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Trinity River Fishing Report

E.B. Duggan author photo,

By E.B. Duggan, “D” Fishing Guide
02/01/16 -- And the rains keep coming, Januarys rainfall was over 12 inches. When you combine December and Januarys rainfall together it amounts to almost twice the normal rainfall for this time of year. December and January both only had a handful of days with no rain. This is very unusual even for the north coast. We need the rain and more so the snow for spring run-off, but the ground is fully saturated and will need several days for it to soak in and replenish the ground water. The rains did help bring in the steelhead and they are coming up the rivers big time. The inherent problem is that one cannot fish the high water very well when there is so much mud in the water. The South Fork of the Trinity is really flowing (over 11Kcfs) and bringing in the mud from the Hyampom slides. Anything above the South Fork the river is high but pretty clear.

The high water on the Trinity has really put a damper on the steelhead fishing for the eastern part of the Humboldt Steelhead Days fishing program. I have heard that some parts of the Mad River have produced some winter steelhead fishing but that the Vandusen and Eel Rivers have been in the same condition as the Trinity, high and muddy. The good part is that all of the functions of Humboldt Steelhead Days have been going on as planned and are receiving great attendance. The bad part is that the program for the Steelhead Fishing Competition and Photo Contest ends Saturday February 6th at 5 p.m. At 6 – 10 p.m. the final Humboldt Steelhead Days Contest Awards Dinner will be at the Sequoia Conference Center, 901 Myrtle Ave, Eureka. I hope everyone had Good Fish’en

Trinity River Hatchery: TRH counts for fall run Salmon is done as of Dec. 31, Chinook salmon total 5,342; Coho salmon total 3,024. The week of Jan 28, 2016, Steelhead this week, 454 for a season total of 2,904.

Fishing: The Lower Trinity from the South Fork down is high and muddy. Not very good for fishing! As you go up river it starts getting better as the river turns a nice green from Salyer on up. From Cedar Flat the river is fishable from the bank if you pick your spots. Del Loma to Junction City the river has good color but is on the high side. Douglas City the flows are 1,920cfs and not drift able but could be fished from the bank in some areas. From Limekiln down to Douglas City should clear up by next weekend but I would call before I make the trip to be sure you can fish the area you wish to fish

Mid Klamath: the Klamath is flowing super big as Iron Gate Dam is releasing 1,960cfs and Seiad Valley is flowing 13.3Kcfs. I would say that fishing the Klamath will be at least a week out and that is if they don’t get any more rain for now.

Reservoir Conditions: Whiskeytown is 89% of capacity, inflow is 2,134cfs, releases are 1,604cfs; Shasta is 50% of capacity (plus 13ft.), inflow are 20.6Kcfs, releases are1,077cfs; Keswick is 91% of capacity and inflow is 3,011cfs and releasing 3,063cfs; Lake Orville is 41% of capacity (plus 15ft); inflow is 17.2Kcfs, and releases are 362cfs. Lake Folsom is 44% of capacity (plus 8ft.), inflow is 6,047cfs and releases are 749cfs.

Trinity Lake: The Lake is 157ft (an increase of 7ft.) below the overflow and 27% of capacity (1% increase) Inflow to Trinity Lake is 8,791cfs and the Trinity Dam is releasing 732cfs to Lewiston Lake with 239cfs going to Whiskeytown Lake and on to the Keswick Power Plant with 3,063cfs being released to the Sacramento River.

Trinity River Flows and Conditions: Lewiston Dam releases are 312cfs, water temps are 45 and air is 44 degrees at 11:00a.m. today. Limekiln Gulch is 5.6ft at 1,010cfs, water temps are 45.5 and air is 42; Douglas City is 8.1ft at 1,920cfs, water temps of 44.1and air is 44. Junction City is 5.5ft at 3,220cfs. Helena is 15ft at 4,780cfs with water temps of 45.2. Cedar Flat is 11.7ft at 10.9Kcfs. Willow Creek is estimated at 22Kcfs, air is 42, and water 46.5, Hoopa is 26.4ft at 37.3Kcfs, water temps of 48.2. Flows at the mouth of the Trinity at Klamath are estimated to be 50.3Kcfs.

Klamath: Iron Gate Dam releases are 1,960cfs. Seiad Valley is 9.8ft at 13.3Kcfs. Happy Camp is estimated at 13Kcfs. Somes Bar is estimated at 29.6Kcfs. Orleans is 16.8ft. at 42.6Kcfs. Klamath at Terwer Creek is 28.3ft at 115Kcfs and water temperatures of 47.1 degrees. Flows at Smith River, Dr. Fine Bridge are 13.6ft at 15.5Kcfs.

Temperatures in the Valley last week were 58/42 degrees with 4.9 inches of rain with a season total of 48.05 inches of rain and 1.35in. of snow. Temperatures in the valley next week are expected to be 67/37 degrees, with rains coming in Tuesday and Thursday with possible showers on Saturday and sun for Sunday next week.

Good Fish’en and Good Luck but remember; “Keep your tip up with a tight line lands fish.”

E.B. “Ed” Duggan, "D" Fishing Guide of Willow Creek writes and distributes the Trinity River Fishing Report each week, usually on Sunday. Duggan can be reached at 530-629-3554 or via e-mail at

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