The Bureau of Reclamation declared the Trinity River Basin as an Extremely Dry Water year. On April 18 BOR has determined that the Trinity River Valley would receive 369,000AF of water for the water year (as per the Record of Decision 2000) and agreed to Spring water releases of; Apr. 23, 300cfs to 900cfs; Apr. 24, 900cfs to peak at 1,500cfs, May 29 to start ramp down to 1,200cfs; June 2-5 ramp down to 700cfs and by June 26 to be at summer flows of 450cfs. The Fall flows will ramp down to 300cfs on Oct. 15th for the Fall salmon spawning season. What does an Extremely Dry Water year mean for the Trinity River Valley? What I see is that the river is going to be really warm this year due to a lack of cold water pool in Trinity Lake. The releases will make it hard for the Trinity River to maintain proper water temperatures for the outmigration of the freshly released smolt in the upper river from Douglas City to the North Fork. It has also been recognized that water temperatures at Weitchpec are going to be very critical for the incoming Fall Run Chinook come August/Sept. We could be in a position that could possibly create another salmon die-off like we had on the Klamath River below Weitchpec in 2002. Can the Klamath – Trinity River Basin salmon runs sustain this type of water conditions and still provide a future salmon fishery? I don’t have the expertise to determine that and I am not sure if our powers that be can either!
I made a statement several years ago that the next “Gold Rush” in Calif. is going to be the need of water! We are feeling that now with the drought as the government is slowly choking off the farmers in the central valley from water. Crops do not grow without water and fish cannot live without water. People need food and I don’t see how one can grow food without water. The Big Agri-business has to be reined in and controlled so that real farmers can do their job, grow crops to feed people. Fishing is also a business just like farming is. It feeds people too!
Fishing News: The Trinity has been dropping on a steady basis and is in good fishing condition but I have yet to see very many spring salmon in the river. Gays Falls and Burnt Ranch Falls are open to fishing with two (2) salmon per day limit. I have not seen very many locals fishing yet so I expect that the springs have NOT arrived yet. There are a few early Springer’s moving up the river but the main run has not showed up yet. Let’s hope that the Spring Flows will start them up the Trinity and we can catch some salmon. There is a lot of smolt moving down the river right now and it is very hard to fish with any kind of bait. Upriver the Brown Trout are still having a feeding frenzy on all the smolt and have started to follow them down the river. As you move on down river the water is just beautiful and looks very fishable. All we need is some more Springer’s to show up and then it is “Fish ON”!
Mid - Klamath: (Weitchpec to Happy Camp/Seiad Valley) the Klamath from Weitchpec up is looking better each day for fishing but I still have not heard of any fresh Springer’s being landed. Above Orleans one should start to see some trout around Happy Camp and the Seiad Valley up to I-5. Above I-5 the trout fishing is getting better as the weather permits.
Trinity Lake: Trinity Lake is 84ft. (0.0ft. increase) below the overflow and 53.6 % of capacity (0.1% increase) at 12:00 p.m. today. Inflow to the lake was 678 cfs and Trinity Dam releases are 2,127cfs to Lewiston Lake with 1,825cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and then on to the Sacramento River at Keswick.
Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 302cfs, water temps 55.8, air is 67 degrees. Limekiln Gulch is 4.5ft at 335cfs; Douglas City is 6.1ft at 406cfs, water temps of 54.7 and air is 66. Junction City is 1.8ft at 435cfs. Helena is 9.2.ft at 588cfs with water temps of 54.5. Cedar Flat is 3.6ft at 879cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 1,643cfs, air is 70, and water 56. Hoopa is 13.4ft at 2,050cfs, water temps 58. Mouth of the Trinity at the Klamath is 6,340 cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,320 cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.6ft at 1,960cfs. Happy Camp estimated at 2,165cfs. Somes Bar is estimated at 4,300 cfs. Orleans is 3.5ft at 4,290cfs. Klamath at 101 is 10.9ft at 8,590 cfs and water temps of 57.2 degrees. Smith River is 6.9ft at 1,460 cfs. Temperatures in the Valley last week were 84/42 degrees with 0.1 inches of rain, total rain to date 33.5 inches of rain and 2.5in of snow for the season.
Temperatures the Valley next week are expected to be 707/423 degrees with some sunshine and scattered clouds. Mon-Tue-Wed-Thu, partly cloudy; Fri- Sat, mostly cloudy; Sun-Mon, partly cloudy; Tue am clouds-pm sun.