KLAMATH RIVER



 

December 03, 2014   Headlines

Upper Klamath Steelie Action Turns ON!

Rain over the past few days has brought most North Coast rivers up but other than the Smith most have seen only small rises. The local watersheds are all very dry and all this rain is soaking in and so far there has been little runoff.
Most of the rain on Tuesday 12-2 fell south of Garberville with rainfall totals averaging around 1" in Sonoma and Mendocino counties and less than a 1/2 " to the North.
The Smith river is still dropping with a current level of 8.5 feet as of 3:PM today. There are still a few fresh salmon pushing into the Smith but anglers should look ahead to the next big rise as the first and biggest steelhead of the season usually arrive around Christmas.
The upper Klamath river is flowing at a respectable 1800cfs and the steelie action has been great. There are lots of half pounders or 14" to 20" fish in the system with guides reporting "all you want" action.  Wally Johnson fresh back from elk hunting in Colorado says the river is stuffed with fish. He says that 10 to 15 plus fish days per stick on on tap now! He says that water temps are still in the 50s and roe, plugs and flies are all producing. Wally has room for Seiad Valle steelie trips through December and will be offering Chetco and Smith river steelie trips beginning in January.
The middle Trinity at Burnt Ranch is at 1100 cfs where it has been holding the past few days. Guides are seeing 2 to 4 steelies on the Trinity and the salmon season is over. For the time being the upper Klamath is a much better bet. Come January we will see the Trinity bite improve when the river is in.
The Eel river at Miranda jumped at high as 10 feet yesterday and is currently at 8.8. The south fork is still closed but it's nice to see the jump in flows which after a long drought will allow salmon to push up and spawn and steelhead to follow shortly. 

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 and where we have set up our fish camp for over 25 years. Great people and a great place to stay. 707 482-0227
Motor Home Magazine has a feature article about Kamp Klamath and FunBus Tours.


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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