A PacifiCorp spokesman defended a Klamath River fish hatchery Thursday against charges that it is polluting the river.
Rather than being a detriment to fish stocks in the river, Dave Kvamme said the hatchery at Iron Gate Dam accounts for “a minimum of 25 percent” of the Klamath’s fishery.
The hatchery is owned by PacifiCorp, but is operated by the state of California. A citizens group filed notice this week of its intent to sue Pacifi-Corp because of alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act by the hatchery.
Levels are too high
David Cooper, attorney for Klamath Riverkeeper, said the hatchery’s reports to the state of California show total suspended solids entering the river from fish tanks exceed allowable levels.
Cooper said the effluent could result from excess fish food, dead fish, fish waste or other sources. He added Pacifi-Corp has not met deadlines for filing water quality reports.
“They haven’t taken anything seriously,” he said.
PacifiCorp built the hatchery as mitigation for Iron Gate Dam’s effect on Klamath River fish runs. Kvamme said the utility hasn’t received details about the suit.
“We’ve seen their notice of intent to sue and we are curious as to what the basis of that suit will be,” he said. “The hatchery, which is run by California Fish and Game, is such a supporter of salmon runs."