Agencies Do Nothing As Scott and Shasta
Rivers Go Dry
|Below is from Siskiyou County Supervisor Marcia Armstrong,
posted 8/27/09. Scroll down for article.
|This is BS. It is a drought year. The Governor has
declared a state of emergency because water content of
snowpack statewide was 66% of normal. Our summer flows are
"stored" the previous winter as snowpack. When there is no
snow pack, then there is little for summer flows. (We have no
dams, lakes or reservoirs for storage.) These people try and
use drought years to do a hit piece on Scott Valley ag
whenever they can. Obviously, no one is diverting out of the
main Scott River for irrigation. On the tributaries where
there is some water, the Scott Valley Water Trust has leased
water use rights to facilitate flows in critical areas where
coho and steelhead may be over-summering. (Chinook left the
system in the spring. They do not stick around over the
summer.) Here is an article on the trust.
Coho and steelhead young go up these small west side
tributaries from the Scott River to spend the summer. They are
not in the Scott River in the summer. The water is too hot
when summer sun reaches ambient temperatures of more than 100
Precipitation in Fort Jones
October 2008 .81 precip 1.50 avg % of average 54% Nov. 1.98 2.90
68% of averageDec. 1.62 4.16 39% of averageJan 2009 .86 4.25 20%
of averageFeb.. 3.20 2.80 114% of averageMarch 1.30 2.09 62% of
averageApril .23 1.08 21% of average mean daily flow Scott River
(no dams with ag)
01/21/2009 196 cfs
Compared with 2008 Scott River
01/21/2009 320 cfs
08/20/2009 20 compared monthly flows on the Salmon River - no dams
no ag - same plummeting flows http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/selectQuery?station_id=SMS&sensor_num=20&dur_code=E&start_date=04%2F21%2F2009+00%3A00&end_date=08%2F21%2F2009+19%3A29&geom
Agencies Do Nothing As Scott and Shasta Rivers
by Dan Bacher August 20, 2009 Indybay
The Scott and Shasta Rivers, major salmon spawning tributaries of
the Klamath River, are being sucked dry by irrigators as the
Schwarzenegger and Obama administrations do absolutely nothing!
Here are all of the details from Erica Terrence, Klamath
Photo by Crystal Bowman, Quartz Valley Indian Tribe.
640_hwy3scottriver_1863_u... original image ( 1600x1200)
Klamath Riverkeeper Press Release | For Immediate Release
Contact: Erica Terence, Klamath Riverkeeper, office: (530)
627-3311, cell: (530) 340-5415, erica [at] klamathriver.org
August 20, 2009
Two Northern California Salmon Rivers Go Dry As Spawning Season
Agencies Do Nothing as Irrigators Suck Shasta and Scott Rivers
Dry, Stranding Endangered Fish
Fort Jones, CA— In the absence of action by responsible agencies,
Klamath River advocates including Klamath Riverkeeper are
mobilizing legal and grassroots responses to a water flow crisis
of species-exterminating proportionsin the Scott and Shasta
tributaries to the Klamath.
Flows in the Scott River bottomed out at an all time record low of
less than one cubic foot per second (cfs) this week, according to
a United States Geological Survey (USGS) flow gage at Fort Jones--
far below the average of 69 cfs for this time of year. Large areas
of the river have gone completely dry, stranding endangered coho
salmon as well as Chinook and steelhead in shallow, disconnected
pools of water.
The adjacent Shasta River isn't faring much better, with flows as
low as 6 cubic feet per second, down from its average of 30 cfs
for this time of year. Both streams are critical fish habitat
within the Klamath River watershed and are dewatered by excessive
irrigation withdrawals in the Scott and Shasta Valleys of far
"This is a very critical situation that requires immediate action
and so far none of the responsible government agencies—or water
users are stepping forward with any plan of action, "said Klamath
Riverkeeper Erica Terence. The non-profit river advocacy
organization is mobilizing a legal and public outreach campaign to
bring attention to this historic flow emergency and push for
action that puts water back in the river as soon as possible.
Terence said agencies with the power to put more water back in the
river, or at least investigate the water shortage, include the
U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the California Water Quality Control
Board, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's fisheries
department (NOAA fisheries) and the California Department of Fish
and Game (CDFG). She urged citizens to raise their voices with
each of these offices to demand enough water for fish in the Scott
The Scott and Shata River's record low water levels threaten to
wipe out struggling coho and Chinook salmon runs that are crucial
to recovering and sustaining the overall Klamath River fishery.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council has closed or severely
curtailed the Klamaths commercial and sport salmon fishing
industries for three of the past four years due to low fish
The rivers flow crisis has also attracted the attention of the
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermans Associations (PCFFA, the
largest trade association of commercial fishermen on the West
Coast. "As fishing dependent communities, we are very concerned
about the dewatering of the Scott and Shasta Rivers this year.
This puts years of local landowners' restoration efforts, costing
millions of dollars, at risk. Fish swim in water, not dry
riverbeds," Glenn Spain of PCFFA said.
"The Shasta River was once the most productive salmon river for
its size in California and the Scott River used to have thriving
coho, Chinook, and steelhead runs," Terence said.
If we want to truly ˜Save our Scott and Shasta Rivers, we can't
sit by while these rivers literally are sucked dry by irrigators.
We need water in the river right now. Fall run salmon are already
on their way up the Klamath and need to be able to swim up the
Scott and Shasta Rivers to spawn.
For photos, e-mail Klamath Riverkeeper Erica Terence.
More Information, including USGS gage links, can be found on our