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Man-made surge would create danger to salmon

By James A. Waddell, (Karuk Tribal Member) Siskiyou Daily News 9/29/09
 
Roseville -

Dear Editor,

I would like for the citizens to know if it is true that there has been or will be an intentionally released water surge to go down the Klamath River. This will concern me if it is true.

Whether a water surge is from the Trinity River or the main Klamath River, the results will be the same at the riverís mouth! The salmon and steelhead will start upriver.

I am of generations of families on the Klamath River. I am a member of the Karuk people who do not support or agree with the Karuk managementís idea of removing Klamath dams! If salmon come upriver into a stream with water that is too warm and too shallow, the salmon will suffer. I believe that a surge of water of short duration will have the same results as getting rid of the Klamath dams Ė getting run-leading salmon into the Klamath River when the river water is too warm and shallow!

I used to fish the Klamath River regularly in the fall and winter. I lived there for half a century!

Also, other Waddells and I were fishing guides on the Happy Camp area portion of the Klamath River and we knew that in the next week following the first fall rains, the salmon and steelhead came upriver to Happy Camp! The higher, and cooler, water from the equinox rainstorms was the trigger to start the fish up the river! The cooler waters of fall rainstorms are of long duration. Not a surge and then gone!

If the salmon and steelhead come upriver, they will need cool water in a steady flow. If the anadromous fish run starts upriver when the water is too warm and shallow, it will not be good for salmon health.

This proposal of a man-made water surge to be a trigger to start salmon upriver will make this happen under the false scenario that this is higher water of cool, fall rain water, then the surge will be quickly gone and the fish will be left in water that is too warm and too shallow.

 
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