any chance of winter steelhead fishing for at least a week. If, and that is a big "if" the rains subside, we could see some great winter run steelhead fishing in the upper sections of the river by the weekend. The upper sections of the river flush out fast and could possibly be fishable. I would check with a reliable source before you make the trip.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,240cfs. at this time which makes it very unlikely to be fishable. Keep an eye out for water flows, and when they drop to a fishable condition, fishing from I-5 to Iron Gate should be hot fishing for steelhead and trout. The Seiad Valley is flowing 10,117cfs right now, so the mid to lower sections of the Klamath are totally unfishable.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 88% of capacity (an increase of 3%) with inflows of 1,675cfs and releasing 2,128cfs into Clear Creek and on to Keswick. Shasta is 58% of capacity (an increase of 5% and plus 12ft) with inflows of 19,459cfs and releasing 303cfs, Keswick is 91% of capacity with inflows of 11,930cfs and releasing 3,154cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 35% of capacity (an increase of 4% plus 21ft) with inflows of 11,930cfs and releases of 1,175cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 44% of capacity (an increase of 10% plus 10ft) with inflows of 6,931cfs and releases of 1,684cfs.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 64ft below the overflow (a decrease of 4ft) and 63% of capacity (an increase of 2%). Inflows are 5,296cfs and 504cfs is being released into Lewiston Lake with 204 cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 363cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 300cfs and water temperatures of N/A degrees and air at N/A as of 2:00pm Sunday Jan. 20, 2019. Limekiln Gulch is 5.60ft at 974cfs and water temps of 44.7, Douglas City is 8.05ft and 1,801cfs. Junction City is N/A at N/Acfs. Helena is 11.86ft at 1,948cfs with water temps of 45.3 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 11.42ft at 10,444cfs. South Fork of the Trinity is 11.22ft at 8,011cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 18,455cfs and air is 48 degrees and water at 45 degrees. Hoopa is 25.18ft at 32.336cfs and is 45.5 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River are estimated to be 87,821cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate is releasing 1,241cfs. Seiad Valley is 8.54ft at 10,117cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 14,097cfs, Salmon River is 11.28ft at 17,0093cfs, Somes Bar is estimated at 38,392cfs. Orleans is 19.01ft at 55,485cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 28,76ft at 119,845cfs and water temps of 46.9 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 20.81ft and flows of 45,969cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week were 53 hi and low 37. Rain for the week was 8.12in and total rain for the water year to date is 31.34 inches with no snow in the valley yet. Rain is predicted for rest of the week with sunshine the following weekend.
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