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Klamath task force to meet in Crescent City

The Times-Standard  2/1/05

A two-day meeting to report on the state of the Klamath River's fisheries and efforts to restore them will be held in Crescent City next week.

The Klamath River Basin Fisheries Task Force, a group of agencies, stakeholders and government representatives from the basin will hash over the myriad plans, restoration efforts and available information aimed at the river's many species of fish.

The task force will hear from the California Department of Fish and Game on the state of the river's salmon three years after a disastrous 2002 fish kill.

The department will present the numbers of 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year-old salmon that returned to the river this year, as well as the number of fish caught in sport and tribal fisheries. It's believed the number of fish will be down from previous predictions.

That number will later be used to predict the abundance of salmon in the ocean, a figure used to set sport, tribal and commercial quotas.

Updates will be given on the state's coho salmon recovery process, the status of a petition to federally protect lamprey, and the relicensing of the Klamath hydroelectric project.

Humboldt County commercial fisherman and task force member Dave Bitts said he hopes to hear that the government is applying itself to the business of recovery of the fishery. But he's not convinced the current administration is interested in pursuing more than meeting after meeting.

"In the meantime, business will go on as usual," Bitts said. "Well, business as usual isn't going to do it."

The task force meeting runs from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. -- with a 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. social hour -- on Feb. 9 and from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 10. Public comment will be accepted at 5 p.m. on Feb. 9 and 12:15 on Feb. 10.

It will be held at the Elk Valley Rancheria.

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