salmon action down at the spit has been solid this past week. Lots
of anglers are walking and boating out with one adult (and a few odd
jacks) limits on Thursday 8-28. That's the good news. The bad
news is that the quota at the spit of 619 fish will be met this
weekend and the spit will close to fishing Sunday evening September
The river from the estuary to confluence of the Trinity has about
800 adult fish still in the quota. Once the quota is met anglers can
still retain jacks but adult fish over 22" must be released.
Upriver guides are seeing 5 to 10 plus salmon and LOTS of 1/2 pound
to 5 pound steelies in the mix. Most are wild with a few fin clipped
fish in the mix. They are getting nearly all their action drifting
roe from Blue Creek to Klamath Glen.
With the increase in water releases off the Trinity fishing should
be good this weekend. It looks like we will have another week or two
before the lower river quota is filled.
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 ideal 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out of date methods.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.
Department of Fish and Wildlife announces the closure of the Klamath
River Spit fishery as of Sept 31.
By sundown on Sunday, Aug. 31, Klamath River anglers will
have caught their sub-quota of 619 adult fall-run Chinook salmon
below the Highway 101 bridge. This triggers the closure of the Spit
(within 100 yards of the channel through the sand spit formed at the
Klamath River mouth) to fishing as of the following morning.
Downstream of the Highway 101 bridge to the estuary will remain open
for salmon fishing until the lower river quota of 2,064 adult
fall-run Chinook over 22 inches is met. As of Aug. 28, approximately
1,219 of these fish have been caught. During this period, the Spit
will remain closed to all fishing. Once the quota is met, anglers
may still fish but will have to release any Chinook over 22 inches.
The Klamath River above the confluence with the Trinity River will
remain open until 702 adult Chinook are caught.
Fall regulations are currently in effect on the Trinity River. The
quota on the Trinity River is 681 adult Chinook salmon from the
confluence with the Klamath River up to Cedar Flat, and 681 adult
Chinook from Cedar Flat up to the Old Lewiston Bridge.
Anglers can keep track of the status of open and closed sections of
the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling 1 (800) 564-6479.
Salmon Pushing In
The salmon action is the lower river is heating up. Wally
Johnson reports that a bunch of fish were hooked at the Glen Hole on
Thursday and Friday 8-22 with still good action upstream at
Blue Creek, Starwein and Blakes. Water temp has dropped from 74 to
71 degrees and with the Feds releasing water off Trinity that
downward trend should continue. Overall it sounds like guides are
seeing 3 to 8 adult salmon and tons of half pounders are keeping
everyone smiling between salmon hookups. Anglers are being
encouraged to NOT hook and release salmon as the fish are stressed
due to the drought and warm flows and many are dying after being
At the mouth the official count as of Wednesday is 135. (See Sara's
report just below). We heard it was slow mid week but we should see
another push as the Trinity water release will push fish in early
this coming week.
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.