Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Fish list grows crowded
September 26, 2004
Another federally protected fish could be entering
the fight for Klamath Basin water.
Federal officials are
still trying to determine what the impact could be
on the other protected fishes, two species of
endangered suckers and the threatened coho salmon,
and on the Klamath Irrigation Project.
Agency Lake, which
adjoins Upper Klamath Lake and was bought by the
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for water storage in
1998, was one of the lakes listed as critical
The lake is already
subject to elevation requirements for the suckers
and its water eventually makes its way into the
flows down the Klamath River for coho.
If needed, formal
consultation could take place and a biological
opinion, a federal document that guides species
management, could be written for the bull trout in
"There is no doubt that
it can affect federal actions and Reclamation has
federal actions going on up there," Keppen said.
Although there are no
known populations of bull trout in the lake, Service
officials said it could have historically been a
migratory corridor. Whether fish use the lake now
will be one of the issues discussed by the Service
and Bureau, Sabo said.
Last week's designation
comes in response to a court order. In all, the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service designated about 1,748
miles of streams and 61,235 acres of lakes in the
Columbia and Klamath River basins of Oregon,
Washington and Idaho as critical habitat for bull
The designation was the
first of two ordered by the court.
Along with the
designation of Agency Lake, the Sycan Marsh, a
preserve run by The Nature Conservancy was also
designated as critical habitat for bull trout.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bull trout: http://species.fws.gov/bulltrout
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM Pacific
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