The Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) had their meeting last Tuesday at the Red Lion Inn in Eureka. The testimony requesting Alternatives for the different fishing groups were; Ocean Commercial requested Alternative II, Ocean Sport Fishing requested Alternative I, to run from May 1, 2013 through Sept. 8th, In-River Sport Fishing requested Alternative II, this will be passed on to the Cal. Dept. of Fish & Game Commission to be converted into season and bag & possession limits for the upcoming Fall Chinook Salmon season. The PFMC will meet again in Portland, OR, April 6 – 10 to review the Alternative Requests from the different groups to make a determination and recommendation to National Marine Fisheries Service ( NMFS) which will then recommend Quotas for ALL fishery groups that harvest Chinook salmon on the West Coast. From this Cal. Dept. Fish & Wildlife Commissioners will meet April 16 & 17 to set the Fall Chinook salmon season for Cal. Fishermen. Anybody wishing to make a recommendation to the PFMC or CDFW Commission must do so before April 6th. I do know that the Trinity River Guides Association is preparing a letter to CDFWC for In-River Sports Fishing Fall Chinook salmon season and bag limits with the hopes that the Commissioners will adapt fishing regulations that will protect and provide an equitable salmon fishing season for the Klamath River Basin that everyone who fishes the Klamath / Trinity rivers can appreciate and accept.
The Trinity River Water will start ramping up some time around April 14th for the Spring Water releases. The last information I received was that this will be designated as a Dry Water Year for the Trinity River Basin unless something significant weather wise happens between now and April 9th. I don’t see this happening as the long range weather forecast is for light rain or showers. There should be a water flow update at the TAMWG meeting in Weaverville on Monday April 1st that will be more informative and I will try to get that information out ASAP.
Fishing: Old Lewiston Bridge Area: Cemetery Hole, Bucktail Hole and Poker Bar. The smolt releases have made fishing in the upper river sections a little difficult but those fishermen that have made the effort were able to catch and release some fresh steelhead adults. The good part is that they have also been able to catch Germen Brown trout from 12 to 18 inches.
Indian Creek Lodge Area: (Kurt at 530-623-6294): Steel Bridge, Indian Creek Hole, And Douglas City Bridge. Kurt reported that Russ, from The Fly Shop, fished from Bucktail to Dutton Creek and was only able to hook his customers up to a couple of fish so he came back up to the Lodge and fished the area behind the lodge and was able the four fish for his customers.
The Canyon Area: Douglas City to Evans Bar; Trinity Outfitters, 530-623-6224, Liam was out of town this week so I have no report for this section.
Trinity Canyon Lodge: Richard Starr (530-623-6318) said that the springs along the river are drying up and water flows are starting to drop in that area of the river. The good news was that a lot of Germen Brown trout 14 – 16 inches are in the area and providing some pretty good action. A couple of bank fishermen that are staying at the Lodge are doing good throwing hardware after the Browns. He did say they commented about the Mayfly hatch that has been going off in the afternoons. You fly fishers may want to try that out.
Hawkins Bar to Willow Creek Area: “D” Fishing Guide, 530-629-3554. Note: April 1st the Trinity River closes to the taking of any fish 9catch & release only) the river from South Fork up is open to fishing. My fishing buddy Ed Trujillo from Sacramento is back up here again and he brought up his grandson and son in-law, Trevor and Nathan Williams and fished the South fork to Willow Creek area Wed. landing 9 fish and fished Kimtu to Whitson’s, Thursday landing 8 steelies. All totaled they were able to get 17 fish to the boat and lost 4. Four were half-pounders, one of which was a hatchery, all the rest wee native adults ranging from 3 to 6-1/2lbs. Not too bad for their first time steelheading. It might be noted that it was Trevor’s 17th birthday. On Friday Tom Weseloh and his buddy Chess fished the South Fork run and had a great time fishing and beaver, geese, Osprey and ducks but were only able to 5 small adults to the boat from 3- ½ to 5lbs. Tom had doctored up a Pirate Wiggle Wort with some gold paint that seemed to be the right tactic. It just goes to show you that an oddball change is the thing that works.
The Mid-Klamath: Weitchpec / Orleans were still having some high water in the area and fishing was hard.
Trinity River Flows and conditions: Trinity Lake is 25ft. (1ft decrease) below the overflow and 83.8% of capacity (0.9% increase) at 2:00PM today.
Inflow to the lake was 2,330cfs and dam releases are 618cfs to Lewiston Lake with 255cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and then on to the Sacramento River at Keswick.
Trinity River: Lewiston Dam releases are 263cfs water temps 51, air is 75 degrees. Limekiln Gulch is 4.8ft at 308cfs. Douglas City is 6.1ft at 468cfs, water temps 52.3 air is 72, and Junction City is 1.9ft at 519cfs. Helena is 9.6ft at 713cfs with water at 52.9. Cedar Flat is 4.5ft at 1,270cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 2,043cfs, air 73, and water 53. Hoopa is 14.7ft at 3,370cfs, water temps 54 degrees. Mouth of the Trinity at the Klamath is 12.3K cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 2,120cfs. Seiad Valley is 4.8ft at 3,680cfs. Happy Camp estimated at 4,364cfs. Somes Bar estimated at 6,940 cfs. Orleans is 7.7ft at 8,930 cfs. Klamath at 101 is 12.7ft at 14.6K cfs & water temps of 53.6 degrees. Smith River is 7.7ft at 2,180 cfs and subject to low flow closure.
Temperatures in the Valley last week were 76/36 degrees with 0.6 inches of rain, total to date 49.9 inches. The Weather in the valley next week is expected to be 68/35 degrees. Mon, scattered showers; Tue, partly cloudy; Wed, mostly cloudy; Thu, scattered showers; Sat-Sun, showers; Mon, partly cloudy showers.