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Two-day Klamath River Basin Fish Health Conference begins today by Nathan Rushton, 1/30/2007

(KBC NOTE: NOAA Fisheries, USFWS & USGS sponsor this 'objective' event. Consulting Fisheries Biologist Pat "Higgins helped create the Klamath Basin Tribal Water Quality Work Group web site at www.klamathwaterquality.com, which is aimed at educating the community about water quality problems in the Klamath River and offering solutions to solve them." Two photos they offer...one of dead fish and one of the Klamath Project saying it is polluted. Objective gov't sponsored conference??)

Sharing information and educating the public on fish health issues on the beleaguered Klamath River Basin will be the focus of a two-day conference that kicks off in Fortuna today.

The National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey, which are co-sponsoring the event, are inviting the public to attend the conference that is aimed at providing information on numerous fish health topics developed by university, tribal and government researchers.

The conference, which is free of charge and open to the public, is being held today through Thursday at Fortuna’s River Lodge Conference Center.

The first day’s event begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues to 5 p.m. with an evening mixer and poster session from 5 to 7 p.m.

The second day’s event begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues until 1 p.m.

The two-day conference will provide presentations on distribution and habitat of disease pathogen hosts, rates of infection among salmonid populations, the influence of flow rates on fish disease and the integration of fish-health research on fishery management decisions.

With numerous technical presentations of research conducted in the past few years, the conference is geared toward researchers and managers, said Phil Detrich, field supervisor for the USFWS’s Yreka Office.

NOAA Fisheries Biologist Jim Simondet said this year’s Klamath River Fish Health Conference — the third within several years — has an expanded agenda to allow residents to talk with key stakeholders involved with the management of the basin.

“Obviously, the Klamath River Basin’s fish health is a big issue in the area,” Simondet said.

As one of the area’s most important salmon spawning rivers that is “out of balance,” Simondet said the Klamath River has become symbolic for the whole West Coast ocean fisheries and offers a huge opportunity for stakeholder agencies to work collaboratively to address the issues.

The conference will also compare, contrast and synthesize the previous years’ research, which management officials said they hope will help lead toward management action to improve the salmon disease issues in the Klamath River.

Consulting Fisheries Biologist Pat Higgins describes the Klamath River’s fish health situation as a “continuing crisis” that is evidenced by studies showing 50 percent of the watershed’s juvenile salmon trying to reach the ocean are dying before they get there.

Higgins helped create the Klamath Basin Tribal Water Quality Work Group’s Web site at www.klamathwaterquality.com , which is aimed at educating the community about water quality problems in the Klamath River and offering solutions to solve them.

“We are learning a lot,” Higgins said. “But everything we are learning is bad.”

2007 Klamath River Fish Health Conference Jan. 31 – Feb. 1 River Lodge, 1800 Riverwalk Drive, Fortuna

8:30 a.m. Welcome/Introduction
8:45 – 9:45 a.m. Overview ? Trends and abundance of salmon populations ? Overview of disease problems ? Parvicapsula and Ceratomyxa life cycles
9:45 – 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15-11:30 a.m. — Juvenile Monitoring and Sentinel Studies ? Juvenile Chinook, coho salmon infection data ? Tributary population susceptibility ? 2006 Sentinel studies — comparison with 2005 ? Spore contributions from adult salmon Noon – 1:15 p.m. Lunch
1:15 – 2:30 p.m. — Infection Studies ? Effects of salt water on survival of infected fish ? Dose infection studies for Chinook and coho salmon ? Effects of flow on polychaete survival and infection in fish
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Polychaete Sampling Results ? 2006 Polychaete distribution and infection studies ? Field and lab studies on the distribution and ecology of Manayunkia speciosa ? Ceratomyxa shasta and Manayunkia speciosa
3:30 - 4 p.m. Break
4- 5 p.m. Water Sampling Studies ? Overview of water sampling efforts ? Relationship between data and biological effects ? Actinospore exposure level/infection study ? Trends evident from bi-weekly water sampling efforts ? Description of sampling effort ? Results of water sampling ? Relationship between spore load, temp and flow
5 -7 p.m. Evening mixer and poster session

8:30 a.m. Synthesis and Perspectives on fish health plans from other systems and discussion ? C. shasta in the Deschutes system and development of a fish health management plan ? C. shasta flow recommendations in the Willamette River ? General Trends and Summary; Integrated Science Approach
10 – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Panel Discussions: Integrating Management and Fish Health Research

(This period will provide an opportunity for questions and discussion between presenter research agencies, as well as stakeholder and tribal representatives.)


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