Trinity River - Willow Creek Weir Fish Report for 9-29-2019
River Fishing Improving
Trinity River - Willow Creek Weir - Willow Creek, CA (Humboldt County)
by E.B. Duggan
As I am writing this report it is raining! In the last several days it has been overcast, showers and cloudy in Willow Creek. This type of weather pattern usually brings in fish, both at the mouth of the Klamath and into the Trinity. This is great news for the fishermen that have been waiting for some fresh salmon and more adult steelhead.
This past week I visited the Willow Creek weir and checked on the Tribal weir in Hoopa at Tish Tang. The Willow Creek weir is counting Thursday through Monday and the counts are usually posted by CDFW Fish Biologist Mary Keir on the following Thursday. At the present time the posting of the weir and hatchery counts are in the midst of changing the programs that CDFW and there are some problems with new programs and that is why there are lagging of the postings for the numbers. This is being corrected as I write the report so hopefully, I will be up to date on numbers counted and fish moving in the different areas. I know many of you readers want to know when to come up to the different rivers for salmon or steelhead fishing and for this year it has really been difficult to tell you when is a good time. If I recall right it has always “been good fishing yesterday” but what about today and tomorrow? Like when I was guiding, I could put you where the fish were but I couldn’t put them on the hook for you. That is why they call it fishing and not catching. The fish are moving in the river now but I can’t tell you where they are specifically. I can tell you where fish have been seen and caught though!
Trinity River Hatchery: Julian week 38 ending Sep. 232: Chinook salmon, 148- jacks, 1,510-adults, total 1,658, season total 2,718; Coho 0, Steelhead 1, season total 5.
Junction City Weir counts: Julian week 38 ending Sep.23; Chinook salmon, 5-jack, 20-adult, total 25, season total 502; Coho 0; steelhead ½-lbs 0, adults 0, season total 91; Brown Trout 0, season total 23.
Willow Creek Weir counts: Julian week 38 ending Sep. 23; Chinook salmon, 89-jacks, 100-adults, total 189, season totals 590; Coho salmon, 0-jacks, 1-adults, total 1, season total 2; steelhead, 6- ½-pounders, 136-adults, total 145, season total 284.
Fishing: Fishing the Lower Trinity is now seeing small to medium adults, ½ pound steelhead and medium Chinook salmon. Yesterday I helped launch a fisherman named Marshall from San Diego at the South Fork Bridge. He drifted from South Fork to Big Rock and had a fair day of fishing. Not to long after I launched him, he texted me that he had caught and released several adult steelhead, one up to 6 pounds and two ½-pounders back trolling plugs. The rest of the day he was able to catch and release several more steelhead. I saw another fisherwoman above South Fork fishing in the early morning but she did not do well. I saw no one fishing the Lazy Double “B” Salyer Bridge holes nor the Campora Hole or McKnight’s gravel bar. When I was down at Kimtu and Big Rock I only say two fishermen fly fishing and they had not hooked any fish yet, so I guess I was too early. Down at Tish Tank several fishers we able to land some steelhead but I did not get a count. Sorry! Up river fishing was slow and slower ye up near Lewiston. I told Todd of Tiger TS Guide service that they were on their way and should be up there in a couple of days.
Upper Klamath fish vidio counts: Julian week 38 ending on Sep. 25; Bogus Creek, Chinook salmon 0; Coho 0; Scott River, Chinook salmon 0, Coho 0; Shasta River, Chinook salmon 325, Coho 0.
Lower Klamath Creel Counts: Julian week 37 ending Sep. 16, Below Highway 101 Bridge; jacks 45, adults 49, total 94, season total 639.
Above Highway 101 Bridge; jacks 697, adults 300, total 997, season total 2,692. Lower Klamath season total count 3,331.
Mid-Klamath: The Klamath at Weitchpec is flowing about 2,525cfs. It looks like the rains and the cooler temperatures are starting to show some results. Fish are staging at Old Village Hole and up at the mouth of Hopkins Creek. According to John up at E Ne Nuck fishing was slow for the first part of last week but the last three days fishing started to really heat up as more adults were coming into camp. Most of the adults were small but one 12lbs showed up. Nothing in the 20lbs range yet but it should only be a matter of time before the big ones start showing up at the mouth of Bluff Creek. Roe and spinners seem to be the trick to landing the adults while spinners are doing well for jacks.
Not much news from above Orleans but I am sure there should be some fresh fish showing up there by now. The weather is going to be a bit cooler for the next week and water temperature are starting to really cool down. When the water temperatures start cooling down the fish start moving up the Klamath. I didn’t get a report from up at Happy Camp or above I-5 this week but hopefully next week should have some good results.
Lake Conditions: Whiskeytown is 99% of capacity (an increase of 1%) with inflows of 1,236cfs and releasing 1,075cfs on to Keswick and the Sacramento River. Shasta is 75% of capacity (a decrease of 1% minus 1ft) with inflows of 4,040cfs and releasing 5,794cfs into Keswick. Keswick is 83% (a decrease of 3%) with inflows of 7,063cfs and releasing 7,585cfs into the Sacramento river. Oroville Lake is 64% of capacity (a decrease of 2% minus 8ft) with inflows of 2,674cfs with releases of 8,747cfs into the Feather River. Folsom Lake is 74% of capacity (a decrease of 0% minus 0ft) with inflows of 1,393cfs with releases of 2,267cfs into the American river.
Trinity Lake: The lake is 26ft below the overflow (an increase of 2ft) and 84% of capacity (a decrease of 1%) and inflows are -706cfs and releasing 1,572cfs into Lewiston Lake with 1,116cfs being diverted to Whiskeytown Lake and on to Keswick Power Plant, which is releasing 7,585cfs into the Sacramento River.
Trinity River flows and conditions: Lewiston Dam is 96% of capacity and water releases are 456cfs with water temperatures of 50.8 degrees and air at N/A as of 1:30pm today Sunday September 29, 2019. Limekiln Gulch is 4.94ft at 458cfs. Douglas City is 6.56ft and flows of 475cfs. with air temps of 58 water temperatures of 49.3 degrees. Junction City is 2.03ft at 492cfs. Helena is 8.62ft at 597496cfs with water temps of 53.1 degrees and water turbidity at 0.90. Cedar Flat (Burnt Ranch) is 2.81ft at 561cfs. South Fork of the Trinity near Hyampom is 2.11ft at 86cfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 647cfs and air is 53 degrees and water at 57 degrees. Hoopa is 11.53ft at 817cfs and water is 59.7 degrees. Water flows at the mouth of the Trinity River at the Klamath are estimated to be 2,525cfs. With the present rains both rivers are starting to raise.
Klamath: Iron Gate is releasing 1,003cfs. Seiad Valley is 2.31ft at 1,333cfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 1,389cfs, the Salmon River is 2.04ft at 265cfs, Somes Bar is estimated to be 1,443cfs. Orleans is 2.83ft at 1,708cfs, the Klamath River at Terwer Creek is 8.55ft at 2,766cfs and rising, water temps are 63.1 degrees. Flows for the Smith River at Jedia Smith is 4.93ft and flows of 308cfs. and flows at Dr. Fine Bridge are 11.82ft at N/A cfs.
Temperatures in the Valley last week had a high of 86 and a low of 47. Rain for the week was 0.02in with a water year to date of 69.84 inches (the water year ends Oct 1st), with snow of 4.5in. in the valley to date. Forecasts for next week are for temperatures of a high of 81 with a low of 43 but I don’t think we will see those highs or lows with Fall here (Sep. 23) We should start seeing some good fish’en with more salmon and steelhead in the rivers.
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