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Bureau to boost river flows, but downstream tribes still worried
Published May 12, 2004
Federal officials are trying to calm worries about
low flows on the Klamath River by putting more water
than required downstream, but Indian tribes in the
lower Klamath Basin are still concerned about
impacts on fish.
Citing dwindling inflow to Upper Klamath Lake, the
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation switched the water year
type from "below average" to "dry" Friday. The
change means there will be less water going down the
river this summer, unless there is a change in
"We are going to try to figure out how much water we
can let down, and still maintain the lake's level
and irrigation supplies," he said.
But those flows still aren't enough to protect
salmon, Fletcher said.
Fletcher was not pleased with what he heard from the
The Yurok tribe has a reservation in Northern
California that flanks both sides of the lower
Klamath River. The tribe and other downstream
interests blame low flow releases from Iron Gate for
the death of about 34,000 salmon in late summer of
"We are going to continue to raise our concern, but
it looks like they have made their mind up and
decided to kill fish," Fletcher said.
The California Department of Fish and Game is
preparing to release 6 million juvenile salmon from
its hatchery at Iron Gate Dam.
"We don't want the flows to be low and have them
standing there with dead fish in their hands," he
Another conference call is planned for early next
week, and there will also be a meeting among federal
officials and tribal leaders next week.
said low flows have not been determined as a key
cause of fish dieoffs, and that other things such as
water temperature and salmon run timing need to be
taken into account.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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