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For past reports on the Trinity River, click here.
Spring water releases are in the process and most reservoirs are releasing as much water as possible because the snowpack in both the Sierras and Trinity Alps are abnormally high for this time of year. Right now as I write this column, it is raining here in the Trinity Valley and snowing up in the Marble Mountains and probably in the Trinity Alps.
Trinity Dam and Lewiston are at mid-peak flows and the river is receiving 5,400cfs plus all of the downstream inflows. This is good for the river but very dangerous for the upcoming Memorial Day Holidays.
As for the Memorial Days opening of most fishing areas it will be very high water flows for the fishing and rafting. Waders and swimmers please use great caution because the current is going to be very swift. The kayaker’s and rafters are going to love it. Just be sure you are using the proper personal flotation devices as they could save your life. As for the family picnic along the river be sure you keep an eye on the kids at all times as it only takes a moment and they are gone! By July 1st the Trinity should be down to 2,000cfs.
If you are planning on attending the Hoopa Boat Races this year they will be held on June 10th & 11th on the Trinity River from Kimtu Beach down to Hoopa and back. These races used to happen in May around Mother’s Day but were moved forward to June because of the high water releases. The races are fun to watch and enjoy but you have to remember that you will not be able to use the river during that time in that area.
Fishing: The Trinity is still high and muddy but it is that time of year that the spring Chinook are looking to try and head up the river. The problem I see is that it is going to be hard to locate the fish. If I were to try and fish I would work the shallow side of the river and the back eddies. With the increase of water releases from Lewiston to the Trinity (5,400cfs) there will not be much fishing on the Trinity any time soon. The good news is the Trinity River Spring salmon fishing season is open until August 31st with two (2) salmon of any size with only two (2) salmon in passion. That means if you catch two salmon you either have to eat or give away some of your catch before you can catch another salmon. Also at the same time summer steelhead fishing is open so you have to release any salmon you catch if you have salmon in your passion.
There is some good fishing over on the Sacramento River in the Redding area. My fishing buddy Todd LeBoeuf of Tiger T Guide Service has been fishing the Posse Grounds and the downtown area with very good results while fishing for Trout. For the last several weeks Todd has been able to land 20 to 25 trout per outing with trout up to 25in. In fact on Wednesday May 10th he took his grandson and son out for a couple of hours of fishing and they were able to land 25 fish with his grandson Maddox hooking and landing his very first fish.
Mid-Klamath: Iron Gate Dam is releasing 3,060cfs and Seiad Valley gauge is reading at 7.2ft at 7,660cfs, so the Klamath River is unfishable at this time. Also spring salmon fishing season is open on the Lower Klamath with the same restrictions as above, 2 fish per day and 2 fish in passion.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99% of capacity with inflows of 3,464cfs and releasing 3,575cfs into Clear Creek & Keswick. Shasta is 96 of capacity (a increase of 0% & plus 1ft) inflows of 102,41183cfs and releasing 8,628cfs, Keswick is 92% of capacity with inflows of 11,936cfs and releasing 12,414fs; Oroville Lake is 77% of capacity (a increase of 0% & plus 1ft), inflow is 16,472fs and releases are 30,530cfs; Folsom Lake is 81% of capacity (plus 6% & plus 154ft.) inflows are 15,500cfs and releases are 8,957cfs.
Trinity Lake: The Lake is 6ft below the overflow (decrease of 0ft) and 96% of capacity (0% increase) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 7,568cfs and Trinity Dam is releasing 4,718cfs to Lewiston Lake and 0cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant with 124146cfs being released to the Sacramento River.
Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 5,414cfs, water temps of 44.7 and air is 54 degrees at 12:00pm. today. Limekiln Gulch is 8.8ft at 5,619cfs, water temps are 46.1 degrees and air is 84. Douglas City is 10.9ft at 6,196cfs, water temps of 45.6 and air is 59. Junction City is 7.4ft at 5,890cfs. Helena is 16.5ft at 6,317cfs with water temps of 46.6. Cedar Flat is 10ft at 7,420cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 8,976cfs air is 62 and water at 48.8. Hoopa is 18.6ft at 10.6Kcfs with water temps of 48.8. Flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at Klamath River are estimated to be 26.8K cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 3,060cfs. Seiad Valley is 7.2ft at 7,660cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 8.3Kcfs. Somes Bar is estimated at 11.6Kcfs. Orleans is 10.3ft. at 16.2Kcfs. Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 16.4ft at 30.8Kcfs and water temperatures of 50 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 8.2ft at 3,220cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week were 86/44 degrees with 0.8 inches of rain with a season total of 82.95in of rain and 3.5in of snow. Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to be 86/38 degrees; with a little rain at the first of the week and then plenty of sunshine into the next week.
by E. B. Duggan