The Trinity River, and segments of its North and South Forks and the New River, were protected in the state system in 1972. The river and most of the tributaries were subsequently added to the federal system at the request of Governor Jerry Brown and upon the approval of Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus in 1981.
A major tributary of the Klamath, the Trinity River possesses outstandingly remarkable fishery values. The river is legendary for its salmon and steelhead populations. The river’s Chinook salmon and steelhead are prized by fishing guides, drift boaters, and bank anglers, and provides culturally important subsistence fishing for the Hoopa Indian Tribe. The river also offers a wide variety of other recreation opportunities, including camping and whitewater boating.
The operation of the Trinity Dam upstream of the designated segment, which diverts water from the river to irrigate Central Valley farms, significantly reduced the Trinity’s salmon and steelhead populations. Passage of the Trinity River Restoration Program legislation helped restore flows in the river and established an ongoing program to restore fish habitat in the river.