Explosions Destroy Levee Near Klamath Lake
Crews blew up levees along the Lake and Williamson River to help create a marsh for a dwindling population of sucker fish.
“What the marsh will do is let them go through a transition zone where's there's vegetation, there's a variety of water temperatures they can select from, there's shade, there's all kind of habitat in the marsh that they'll use,” said Matt Barry, of the Nature Conservancy.
These dry fields were marshland back in the 1940’s, but the land was eventually reclaimed by the series of levees destroyed on Tuesday.
People who hunt in the area say the project will change the sporting landscape.
“It's a give and take, we'll lose a little bit in the hunting respect as far as I'm concerned, but we'll gain on the fishing end,” said Hal Borg, a local hunter.
Borg also said he came to see the big bang.
There will be 74 hundred acres of wetlands in what are now agricultural fields, submerging the whole site.
Today's blasts didn't lower the levees below the water line and more than an hour after the blasts, the future wetlands were still very dry.
Crews say the levees have been sufficiently weakened, and the water will be here soon.
“I've spent a lot of time here with it dried out, and the way it looks now, and I'm eager to see it with some water on it,” said Barry.
Since we left today's explosions, water has begun to seep through the levies and the fields are slowly filling up with water, but it may be some time still before the area looks like the marsh it once was.