Sorry, but I was out of town and off the river last week and couldn’t get you a fishing report.
The numbers are finally out! The Klamath River Fall Chinook Salmon return is out and the numbers are very interesting. The 2012 Fall Salmon Chinook return estimate to the mouth of the Klamath River was 381,000. These are the numbers that all harvest allotments for Tribal Harvest (Hoopa & Yurok), ocean commercial; ocean sport and in-river sport fishing were based upon for the 2012 salmon season. The actual return to the mouth of the Klamath River was 323,582. That is not too far off of the estimated return although we could have possibly over harvested Fall Chinook salmon if everybody in the different sections of the river had harvested their quotas of salmon. The rivers and hatcheries did reach their escapement goals plus. Tribal Harvest preseason 160,000, post-season 101,500, Recreational Harvest pre-season 67,600, post-season 13,600, escapement pre-season hatchery spawners 51,800, post-season 55,900, natural spawners pre-season 86,300, post season 122,000, total spawners, pre-season 138,100, post season 177,900. This became the second largest return and spawners since 1978. Now for the good news, the estimate is that California could possibly have one of the largest returns of four and five years old next year that we have had in several decades. How does that fit on your hook?
We have not had the weather within the Klamath River Basin this year as we have in the past two years, therefore we could possibly see some different water policies being pushed for the coming water flows and water storage. Last year the month of March produced 25 ¼ inches of rain and 2011 produced 24 ½ inches of rain. From what I have been able to find out is that we can not expect that kind of weather for this March. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that the weatherman is off his forecast.
Trinity River Hatchery: I did not receive a TRH Steelhead report this week. Sorry
This past week has been really different. I have seen many boats in the Willow Creek section of the river due to the large amount of guides fishing the upper river. The good part is that I have seen some of the guides I haven’t seen for some time. The bad part is that at times the river has been saturated with drift boats and it was hard to have a good fish. Guide Alan Borges was able to get his client’s fish one day and maybe a fish or two the next. Like I said before it is hot or cold depending on when the fish decide to leave Hoopa. This week my grandsons Marc and Josh and their friends Jason and Justin from Sacramento decided to come up and try their luck at steelhead fishing. They were lucky because my fishing buddy from Sacrament had decided to come up also so the six of us made a two drift boat trip from Salyer to Willow Creek. We had a great time and were able to bring some fish to the boats. The trouble being was that all of the fish were native and we had to release them, no keepers! Marc hooked a nice fish about 6lbs while Jason was able to hook a couple of 1/2lbs and Justin hooked a nice small adult and a 1/2lbs. Norman Benski and his friend hooked up with us below South Fork and joined the flotilla. His friend was able to hook a couple of nice adults fly fishing amongst us. All in all I would say it was a nice day on the river.
The Mid-Klamath: Weitchpec and Orleans saw some more high water and it made fishing a lot harder the two weeks ago. I can say that most of the water came from feeder streams so the river above I-5 was still in good shape for fishing. Trinity River Flows and conditions:
Trinity Lake is 30ft. (2ft decrease) below the overflow and 81% of capacity (0.7% increase) at 1:00PM today.
Inflow to the lake was 1,042cfs and dam releases are 588cfs to Lewiston Lake with 286cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and then on to the Sacramento River at Keswick.
Trinity River: Lewiston Dam releases are 302cfs water temps 46.7, air is 46 degrees. Limekiln Gulch is 4.9ft at 322cfs. Douglas City is 6.2ft at 480cfs, water temps 46.4 air is 445 Junction City is 1.9ft at 546cfs. Helena is 9.6ft at 698cfs with water at 46.8. Cedar Flat is 4.3ft at 1,170cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 2,028cfs, air 55, and water 47. Hoopa is 14.6ft at 3,240cfs, water temps 48.4 degrees. Mouth of the Trinity at the Klamath is 9,460 cfs.
Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,300cfs. Seiad Valley is 3.7ft at 2,490cfs. Happy Camp estimated at 2,985cfs. Somes Bar estimated at 4,920 cfs. Orleans is 6.4ft at 6,220 cfs. Klamath at 101 is 12ft at 11.8K cfs & water temps of 48.2 degrees. Smith River is 7.7ft at 2,280 cfs getting on the low side with some fresh fish coming in. Temperatures in the Valley last week were 62/33 degrees with 0.2 inches of rain, total to date 46.55 inches. The Weather in the valley next week is expected to be 61/29 degrees. Mon/partly cloudy, Tue-Wed/rain, Thu/scattered showers, Fri/sunny, Sat/cloudy, Sun-Mon/partly cloudy.