Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

Court dismisses Klamath salmon die-off case

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by an Indian tribe that sought to hold the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation responsible for a salmon die-off in the lower Klamath River in 2002.

District Judge Saundra B. Armstrong dismissed the case Thursday, saying the Yurok Tribe could not establish that a similar fish die-off was likely to occur in the future, according to the Pacific Legal Foundation, which was involved in the case on behalf of the Klamath Water Users Association.

The die-off in the late summer of 2002 claimed an estimated 34,000 fish, including most chinook salmon, in the lower reach of the Klamath River.

A trial in the case had been scheduled and postponed several times, with the most recent date set for Feb. 14.

The trial was to resolve an issue between the Yurok Tribes and the federal government that had spun out of a case brought by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations against the federal government.

"The tribe wanted the Bureau to dedicate its stored water to them first, and only if there was water left over could any be used by the Klamath Project's farmers," said Andrew Lloyd, attorney for the water users. "The judge made it clear that the tribe does not have that authority."

In the case, the Yurok Tribe, whose reservation is 200 miles downstream from the Klamath Project, argued that the operation of the Klamath Project and low water flow caused the death of the salmon in 2002.






Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

Copyright klamathbasincrisis.org, 2004, All Rights Reserved