Spring Chinook Fishing

Spring Chinook Fishing

6-28-2020
E.B. Duggan
(530) 629-3554

Spring Chinook salmon fishing is going to be tough this year. Wednesday July 1st the In-River spring salmon fishing season will open on the Lower Klamath and the Upper Trinity. The Kamath will be open from the Weitchpec Bridge down to the mouth of the Klamath. Limit; one salmon only, 2 salmon in possession. (this means a jack or an adult spring Chinook salmon, NOT one of each) Upper Trinity will be open from above the mouth of the South Fork Trinity to the Old Lewiston Bridge. This also includes Greys Falls and Burnt Ranch Falls. I am not sure of the Burnt Ranch Falls trail condition but the last I heard it was usable but very slippery with lose gravel and lots of poison oak. You travel this at your own risk!! Greys Falls trail is fair but steep. The water at the fall is low at this time of the year and will be getting lower by July 2nd. The salmon will be piling up in the lower pool because of the new slide just above the Falls. Remember you can only have one salmon, (jack or adult not one each), when you come up to the parking lot. If you have more then one salmon your possession when you get to the parking area you are going to be cited!

What is the spring salmon fishing looking like? Well watching from the bridge at Hawkins Bar we could see the salmon fighting to get up the riffle just above the bridge and with summer flows dropping to 450cfs July 2nd I can imagine that there are going to be many hazards for them to try and overtake. Good Luck and Good Fishin.

With the low water quantities in the rivers and the CVPC storage at about 73% average over all for all reservoirs in the system there is going to be a fight over who gets the WATER the fish or the farmers. Water Wars are not in the best interest for either farmers or fish. We need to sit down at the table and figure out how to divide the water up in a manner for which both will be able to survive. The government wants us to fight so they can sit back and do nothing. The present water storage was planned when the California’s population was 20 million, we are now just short of 40 million, almost double!! WATER WARS ACCOMPLISH NOTHING!!! 

The “Friends of the Trinity River” are about to challenge the TRRP and TMC over the restoration of the Trinity River. The TRRP has not been doing the river a favor. The river restoration projects are not all providing the restoration that the Record of Decision (ROD) recommended. When I was on the TAMWG for 16yrs, (now defunded) the ROD recommended 28 projects between the North Fork of the Trinity to the Trinity Dam and that all projects were to be completed by 2015 and then monitored for four more years to see how the restoration worked. It is now 2020 and the TRRP has yet to complete all the projects and some of the projects have failed while others have vanished. The Headwaters Report recommended that the TMC be disbanded and re-organized to provide stakeholders participation and that review of the projects be done to see which of any are doing the reproduction of the salmon and restore watershed for endangered species. 

Junction City Weir: I didn’t receive the report for Julian week 25. 

Trinity River Water Releases: The Trinity releases are now approaching summer flows of 450cfs. 6:00am July 2nd, that is Thursday morning. At the present time Lewiston Dam is releasing 527cfs (Sunday 12:00pm Jun. 28th)  

Mid-Klamath to Happy Camp: The Klamath River at Weitchpec is flowing @ 3,393cfs. This is a decrease of 934cfs from the last week. Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,070cfs as of this afternoon. 

Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 98% of capacity (a decrease of 0%) with inflows of 1,841cfs and releasing 1,644cfs on to Keswick. Shasta Lake is 70% of capacity (a decrease of 6% minus 12ft) with inflows of 2,769cfs and releasing 10,762cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 98% (an increase of 4%) with inflows of 12,643cfs and releasing 12,303cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 62% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 4ft) with inflows of 1,844cfs with releases of 8,341cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 75% of capacity (a decrease of 3% minus 6ft) with inflows of 1,838cfs with releases of 3,560cfs into the American river. 

Trinity Lake: The lake is 46ft below the overflow (an increase of 2ft) and 72% of capacity (a decrease of 3%) with  inflows of -174cfs and releasing 1,935cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,408cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 12,303cfs into the Sacramento River. 

Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 92% of capacity (an increase of 2%) and water releases are 527cfs into the Trinity River, with water temperatures of 54 degrees, as of 12:00pm today Sunday June 28, 2020. Limekiln Gulch is 5.05ft at 531cfs. Douglas City is 6.67ft with flows of 549cfs. with air temps of 80 and water temperatures of 57.9 degrees. Junction City is 2.14ft at 650cfs. Helena is 8.95ft at 667cfs with water temps of 63.9 degrees. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 3.28ft at 745cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.39ft at 155cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 900cfs and air is 72 degrees and water at 69 degrees. Hoopa is 12.12ft at 1,212cfs and water is 71.9 degrees. 

Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath in Weitchpec are estimated to be 3,393cfs a decrease 934cfs. 

Klamath River flows and conditions: Iron Gate is releasing 1,070cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.23ft at 1,277cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,368cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 3,053cfs, and the Salmon River is 2.16ft at 496cfs. Orleans is 3.02ft at 2,181cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 9.19ft at 4,108cfs and water temps are 71.8 degrees. (This is getting too close for salmon comfort at the mouth) Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith are 5.69ft with flows of 733cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 12.39ft at N/A cfs.     

Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 106 and a low of 58 degrees. Rain for the week was 0.01in with a water year to date of 42.47 inches, with snow in Willow Creek of 1.45in. Forecasts for next week are for highs of 86 and lows of 56. The temperatures for next week are expected to drop into some decent fishing conditions which is good because we need a chance to go out and fish.