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Activists attack Iron Gate hatchery

Lawsuit filed by Klamath Riverkeepers

By Daniel Webster Pioneer Press April 11, 2007 

IRON GATE LAKE - Felice Pace's sister group is at it again. They are suing the California Department of Fish and Game and Pacific Power alleging that the Iron Gate Fish Hatchery is releasing to much fish "waste" which is hurting the fish in the river.

"Klamath Riverkeeper's lawsuit asserts that operation of the Iron Gate Dam hatchery has resulted in repeated violations of the Clean Water Act and is just one of the ways that PacifiCorp, as the owner of the four dams along the Klamath River, is destroying the River, its salmon runs, and the coastal fishing economies of the California and Oregon Coastline," the group's press release states.

The department of fish and game has received its second 60 day notice, Steve Martarano, supervising information officer told the Pioneer Press Friday.

"We've been in contact with them [Klamath Riverkeepers]," he said, and couldn't comment further.

Pacific Power supposedly has been named in the suit as well. Dave Kvamme, lead spokesperson for Pacific Power told the Pioneer Press that they have not been served with the suit, but it has apparently been filed with the courts and those in his office have seen it.

He said that it claims that the discharges from the fish hatchery are out of compliance.

Pacific Power owns the fish hatchery and funds 80 percent of the operations. The hatchery is actually operated by the California Department of Fish and Game, according to Kvamme.

The data that has been recorded regarding the fish hatchery discharges, had been recorded in error, Kvamme told the Pioneer Press. Rather than recording the data in micrograms it was being consistently recorded as a gram, which then showed the discharges to be out of compliance.

It was as if all the decimals had been moved over.

Since the department of fish and game corrected the decimal placement error, the North Coast Water Quality Control Board decided there should be no enforcement action taken.

It would appear that the litigants formed for the purpose of filing this suit, according to Kvamme.

The organization Klamath Riverkeepers uses the same address and phone number as Felice Pace's Klamath Forest Alliance. Pace has been aligned with the extreme eco-defense group EarthFirst! for years.

Regina Chichizola, the spokesperson for Klamath Riverkeepers, was previously with Cascadia Rising!, another extremely radical group with is linked with EarthFirst!
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