Last week I was on the road with other business. Sorry about no report! Besides fishing was slow on the Trinity and everyone was trying to locate the fish. It appears that fishing for salmon on the Trinity is over! The numbers are not in yet but the overall count from what I have seen so far is NOT GOOD! It could be that the 272,000 estimated return to the mouth of the Klamath may have been a little over estimated for this year. This has happened in the past and I am sure that it will happen again in the future. I just wish there was some way to fine tune the modeling program to try and provide a better estimate for the returns. One thing for sure is that I now believe there is more reason than ever for a Mid-Season review of the harvesting of the salmon so that some type of adjustment can be made for harvesting the salmon so that we are in a better position to make sure that we can make the escapement goal. Reaching the escapement goal should be our primary concern so that there will be a sustainable fishery. Yes the salmon and steelhead runs are cyclical and that many different conditions make up the type of returns that will come back into the rivers. But if we over harvest the return it will hinder the opportunity to provide a sustainable fishery for future runs.
Sport fishing permits are now available for the Hoopa Reservation. Cost is $4.00 per person $6.00 per vehicle; you have to go to the Hoopa Forestry department and ask for Phillis and she will help you, then fill out the permit and pay the appropriate fees and you are good to go fishing.
Fishing News: Now that we have had some rain and the river has come up a little bit and water temperatures are dropping, the steelhead are starting to move into the river system, fishing should be improving as we go into the holidays. Winter flows have not been reached yet but there is some fresh steelies slowly coming up the Trinity. The main run of fall steelhead are not far from coming into the system so I expect that any amount of rain will cause some type of a large movement. The best thing I can recommend is to keep an eye out for rain or some type of large weather movement coming into the northwest. Right now we have some color to the river and flies are working pretty well. In talking with some of the locals I have found out that working some of the deep holes below the riffles with spinners or spoons does get you some results. The bait fishers are having some fair to good luck soaking night crawlers verses roe for right now.
Up river in the Junction City area the river is much clearer and the fly fishers are doing better than the hardware fishers. I do know that there is one heck of a lot of boat traffic on the river up there over the last couple of weeks so some of them are heading down to Willow Creek area.
I checked out the Hawkins Bar area and found out that the river is kind of shallow through that area and that the fishing is kind of slow right now. Rain will help and we are supposed to get some towards the end of this week.
Mid - Klamath: (Weitchpec to Happy Camp/Seiad Valley) The Weitchpec/Orleans area has seen an influx of fresh steelhead this past week and fishing has started to pick up some. Talking with my buddy Tom Willson of Spey-Gee Resort from Weitchec, he said that he and his son went fishing the other evening and they landed some adults about 5-6lbs. Tom said that they were able to catch five adults and 6 ½-pounders down below his house in about 1-1/2hrs throwing spinners. That tells me that fresh fish are moving up the Klamath. Doug Cole of Marble Mountain Ranch said that his fishing guests fishing Ti Bar to Orleans were doing well throwing flies. His recommendation was to not spend a lot of time in one spot and keep moving. Fishing the deeper holes and not spending much time working the riffles was more productive for them.
Willow Creek Weir Count: Week ending Nov.18, 2013; Fall Chinook 78 for a total of 103 to date, 2013 season total 711; 2012 season total 2,603; 2013 season Coho this week 54,for a total 326; 2013 stlhd ½ lb’ers 2,season total 29, adults 14, season total 1,752, 2012 adults season total 3,616.
Trinity River Hatchery Count (TRH): For the week ending Nov. 18, Fall Chinook 65, total 148; Coho 172, total 309; hatchery steelhead 27, total 80.
Trinity Lake: Trinity Lake is 93ft. (1ft. increase) below the overflow and 49.6 % of capacity (0.3% decrease) at 10:00 a.m. today. Inflow to the lake was 115cfs and Trinity Dam releases are 634cfs to Lewiston Lake with 322cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and then on to the Sacramento River at Keswick.
Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 312cfs, water temps 45, air is 30 degrees. Limekiln Gulch is 4.7ft at 286cfs; Douglas City is 5.9ft at 311cfs, water temps of 42.6 and air is 31. Junction City is 1.5ft at 319cfs. Helena is 8.5ft at 310cfs with water temps of 47.4. Cedar Flat is 2.6ft at 449cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 548cfs, air is 37, and water 43. Hoopa is 11.7ft at 752cfs, water temps 45.1. Mouth of the Trinity at the Klamath 2,832cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are1, 010cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.4ft at 1,400cfs. Happy Camp estimated at 1,478cfs. Somes Bar is estimated at 1,769cfs. Orleans is 3.5ft at 2,080fs. Klamath at 101 is 9ft at 3,900cfs and water temps of 46.2 degrees. Smith River is 6.6ft at 1,180cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week were 58/34 degrees with frosty mornings with 4.3 inches of rain, total to date 8 inches for the season. The temperatures in the valley next week are expected to be 59/31 degrees. Mon-Tue, mostly sunny; Wed, partly cloudy; Thu, mostly cloudy w/possible showers; Fri, mostly sun; Sat, partly cloudy W/ scattered showers; Sun partly cloudy; Mon, scattered showers.