Action Despite Low Flows
Yes, the adult quota has been met but the fishing and catching has
been excellent on the lower Klamath. Wally Johnson with Seiad Valley
Guide Service reports the bite is only getting better the past few
days. Wally has been working a small 8 to 12 mile area from the Glen
to Blue Creek. He says that there are fish throughout this section
and the only reason he is moving around is to give clients a
different "view". On Monday 9-15 he didn't travel and instead
ground out repeated drifts at Blakes. They got at least one single
on every drift and had several doubles and triples. Wally says that
every good guide on the river is sending their clients home with 1
to 3 jacks per stick (great sign for next year) and releasing 15 to
20 other adult salmon to 30 pounds and lots of native steelies.
Tony Sepulveda with Green Water Fishing Adventures reports "it's
pretty awesome. We haven't hooked less than 30 fish a day in the
past week. Everyone is going home with some jacks for the smoker
plus getting to pull on some hogs". Tony said he watched as he and 5
other boats made a total of 19 passes in one spot and every boat
hooked at least one and there were several double and even quads
without one boat making a "dry pass".
This is the heart of the run but good action should last into
October. Both Wally and Tony have spots open over the next few weeks
but you need to call ahead. Contact info can be found at the links
Wally Johnson reported another
banner day on Thursday 9-11. Fishing the lower river from the
Glen to Blue Creek Wally says that the river is choked with fish.
Four anglers released over 15 adults to 18 pounds and kept 6 FAT
jacks averaging 5 to 6 pounds. Wally reports there are fish rolling,
splashing and swimming by the boat in huge numbers. There was a big
pulse of fish moving in today and it looks like the action is only
getting better. It's too bad that we don't have any real time fish
management on this river. Otherwise both tribal and sport anglers
could be harvesting fish in what is a far better return than
forecasted. Wally has dates open through mid October on the lower
Klamath and will begin his upper Seiad Valley salmon and steelie
trips on October 15th.
Wally Johnson with Seiad Valley
Guide Service reported excellent action on Wednesday 9-10.
Wally says that the top guides are releasing 8 to 20 plus adults and
many are limiting out on jacks (three per angler) and releasing a
number of mostly half pound steelhead.
The salmon are pushing in despite the warm and ultra low flows and
guides are putting clients into steady action. The fish are holding
in the deeper holes and faster riffles with most adults coming from
spots like the Glen Hole, Starwein, Blue Creek. The jacks and most
steelhead are holding in the faster riffles and all are biting roe.
Water releases early this month dropped water temps a few degrees
and brought in a fresh surge of salmon. Fishing pressure has been
light and we expect both better action and lower water temps
as the days get shorter and the nights cooler.
Wally and Tony with Green Water Fishing adventures both have room
available this month. We expect good fish on the lower river through
early October and maybe incredible fishing in early October as water
temps continue to drop.
While this is
bad news for those looking to load up on salmon the following is
good news for sport anglers targeting the Klamath over the next few
weeks. The salmon fishing has been great this past week with another
800 adult salmon caught in the lower river. The bad news is that
the lower river quota has been reached and the fishery will be
closed to the taking adults over 22" as of Friday 9-5.
Fishing remains open to catch and release adults and jacks under 22"
may be retained as well as hatchery steelhead. I would expect
fishing pressure to be light this month and this will only enhance
the experience for those looking to fish less crowded waters. The
spit area remains closed for the season to all fishing. The
following is the weekly news letter we receive from Sara Borok who
is in charge of the Klamath river project.
It was a busy weekend. Not only did we close the spit fishery,
but we met the lower Klamath Quota and will be implementing a size
restriction from the Hwy 96 bridge down to the ocean on the Klamath
starting Friday September 5th, 2014. Reports from the
river are that there are lots of jacks (chinook under 22Ē) in the
river right now. So those that continue to fish will have a good
Klamath River Project
So Much for the Pre Season WAG
So far it appears that the return of salmon is much higher than the
preseason estimate given to the PFMC. We here at USAFishing like to
call this "guess the number" while the fish are still out in the
ocean a WAG. A scientific term meaning wild ass guess. It is beyond
comprehension that in a river like the Klamath we are still using
the WAG and not photo or sonar counters or weirs.
There are a couple of spots in the lower river where placing
temporary weirs or sonar counters would be ideal Terwer riffle and the 101 bridge.
Temporary weirs and sonar counters are used all over Alaska to
MANAGE their fisheries in REAL time. Not this 30 year old WAG
"science" that is more often wrong than right. By counting the fish
in real time, harvest could adjusted up or down. In Alaska I have
seen first hand sport and commercial harvest limits dropped or increased in
as little as 24 hours depending on REAL data not the WAG.
Many of Alaska's rivers are far
larger with runs on some counted in the millions of fish.
In years of high return both sport and tribal fishers could safely
harvest more and in low return years harvest could be suspended to
protect the fish when the numbers are down. Adopting successful
management practices from out of state makes sense with our current
out of date methods.
Too often in California our fisheries are managed by politics. When
you properly manage the fishery the fish thrive and that's good for
salmon and anglers.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
1,150 dams have been removed
51 dams were removed in 2013.