I posted this in the steelhead category. It is a matter of some urgency and needs posting here.
Get you Trinity River steelhead fishing in early this year. Things could change on December 15.
There is a proposal in the works to increase the flows on the Trinity River to flood stage during the winter months. As part of the Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP), the Bureau of Reclamation has decided to change the time period for high-flow releases that normally have occurred beginning in April. This in an effort to restore floodplain that was lost with the construction of Trinity Dam.
To quote: "The current approach to implementing variable flows in the Trinity River results in cold water releases from Lewiston Dam that are out of sync from when the pre-dam Trinity River would have naturally received seasonal peak flows. And then thereís this: The asynchrony between flow management and the natural variability of pre-dam flows has cascading impacts on the riverís form and ecology, and perhaps the most detrimental of the impacts is to young salmon."
An online public comment meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday, October 5.
If the new winter flow regime is put into effect on December 15 of this year, you can kiss the winter steelhead season on the Trinity River goodbye. With the proposed changes, the flows will be at or near flood stage throughout the winter months (Dec. 15- Feb. 15) and might be as high as 6,500 cfs.
Can we really afford to send an allocation of 60,000 cubic feet of water down the Trinity River in a critically dry year? Especially when the benefits of such a release are questionable at best?