Klamath River anglers caught their quota of
adult fall-run Chinook salmon on the river's
lower 40 miles by sundown Saturday (Sept. 10).
That closed the lower river to the take of
adult fish as of Sunday (Sept. 11), according
to the Department of Fish and Game (DFG).
Klamath anglers downstream of the Highway
96 bridge of Weitchpec (confluence with the
Trinity River) are able to continue fishing
for "jack" salmon, 22 inches or shorter, until
the lower river reopens to the take of adult
salmon more than 22 inches on December 1.
Fish and Game biologists checking fish
landings earlier this month said their
projections were that reached the 631-fish
"impact quota" or adult Chinook salmon by the
end of September 10. The amount represents
half the number of adult fish allotted to
recreational anglers for the entire
Klamath-Trinity river basin.
The remaining 631 adult salmon are
available to recreational anglers on the
Klamath River above the Highway 96 bridge, and
on the Trinity River.
Anglers are reminded that Chinook salmon
which are 22 inches total length or larger may
not be retained on Tuesdays or Wednesdays from
September 1 through November 30 from the
Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec to Iron Gate
Dam, and in the Trinity River from Hawkins Bar
Bridge (road to Denny) downstream to the mouth
of the Trinity. In addition, anglers may not
retain any salmon more than 22 inches total
length on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from
September 15 through November 30, in the
Trinity River from Old Lewiston Bridge to the
Highway 299 West Bridge at Cedar Flat. The
Hoopa Valley Tribal Fisheries Department (HVF)
will assist the DFG with angler creel surveys
to estimate Chinook salmon harvest in the
upper Klamath River and lower Trinity River as
it has for the past six years.
Meanwhile, guide Rich Mossholder reports
fishing has slowed down on the Klamath River
the past couple of days. "There were a few
nice fish today (Tuesday)," he said. "There
were some nice adults turned loose. There may
be a new run on the way."
Rich added that flies and Glo Bugs have
been working on the steelhead. Puffballs,
spinners and Quikfish are attractive to the
Back trolling plugs has been producing
numbers of steelhead on the Trinity River.
Salmon are averaging 6 to 12 pounds and are a
little dark fish in the lower river are fresh,
however. A good push of salmon is anticipated.
Sport salmon action has been relatively
slow at Shelter Cove, according to Ken
Vallotton. "There are small pockets one to
three miles off the point. Even the
commercials have been getting just a handful
or so a day. He pointed that just a week or so
before, Pacific halibut in the 60s and
70-pound class were being brought in.
The last day of the sport salmon fishing
season in the Klamath Management Zone brought
a windfall off Eureka, according to charter
boat owner Larry Williams.
"It was the best day of the season. It was
beyond belief," he commented. "We had limits
of 12 fish up to 20 pounds every time out. It
was a wide open bite. We fished in 70 feet
straight off the stacks."
Fall salmon fishing continues to build from
Anderson Balls Ferry (Barge Hole area) to
Hamilton City, reports guide Hank Mautz. A
fish per rod is very common with more boats of
king salmon being reported daily. Fall-run
kings are averaging 15 to 25 pounds with an
occasional 30-plus pounder being caught on
K-16-K-15 Kwikfish lures with a sardine wrap.
Back bouncing roe and side drifting roe with a
Quickie or the Kwikfish are the three top
The number of fish counted passing the Red
Bluff Diversion Dam from May 20 to the present
13,650. Last year for the same period the
count was 9,544. Last year most of the salmon
were in the 5 to 8 pound range. These are
adult fish with very few jacks.
Tip of the Week: Lure turning: Be sure to
tune your lures before and after wrapping with
a sardine. If the lure swims to the right,
slightly turn the eyes to the left and vice
versa. A true turned swimming Kwikfish can
produce an awesome salmon bite. And remember
fresh sardine wraps produce a lot more bites.
While trout fishing is excellent on the
Sacramento River, most anglers are now
pursuing the salmon. Everybody wants to catch
the "big" one.