Well it is that time of year when everybody gets together and the PFMC, CDFW and the many fishing group/interests start reviewing the “Stock assessment/Returns” to try and ascertain what the estimated Chinook salmon/Coho salmon/Steelhead returned to the major river basins, harvests in those river basins and what the possible numbers might be available for Tribal, commercial, ocean sport and in-river sport harvest may be for the coming 2014 fishing season. The preliminary numbers are not all that good for us sport fishermen. The meetings begin in Santa Rosa, starting February 26th from 9-3 at the Sonoma County Water Agency, 404 Aviation Blvd. The next will be March 3 in Eureka for a Public Hearing on the proposed Klamath regulations,( location to be announced); March 8-13 Sacrament PFMC to provide the preliminary quotas for harvest of Chinook salmon by all of the fishing interests. I will be attending the Eureka & Sacramento meetings to speak in behave of the In-River Sports fishing. I know many of you do not understand all of the number things but if at all possible you might want to try to attend the Eureka meeting. I will post the time & location just as soon as I get them.
2013 Chinook Salmon Return; Iron Gate Hatchery Spawners (IGH ) Totals, Jacks 1,323, adults 13,431, totals 14,754; Klamath main stem natural spawners, 35,252. Trinity River Hatchery Spawners (TRH) jacks 135, adults 3,717, total 3,852, total hatchery returns 18,606. Main stem Trinity River natural spawners, jacks 7,069, adults 27,665, total 34,734. Total spawner escapement, 88,529.
2013 In-River Chinook Salmon Harvest (including tribal net harvests), 85,019 Chinook salmon. Sport angler harvest 21,989, tribal net harvest 63,030. 2013 Estimated Klamath River Basin return was 272,000. Actual River return was 179,541Chinook salmon (a 92,459 difference) many of you have asked “What happened to the fish?” All I can say is you have the numbers so if you disagree then you need to write to the Calif. Fish and Game Commissioners and the PFMC and tell them what you think. I try to express to them how and what the sport fishermen I see or hear from as to what they think but it doesn’t always get through to them.
Fishing News: This storm did its’ job and brought in fresh fish and the rivers have finally calmed down and turned green and fishable. The Trinity is a perfect steelhead green with a good mix of adults and 1/2 –pounders in it. The adults are not all big fish as I have seen some small adults 2-3lbs being landed. This morning I shuttled a couple of fishermen into South Fork and as I was making the change over one of them hooked three 1/2lbers right there at the put-in fly fishing. Yesterday I watched a bank fisher and two guys in a drift boat at Kimtu beach hook up several bright fish. One fly fishing and the boaters using hardware.
Up river fishing has been doing well. Most of the people I have talked to have been getting 2 to 5 fish per outing, all very bright fish with a mix of adult and half-pounders. From what I have been able to gather the mix of hatchery to native steelies is about 60/40 native to hatchery down river and 50/50 hatchery to native up river.
Mid - Klamath: (Weitchpec to Happy Camp/Seiad Valley) the Weitchpec/ Orleans area is flowing good for fishing and is a nice green color. Tommy Willson of Spey Gey Resort (530-625-4193 fished yesterday morning with a couple of customers and was able to catch and release 4 small adults 2-3lbs with 10 half-pounders, all dime bright! This tells me that we are still getting fresh fish into the system even though it is late in to the season.
Trinity Lake: Trinity Lake is 96ft. (12ft. increase) below the overflow and 48.1 % of capacity (0% increase) at 11:00 a.m. today. Inflow to the lake was 442cfs and Trinity Dam releases are 545cfs to Lewiston Lake with 233cfs 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 46.9, air is 41 degrees. Limekiln Gulch is 4.8ft at 322cfs; Douglas City is 6ft at 370cfs, water temps of 46 and air is 44. Junction City is 1.6ft at 378cfs. Helena is 8.8ft at 470cfs with water temps of 47 Cedar Flat is 3.6ft at 842cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,171cfs, air is 48, and water 46. Hoopa is 13.6ft at 6,790cfs, water temps 46.4. Mouth of the Trinity at the Klamath is 12.5K cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,300cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.4ft at 2,250cfs. Happy Camp estimated at 2,545cfs. Somes Bar is estimated at 4,190 cfs. Orleans is 6.1ft at 5,740 cfs. Klamath at 101 is 12.1ft at 12.4K cfs and water temps of 46.4 degrees. Smith River is 9.1ft at 4,190cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week were 60/39 degrees with 1 inch of rain and no snow, total to date 18.8 inches of rain and 2.5in of snow for the season. We are still behind in rain fall for this season and the drought is still upon us for the coming summer. Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to be 63/37 degrees with some rain & scattered showers for the coming week. Mon-Tue cloudy; Wed, rain; Thu, scattered showers; Fri-Sat, rain; Sun, cloudy; Mon, scattered showers.