Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Fishing report for Klamath and Trinity Flows
Ruth and Lewiston Lakes scheduled for plants
Don Terbush for the Times-Standard 4/21/05
At this point of the season, the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's baseball teams define the term mediocre. That said, let's discuss something more exciting such as sport fishing on the North Coast.
Included in the good news is that Ruth Lake and Lewiston Lake are scheduled for plants by the Department of Fish and Game.
Also that rock fishing at the south jetty of Humboldt Bay is productive, and that night fish are being spotted at Gold Bluff beach, reports Todd Wagner of Bucksport Sporting Goods.
The Smith River fishing is really good," according to guide Rich Mossholder. "However, the fish are all down-runners." He added that 16 fish were hooked Saturday on peach and pink puffballs.
Springers up to 30 pounds are being taken on the Rogue River by anglers using the "Rogue Special," which is a spinner blade with anchovies. But again, fishing has been sporadic.
Although a little on the high side for fishing, the upper Trinity River from Douglas City on up should have been good, but there was very little pressure said guide Ed Duggan. "I would expect it was because of the smolt and the high water."
Ed points out that April showers have been a blessing for the Trinity River Basin "as it has put us into a solid normal rainfall position for the spring flows down the Trinity River. The spring flush will start about April 22 and will ascend to about 2,500 cubic feet per second by May 3. This will influence the April 30 opening of the Spring Fly Fishing Only section of the Upper Trinity as the river will be much higher than it would have been in past years.
"After May 3 the water releases will increase to a 7,000 cfs peak for four days at which time the flows will then drop to a spring bench of 2,000 cfs by June 12. The Spring Bench will continue to about July 6 and then decrease to the regular summer flows of 450 cfs.
"The purpose of these flows," Ed continues, "is to help move the salmon and steelhead smolts that were released from the hatchery last month down the river and towards the ocean. This also conforms to the Record of Decision (ROD) that was approved by the Secretary of the Interior for the restoration of the Trinity River in 2000 ..."
According to Ed, the Upper Klamath River is finally getting the flushing that it has needed this winter. The upper river flows are about 10 percent higher this week than they have been all winter long. This is good for the river but might be a little too late. I would hope not because the Klamath River Basin is in a world of hurt for water. The basin has only received about 41 percent of its normal water content in the storage area of the upper river. What this means is that there will be a shortage of water to release into the river for the fall Chinook migration into the Klamath-Trinity river system, he concluded.
In the meantime, rough weather has kept things quiet at Shelter Cove. Launch operator Ken Vallotton reports "there have been virtually no boats out. One boat was out Friday and returned with one salmon. Saturday three boats went out and only one Chinook was brought in. It looks like a good weekend coming up weatherwise," he predicted.
Ken added that crab are coming in and there are lots of perch inside the surf. "Some abalone are being taken but nothing bignothing beyond the point at the cove."
Salmon fishing at Fort Bragg has been sporadic. Crab are being landed in good numbers.
The first major wave of stripers are moving into the lower Sacramento River all of the way up to the Chico Straights. They range from 4 to 8 pounds.
Ruth Lake is about four feet higher than it was a year ago. A few small trout have been taken by those trolling Needlefish lures just below the surface of the lake.
Smallmouth bass fishermen are scoring in the Squirrel Gulch area of Trinity Lake on crickets or grubs. The largemouth bass have moved into the larger gulches on the east side of the lake.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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