The Liquid Pulse (re-discovering river options-jackpots)

Trinity Alps headwaters
Headwaters-liquid source…
Beautiful Salmon-Trinity Alps.

A river never sleeps. It is constantly changing. One major impacting factor that greatly influences river change/alternations is high water flows. High flow velocities activate hydraulic actions that can scour river bottoms. This “natural” process reveals loose and clean gravels while at the same time grooms and re-deposits gravel loads throughout the system. Prolong high water flows can also contribute and benefit rivers by washing out undesirable sediment loads. River morphologists often refer to the word “alluvial” to best describe these actions. Mother Nature’s hydraulic rhythms ultimately create desirable spawning, rearing and aquatic habitats that are most essential for sustainment and perpetuation of both resident and anadromous “native” fish stocks. The hydraulic flushing pulse is an incredibly fascinating and unique process that has nurtured watersheds for thousands of years or until the inception of dams and other man influenced alternations.

Trinity Brown Trout
Loch Leven jackpot.

The 2010 Trinity River high water flows represented the following peak flows: Upper river (Lewiston) peaked out at 6,000cfs. While the lower river (Hoopa) peaked out around 38, 000cfs.(Adding up all secondary rivers and tributary flows many forget just how massive the lower Trinity drainage is.) Finally the upper Trinity River has settled down from this springs high flows and leveling off down to a prime 750cfs..(A bench release for the next three weeks—dropping to 500cfs. July 31). It is exciting to once again be able to fish the river and closely observe the many changes. Each and every year we eagerly look forward to our research/observations and there is no better way to tune in than floating it with rods in hand.

Trinity River guide service
Summertime research.

Even at 750 cfs. we have already witnessed the following changes. Many upper river holding/staging waters have filled in either naturally by gravels from secondary tributaries or by artificial Gravel Injection/Placement projects; or both. (These waters primarily include—Diversion Pool—Bridge Pool—Petersons Pool –Burner as well as the top end of Rush Creek). These specific water compositions are of major concern and vital to native stocks. Not all “native” stocks spawn within the main stem TR. “Native” tributary stocks rely on main stem TR deep cool water pools/sanctuary waters to stage/mature before entering secondary tributaries. In essence, some pre-mature native fish stocks race through the system seeking deep/cool waters to hold over. Time will tell. On a brighter note prime traditional riffles, from Douglas City on up to Bucktail, appear groomed and ready to support new arrivals. In between non-descript waters, glides, tailouts etc., vary with bottom compositions. Some prime waters seem to have been smothered with silty/sandy bottoms. Others have reformed with beautiful rocky bottoms and shed light for great possible options. In other words, with the high flow hydraulic actions you loose waters, you gain waters—keeping anglers guessing. As the river continues to drop to its minimum flow of 450cfs. I’m sure these waters will reflect other appearances and possibly provide additional options. Whether they hold receptive fish or not is all up to Ma Nature and current conditions. Whether they provide a “bucket” or maintain a “sweet spot” is all up to the angler and their abilities to search’em out. Go for the Jackpot and keep tight lipped!