October 19, 2016   Headlines

Fall Salmon Outlook

Lower Klamath
Rains over the weekend of October 15th and 16th brought river flows up across all North Coast rivers. These higher flows brought in the last of the Klamath salmon and turned the bite "on" other rivers that see later runs like the Smith.
While the Klamath river salmon quota has been filled for over a month on the Klamath there are still some salmon to be caught on the lower river and decent numbers of steelies in the mix. Guide Wally Johnson reports that guides have been seeing 3 to 7 fish per day a mix of adult salmon and steelhead in the 2 to 7 pound class. The higher flows have opened up the mouth and we should see good steelie action until the big winter storms arrive.  Wally will be running upper Klamath river steelhead trips on his home waters of the Seiad Valley through December.

The 2016 fall salmon run begins on August 15th.  Other than a few salmon taken by trollers in the estuary the bite has been slow. We have only heard of a few salmon caught from the Glen to Blue Creek but that will change as we go into September.
The entire river quota is one of the lowest we have seen since the early 90s when there was no harvest of adults (over 22") allowed for two years. The quota this year is set at 1100 adult salmon with sub quotas of 550 adults  from Weitchpec to the mouth. 550 for the Trinity and just 15% or 167 fish allowed from the spit at the mouth of the river.
This quota could be filled fast or last past Labor Day weekend but jacks and hatchery steelies are still available for harvest throughout the fall
Possession limits are one adult and two fish per day with no more than one adult over 22" or a possession limit of six salmon with no more than three adults over a three plus day period. In addition anglers are allowed two hatchery steelhead per day and a limit of four.
There are two ways to look at this year's quotas. The meat hunters will not be around and the fishing pressure should be much lighter than recent years. Fewer boats on the water will allow anglers instead of harvesters to work through less pressured waters and be able to hook and release fish and keep a few jacks or steelies for the table.
These lower quotas are due in part to drought and unsustainable tribal gill netting that have continued to take huge numbers of fall run and endangered fish such as the coho headed to the Scott and Shasta rivers and both green and white sturgeon.  Hopefully tribal gillnetters don't continue their indiscriminate practice of "subsistence" fishing where they work nets under the cover of darkness and bring in totes full of 1000's of pounds of salmon which go to the black market. 
In a nutshell sport anglers will find plenty of reasons to fish the Klamath this Fall. They can expect much less pressure and some good catches of adults to catch and release and jacks and steelies to bring home to the table.
Guides are just beginning their trips now. Wally Johnson says he will start fishing in early September and will be working the Lower Klamath through mid October.  With over 25 years of experience fishing the Klamath he is one of the top guides on this system. 

Major Step Forward For Klamath River Restoration
One of the nationís biggest dam removal and river restoration efforts got a major boost on Friday with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) announcing that he will introduce legislation to authorize the Klamath River restoration agreements.
Elected officials, Tribal leaders, and farming, ranching, and conservation representatives gathered Friday to celebrate the signing of the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement (UKBCA). The agreement resolves water rights disputes among the Klamath Tribes and upper basin irrigators, and permanently increases river flows, protects riverside lands, and provides $40 million to the Klamath Tribes for economic development.
Senator Wyden announced that he will introduce legislation that authorizes the UKBCA, as well as the two existing Klamath settlement agreements, the Klamath Hydropower Settlement Agreement and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. Together the three agreements will resolve long-standing water rights disputes, increase water supply reliability for upper basin agricultural communities, improve river flows and water quality, restore wetlands, and allow for the removal of PacifiCorpís lower four Klamath River dams. The restoration agreements are necessary to restore struggling Klamath salmon runs.
The agreements, the first of which was finalized in 2010, are the product of years of negotiations among more than 40 stakeholder groups including American Rivers, with the goal of restoring the river, reviving ailing salmon and steelhead runs, and revitalizing fishing, tribal, and farming communities.
Removing the four dams will open access to more than 300 miles of habitat for salmon and steelhead. When dam removal begins on the Klamath Ėscheduled for 2020 Ė it will be one of the nationís largest dam removal projects. Before the settlement agreements can be fully implemented, Congress must pass Senator Wydenís legislation and appropriate funds, and California must contribute an estimated $80 million to augment the $200 million being collected from PacifiCorp ratepayers for dam removal and river restoration. No federal funds will be used for dam removal.
PacifiCorpís four dams, built between 1908 and 1962, cut off hundreds of miles of once-productive salmon spawning and rearing habitat in the Upper Klamath, which was once the third most productive salmon river on the West Coast. The dams also create toxic conditions in the reservoirs that threaten the health of fish and people.
The dams produce a nominal amount of power, which can be replaced using renewables and efficiency measures, without contributing to climate change. A study by the California Energy Commission and the Department of the Interior found that removing the dams and replacing their power would save PacifiCorp customers up to $285 million over 30 years.
Roughly 1,150 dams have been removed nationwide and 51 dams were removed in 2013.

Kamp Klamath
Our favorite campground Kamp Klamath "on the quite side of the river". They offer discounts for those anglers looking to park their RV for a month or more and enjoy a few weeks of this incredible fishery. They have full hookups and the entire campground has free Wi-Fi. Don't miss the Saturday night salmon and chicken B-Q with live music!
Kamp Klamath is a secure, quiet, forested campground surrounded by Redwood National Park.  Great people and a great place to stay. 707 482-0227

Accommodations & Shops:
"Little Ray's Tackle" in Klamath Glen. For all your tackle needs stop by Little Rays. This is a must stop for anglers new to the river. The crew behind the counter will be more than happy to answer all your questions and point you in the right direction. Located just past the Steelhead Lodge. 707 482-7725

In Seiad Valley sits the Klamath River Side Park a quiet little RV park right on the banks of the Klamath for anglers looking for a quieter stretch of the river away from the crowds.

River Levels:

For river status (low flow closure) updates from Fish and Game please call +1.707.442.4502 for the North coast and +1.707.944.5533 for Central coast streams. Be sure to check out the California Fish and Game regulations before you go. Regulations vary on every river and you need to pay attention to bait and hook restrictions. Due to winter closures on HWYs 5, 101 & 299 we recommend you check Caltrans road conditions as well.

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