Klamath Water Users Association 

Press Release: Fact Sheet

April 21, 2003




Fact Sheet

Study Shows That Klamath River Temperatures – Not Klamath Project Operations – Are Likely Reason for 2002 Fish Die-Off


It appears that large numbers of salmon entered the lower Klamath River earlier than usual, were exposed to two dramatic and uncharacteristic cooling and warming conditions that were chronically and cumulatively stressful to fish.


  • At the same time, riverine conditions in the upper Klamath River were unsuitably warm for salmon because the normal seasonal cooling trend had not yet occurred.
  • These data indicate that September 2002 was unique, but not for the reasons portrayed by the California Department of Fish and Game.
  • Until additional data is acquired on the topic, Vogel’s opinion is that the combination of those factors is probably the most plausible reason for the fish die-off.



"In my opinion, the best available scientific data and information indicate that the continued operation and maintenance of historical flows at Iron Gate Dam will not jeopardize coho salmon. Furthermore, in my opinion the operations of Iron Gate Dam during the summer and fall of 2002 did not cause and could not have prevented the fish die-off in the lower Klamath River."

Dave Vogel, March 2003


Klamath Water Users Association
2455 Patterson Street, Suite 3
Klamath Falls, Oregon 97603
(541)-883-6100 FAX (541)-883-8893 kwua@cdsnet.net



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