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Farmers, ranchers can run Basin better than 'experts'

Letter to editor by David Hill, Merrill, Oregon for Herald and News 9/30/2020

Maybe ODF&W research in progress with sucker fry in the “rearing pens” on Klamath Lake will answer some question on sucker survival, except predators above and below water.

For more than 20 years now, the agriculture community have been the whipping boy for all the problems concerning the salmon, sucker and algae in the Klamath Lake Basin. So called “experts” from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the tribes above and below the lake, fisheries personnel, a local MD, biologists and others have told us how to fix the problem: Fence the riparian area of all streams, remove 30-40,000 acres of productive farm ground along the lake, keep water levels high in lake, remove cattle or keep manure out of lake. All the above have been done and nothing works.

Maybe the decline in suckers is due to the trophy trout population consuming the sucker fry or the cormorants and terns and other fish eating birds are responsible. Cormorants and terns are major factors with salmon fry in the Columbia River system.

As a volunteer, along with several students at the Wood River Rehab Area, we were told by the Bureau of Land Management that the problem of taking the “meander” out of the streams as well as willow removal was the fault of farmers and ranchers. Actually, it was the Army Corps of Engineers.

Now it’s wolf depredation on cattle. Wolf “experts” have the answer too, but nothing works. They should listen to ranchers.

David Hill




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