Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Fighting for Our Right to Irrigate Our Farms and Caretake Our Natural Resources

Time to Take Action

FACTS compiled by kbc from notes from  Klamath Water Users, scientist/biologist Dave Vogel, Ph.D. Robert McLandress of UC Davis, ecology

There was a fish die-off of 33,OOO chinook salmon 200 miles from the Klamath Basin.

100,000 healthy fish are currently returning to upstream hatcheries and spawning areas.

As of this weekend, the number of returning salmon at Iron Gate Hatchery on the Klamath River was the THIRD highest since records have been taken (1961).

Water levels in the Klamath this year have been higher than water levels during three of the last 10 years. There were no significant die offs of salmon in those years when water levels were lower than they were earlier this fall, suggesting that other factors than flows may be responsible for the disease that killed the fish this year.

The Klamath Project only represents 2% of the entire Klamath River watershed.

 Project releases from Iron Gate Dam represent just one of over 100 downstream "tributaries" to the Klamath River mainstem.

 It is indeed unfortunate that bacteria killed many early-returning salmon at the beginning of the run as they entered the Klamath River, at a time when dry-year water temperatures were hostile.

There is simply no scientific or other evidence to suggest that increased flows in the Klamath at this time will provide any benefit to the salmon fisheries.

The National Academy of science found no benefits of raising the lake levels for endangered fish, and said that the 2001 water shut-off was unnecessary. 

Increasing flows now will almost certainly cause great  harm to the federal and private wildlife refuges, as well as Klamath Basin communities that will need this water next summer to support the agricultural economy.

"There are 433 species of wild life here.  The Biological Opinion Deals with 3. The farms and wetlands supply the food for waterfowl that we are pledged to look after. There are 200 million waterfowl use days that waterfowl have to be fed here in the Klamath Basin. That's about 70 million pounds of food...we couldn't even cover half of that under the natural systems.  The other 1/2 has to come out of the farms." Robert McLandress, Ph.D. ecology, UC

For those thinking that making wetlands out of our private farmland or refuge farmland to use less water, WETLANDS USE 2CE THE AMOUNT OF WATER AS IRRIGATED FARMLAND.

Articles - with Klamath Basin facts:

PRESS RELEASE: Senator Whitsett sets the record straight (with ONRC regarding Klamath Power Bill #81) 6/2/05. “What I am not willing to do is sit quietly while the ONRC makes up facts and spreads falsehoods about the hardworking men and women of the Klamath Basin who make their
livelihood in agriculture.”

Oregon State University--The Daily Barometer, An Endangered Act 1/21/05, followed by KBC Commentary, which has been posted to the Daily Barometer.  This commentary contains FACTS


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