mccloud river

McCloud River: Too Muddy To Fish?

Posted by Tom Chandler 7/17/2014

Sorry for the absence. More on that soon. Right now, I have the unhappy task of informing you the McCloud River appears to have turned to mud (the following from PG&&E):

Turbid water on the McCloud River is being caused by mud flows from Mud Creek. During dry years, the Konwakiton (Mud Creek) glacier on the south side of Mount Shasta is very exposed with the low snow accumulation and the excessive glacier melt begins carving through deep ash deposits on the mountain. This “river of mud” is a natural occurrence during low snow years and has occurred seven times in the past 100 years. The worst occurrences were in 1924, 1926 and 1930, all very dry years.

Mud Creek flows into the McCloud River upstream of PG&&E’s McCloud Reservoir (see attached photo taken by PG&&E this morning). As the muddy water is heavier, it flows to the bottom of the reservoir and is spilled out of the dam’s lower outlets. However, the reservoir is showing signs of increased turbidity near the surface.

When this happens, it tends to happen for weeks, if not months.

Thus, today's post is a lesson in both physics and disappointment.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the mountains...

Unfortunately, in addition to a record drought, we're suffering a near-record heat wave. All my nearby little streams?

Too low. And too hot. Hell, some of them aren't even trickling.

Which means I'm done with all the nearby little stuff until Fall. (And yes, it causes physical pain to say that.)

Normally, we get a week or two of 100 degree temps. Last year, I think we ran the heat pump in reverse (as an air conditioner) a total of ten days.

This year, it's been running for the last three weeks. And it's only July (it normally gets ugly in August).

Given the intense heat and utter lack of moisture in the vegetation (foresters call it "fuel" for a reason), a county-wide conflagration could begin if someone produces a particularly vicious fart (much less a spark from a match or car).

See you watching the skies, Tom Chandler.

AuthorPicture

Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

11 comments
Lebron? Never heard of her and pretty sure she doesn't fish........ Hope ya'll stay fire free.... I'm pretty sure if ya'll just pass the hat I could come camping up that way pretty much guarantees severe rain pretty sure you don't need mudslides though....
0
0
DAMN! I stand corrected!
0
0
Not gettin' any cooler here!
0
0
Chris: Really like the area, so I am sending some rain vibes your way from Colorado. We could use rain here as well, but are much better off than Cali. Appreciate it, but really, it's those selfish bastards in Montana with their 150% snowpack that chap me. As if they deserved all that precipitation.
0
0
I was doing the Matterhorn loop out of Twin Lakes -- down Rancheria Creek, over to Benson Lake, then back up Matterhorn Canyon. Too many miles a day (time crunch) to fish. Rancheria Creek was cold and the fish seemed happy in it and I wished I had a few extra hours of daylight to teach them the dangers of artificial flies.
0
0
Better Looking and Smarter Brother: There’s always nymphing… Aren't things bad enough already?
0
0
Steve Z: Time to move east. There we go. The Underground is now a blogging free agent -- I'm accepting bids from states, towns and regions to make them famous on the Interwebs (multi-bazillion dollar bids only). After all, Lebron did it, and he doesn't even blog.
0
0
BL&SB, Really? No gear in Yosemite? Wow... Tuolumne fishing well, thought the Dana Fork is probably at the too low/too warm stage, I fished 2 weeks ago & it was great. Merced is probably doing great now also, especially if you can get above Nevada Falls. All the smaller creeks are done though, where they should be late August. Some East side creeks that are usually great right now are also ... more at that stage, most will be bone dry by end of the month.
0
0
Spent some time around Shasta in the 90's while I was in college. Really like the area, so I am sending some rain vibes your way from Colorado. We could use rain here as well, but are much better off than Cali. Hopefully none of those Squatches out there let off any vicious farts and start the place on fire. Good luck Tom, and good to see a new post.
0
0
Move east to where all the flooding, tornadoes and hail storms are taking place? Seriously, it seems like what was once spread around is concentrating in one part of the country or another. I was surprised to find some healthy fish in the upper reaches of streams in Yosemite over the 4th of July weekend. With the flows there so minimal, I didn't think it worthwhile to bring my rod. My mistake. Meanwhile, ... more my favorite stream coming out of Lassen Park was bone dry in April and remains that way. You fish where you can, be mindful of the water temperatures and hope for the best. There's always nymphing...
0
0
Time to move east.
0
0

Discover Your Own Authentic Fly Fishing Experience

With top destinations, guided trips, outfitters and guides, and river reports, you have everything you need.