The Klamath River has been in the news more for complicated and controversial water allocation politics rather than fishing reports recently, but the sport harvest of fall chinook has begun and anglers are quickly working towards this year’s comparatively small quota.
Black rockfish have been on a fierce bite lately out of Crescent City, while the lingcod are on a bit of a lull. Ocean salmon fishing — out of Crescent City at least — continues to be really slow with only a few caught sporadically.
Lower Klamath River
In the first week of sport fishing that counts toward the Klamath River fall chinook quota (started Aug. 15), there were 297 adult chinook harvested from the Highway 96 bridge in Weitchepec to the ocean.
This year’s quota for the Lower Klamath River below Weitchepec is 2,064 adult salmon.
For the first time this year, there is a sub-quota of 619 adult salmon harvested downstream of the Highway 101 bridge that, once met, will close the spit / shore fishery. Fishing downstream from 101 will remain open — just not at the spit or from shore at the mouth. As of Aug. 21, 135 adult salmon have been harvested for this sub-quota.
“Anglers will still be able to fish and keep adult chinook salmon, but just not at the mouth,” said Sara Borok of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in the weekly Klamath Creel Update. “There has been fair success at the Slab, or Klamath Glen area just upstream of the Roy Rook or Terwer boat docks this season.”
Anglers are encouraged not to do much catch-and-release fishing this year, Borok said.
“The fish do not recover from the stress in warmer conditions. So please, catch your fish and head back to camp for the day ... there is always tomorrow,” Borok said.
On Friday, the Bureau of Reclamation decided to release Trinity Lake water to avoid the spread of fish disease in the Lower Klamath River. Starting at 7 a.m. Saturday, flows from Lewiston Dam will jump from 450 cubic feet per second to 950 cfs to reach a flow of 2,500 cfs in the Lower Klamath River.
Starting 7 a.m. Monday, Trinity releases will begin increasing to approximately 2,450 cfs to achieve a flow rate of 4,000 cfs in the Lower Klamath, which will be maintained for 24 hours before returning to 950 cfs.
Reclamation will maintain flows to keep the Lower Klamath pumping at 2,500 cfs until Sept. 14.
Crescent City ocean
While very few salmon are being caught out of Crescent City, anglers are “fighting off the black rockcod with a stick,” said Capt. Craig Strickhouser of Tally Ho II Sportfishing, adding that they are “nice-sized blacks.”
The lingcod bite was a “little slow” last week, Strickhouser said.
Fishing contacts: Tally Ho II Sportfishing at 464-1236 and tally-ho-sportfishing.com; Englund Marine Supply Co. at 464-3230.