Weaverville, the Trinity County seat, has been home to a Chinese Temple since Gold Rush days. Called the Joss House, it is now a California State Park. In celebration of Chinese New Year, lions dance on the green in front of the temple. Children make the lions go.
Once a world-renowned fishery, Trinity's salmon and steelhead were nearly wiped out by water mismanagement. Hard work has brought their numbers back in the last decade; and if more of Trinity's water could be kept in the Trinity the fishery might return to something like its original splendor. But powerful interests want the water and are used to having it.
Here's high water in the Trinity, an event that only occurs a couple of times each year. In late winter when heavy rains threaten to fill Trinity Lake too early, releases into the river are increased. And in early summer releases are upped again for a week or so to help young salmon find their way to the Pacific Ocean.
The rest of the year more than half the Trinity's water is diverted through a giant conduit over into the Sacramento River system and the Central Valley Water Project.
This photo gives a little better idea of how high the water is. The house is just above the flood plain.
The lower Klamath just above the mouth.
The Klamath River drains a watershed the size of the state of Vermont. The Trinity River (bottom of map) is its major tributary.
Klamath River water is over-committed: farmers and huge flocks of migrating birds need the water at the upper end; salmon and steelhead (and the people who fish for them) need it at the bottom.
The farmers have rioted when too much water was sent down the river; fish have died by the tens of thousands when too little came down.
In emergencies Trinity River releases have been increased to relieve stress in the lower Klamath, but demands on the Trinity also exceed supply.
This massive problem continues to be kicked back and forth like a soccer ball.
or email Secretary Raley at
This form is for your convenience
Lobby on behalf of the river
Write a letter, tell why the Trinity/Klamath needs all its water to stay home:
Mr. Bennett W. Raley
Assistant Secretary for Water and Science
U.S. Department of Interior
1849 C Street NW, ms6640-MIB
Washington, D.C. 20240