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Low lake levels won't affect fish, farmers

Herald and News Oct. 15, 2007

The water level of Upper Klamath Lake is at a 10-year low for this time of year according to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials.

As of Oct. 8, the surface of the lake was at 4,138.31 feet above sea level. The average for this time of year is 4,138.50.

Officials said the current levels are almost two feet higher than historic lows from the early 1990s. Fish species should not be affected and agriculture will be spared because the irrigation season closes today.

The levels are perhaps an indication of a changing climate that could strain the already-delicate water situation in the Klamath Basin. With less snow falling in the mountains on average and spring thaws occurring for shorter periods, water storage will need to become a priority, say agriculture advocates.

“We’ve got to expect at some point that we’re going to experience drier conditions,” said Dan Keppen, executive director of Family Farm Alliance.

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