Klamath River Restoration Begins: Scoping Meetings Scheduled July 7 - July 15
“We’ve studied the problem to death,” says Leaf Hillman, Natural Resources Director for the Karuk Tribe. “We believe that when viewed through the lens of objective science, only one conclusion can be reached and that’s to implement these agreements. Otherwise none of the communities and economies on the Klamath River can survive.”'
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : July 7, 2010
Craig Tucker, Karuk Tribe: 916 207-8294
Steve Rothert, American Rivers: 530 277-0448
Chuck Bonham, Trout Unlimited: 510 917-8572
Karl Scronce, Upper Klamath Water Users Assoc.: 541 281-2053
Mark Rockwell, N. CA Council, Federation of Fly Fishers: 530 432-0100
Glen Spain, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations: 541 689-2000
Curtis Knight, California Trout: 530 859-1872
Greg Addington, Klamath Water Users Assoc.: 541-892-1409
Jeff Mitchell, Councilman, Klamath Tribes - 541-891-5971
Your chance to weigh in on solutions for the Klamath Basin
Published: Wednesday, July 07, 2010, 8:00 AM
By Dennis Lynch and Mark Stopher
The Klamath Basin is one of America's treasured landscapes. It's a place of beauty, and it offers its abundance to farmers, fishermen, ranchers, Indian tribes, landowners, recreation interests and the public in general.
But there's also ample evidence that much of this historical abundance has reached its limit. In just the last decade, various Klamath Basin communities have encountered hardships because of natural resource crises.
In 2001, water deliveries to farmers and ranchers served by the Bureau of Reclamation's Klamath Project were substantially reduced in order to provide flows in the Klamath River and lake levels in Upper Klamath Lake for protected fish species.
In 2002, tens of thousands of returning adult salmon and other fish species suffered a major die-off before they reached their spawning grounds during a very dry, warm September.
In 2006, the commercial salmon fishing season was closed along 700 miles of the West Coast to protect weak Klamath River stocks. This total closure was partly driven by the loss of so many spawners in 2002. Extremely weak or partially closed commercial salmon seasons also occurred in Oregon and California in 2005 and 2007 for the same reasons.
In 2010, drought conditions have forced the Klamath Project to curtail irrigation deliveries that could result in the potential short-term idling of farmland and increased groundwater pumping.
Also this year, the c'waam (Lost River suckers) fishery for the Klamath Tribes has been closed for the 24th year, limiting the tribes to only a ceremonial harvest. Other tribes who fish along the Klamath River rarely harvest enough fish to meet modest subsistence needs.
Rich Lobrovich, Cindy and I joined other volunteers from Trout Unlimited and other fly fishing clubs to assist the Heritage and Wild Trout Program with their electro-shocking of Caples Creek 9/8-9/10. They split the group into 3 smaller groups and broke the creek down into three sections. Unlike the shocking in November of last year we only did a single pass this time, though we covered a lot more water. The flows were too high for the block nets to stay in the stream. The flow was at ~30 CFS compared to 3 last November.