Releases off the Trinity river have raised flows and slightly dropped water
temps in the lower Klamath this past week. Temps have ranged from 74 and dipped
to 69 degrees after the first pulse made it down to the lower river. As of
Tuesday 8-25 the salmon bite remains slow but guides are reporting decent
steelhead counts in the faster riffles where the fish are concentrated due to
the high water temps. Wally Johnson says that most of the guides are seeing 3 to
6 steelhead and one to three salmon per boat and it's still very early in the
season. As the nights get shorter and water temps drop the fishing will only
improve come September.
Anglers at the mouth have picked up 371 fish over the past ten days. On the next
set of big tides we should see a bigger push of fish.
Fall quota numbers as of Tuesday are 689 lower river adults have been caught out
of a total lower river quote of 7,067. The sub quota for the spit (mouth) is
2,120 of which 371 have been caught. (pictured left the mouth of the Klamath on
The mouth of the river, as it usually does in a drought years was pushing south
but this past weekend Yurok tribal members dug a new channel so the river could
flow directly west. The current mouth is now just a 100+ feet long after the
"dig". Funny how any state or county government agency can not breach a river
mouth (like the Russian river in Sonoma county) without a permit yet Yurok
tribal members can dig out a new channel without any oversight from the
feds or their own so called fishery managers. (We are guessing Dave Hillemeire
who is the fishery biologist for the Yurok tribe possibly Oked the said breach of the
mouth of the Klamath estuary that has several endangered and threatened listed
runs of salmon and steelhead).
Dave wrote us in response to out "Soap box"
paragraph below that he disagreed with my opinion on the tribal netting. Dave
all I have to say is that until your tribal members can take only fish from
sustainable runs nets don't belong in the river. Gillnets take and kill all
species and your tribal
take 1000s of endangered Shasta, Scott and Trinity coho, steelhead and chinooks
salmon that are on the brink of extinction. The State and the Feds (NOT the Yurok
tribe) have spent 10s of millions of dollars to bring back these runs only to
have gillnets continue their take of these ESA listed endangered runs.
I will add (Dave) that your tribal policy of not working commercial nets
in the estuary two days per week does NOT ALLOW FOR ANY ESCAPEMENT
as your so called
"subsistence" nets fishing just upriver are fished 7 days per week 24 hours per
day. We all see the tribal "subsistence" netters (wink wink we are fishing for
our elders) returning with 1000 plus pound loads of salmon that
are caught by tribal boats power drifting gillnets through the holes (AT NIGHT)
that are then quickly loaded onto trucks at first light. Dave, why do
tribal subsistence anglers fish at night? Is it because you don't want the
public to know or see what is actually happening?
and warm flows are keeping the first push of fall run salmon down in the
estuary. 20 plus year Klamath guide Wally Johnson reported on Tuesday 8-11
that there are salmon being taken by trollers working the lower estuary from
the mouth to the Raqua Inn. Overall counts are running at 0 to 3 fish per boat.
Up river guides are seeing a few decent steelie counts and a few scattered
salmon bouncing roe from the Glen Hole to Starwein to the Orchard. The section
around Blue Creek is closed to sport fishing as it has been declared a "thermal
refuge" due to the drought conditions but that said is not closed to
gillnetting, only sportfishing.