As they say “If you don’t like the River conditions just wait and it will change.” Well it has changed! Just as the Trinity was becoming fishable on the lower section the Spring Releases started. The Spring Releases started last night (Saturday) and are going up to 6,000cfs by May 6th, then hold for four days and start decreasing to 4,500cfs by May 11th. Summer Flows of 450cfs will be met by July 26. You may be asking how this all happened? As you know the month of March was a very wet month and the ROD Water Year went from Critically Dry to Dry and the 1st of April it was determined that the ROD Water Year had slipped over into a Normal Water Year. This added another 20KAF to the water in the lake so it was determined that the river should receive more water because of the huge salmon run predicted to inter the Klamath River Basin. It also means that the Central Valley water folks and the farmers will get more water too. This is a good thing because everybody wins. The fish get more water for the predicted large salmon run, the farmers get more water for their crops and the Water Districts get more water for their customers. I couldn’t predict that at all a month ago. Now all we have to do is wait and see if NOAA/NMFS is correct in their predictions of the salmon return to the Klamath River Basin.
Fishing: The first of the spring run was caught down at Tish Tang last week by Tribal netters. This is good in the fact that salmon are beginning to come into the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. The bad news is I still have not been able to get a meeting with Hoopa Tribal members to see if there is some way we can settle how we can come onto the reservation to fish (non-Tribal members). The one thing I can do is recommend that you get your fishing license, salmon harvest card and your steelhead report card so that you are ready to fish. Oh yes and be sure to make your reservations and have them in hand because there are going to be a lot of fishermen wanting to go fishing on the Klamath and Trinity Rivers this season and if you don’t make early reservations you are going to be “out of luck”. I can safely say that it is GOING TO BE CROWDED along the rivers this coming season!
If you are a bank fisher try to remember some manners when approaching the river and if you are in a drift boat please be courteous to those who are already fishing in the hole you are going through. A little River Etiquette can go a long way to having a great fishing experience. Courtesy will get you more fishing area than throwing rocks. Guides remember you have plenty of water to fish and the bank fishers had to hike into the area.
Klamath: The Klamath is rising fast and is not going to be in fishing shape vey soon. Hopefully the upper sections above I-5 will come back into fishable condition in a couple of weeks if we don’t have much rain in the future.
Trinity River flows and conditions:
Trinity Lake is 14ft (4ft decrease) below the over flow and at 89.3% of capacity (2% increase) of capacity at 11:00am to day. Inflow to the lake is 7,366cfs and dam releases are 1,712cfs to Lewiston Lake with 1,173cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and the Sacramento River.
Trinity River: Lewiston Dam releases are 539cfs, water temps 51.8, air is 68 degrees. Limekiln Gulch is 5.6ft at 865cfs. Douglas City is 7.2ft at 1,270cfs, water temps 52.9, air is 70. Junction City is 3.2ft at 1,570cfs. Helena is 12.9ft at 2,400cfs and water at 52.1. Cedar Flat is 9ft at 5,250cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 8,310cfs, air 74, and water 00. Hoopa is 19.7ft at 13Kcfs, water temps 53.8 degrees. Mouth of the Trinity at the Klamath is 37Kcfs
Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 2,970cfs. Saied Valley is 7.4ft at 7,740cfs. Happy Camp estimated at 9,550cfs. Somas Bar estimated at 16.7Kcfs. Orleans is 13ft at 24Kcfs. Klamath at 101 is 18.7ft at 44.2K, water temps of 53 degrees.
Temperatures in the valley last week were 88/42 degrees with 0.9 inches of rain, total to date 69 inches. The weather next week expected to be 74/40 degrees. Monday, partly cloudy, Tuesday, am clouds & sun, Wednesday possible showers, Thursday, 60% chance rain, Friday, cloudy, Saturday, partly cloudy, Sunday, cloudy, Monday, cloudy.