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DFG Director Broddrick Statement on PacifiCorp

By: Department of Fish and Game Published: Jan 31, 2007 

The California Department of Fish and Game today released the following statement from DFG Director Ryan Broddrick on the PacifiCorp Klamath hydroelectric relicensing process. DFG Director Broddrick's statement is in response to the filing by the Departments of Interior and Commerce of their final prescriptions on the relicensing of PacifiCorp's hydroelectric facilities on the Klamath River to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

"The California Department of Fish and Game has been working cooperatively with the federal agencies for several years and we support the final prescriptions as a significant step toward improving conditions for anadromous and resident fish in the Klamath River Basin. They were developed to mitigate the serious decline of the Klamath River fisheries and will help to facilitate fish passage for Coho and Steelhead and create better habitat and conservation values for people and for fish.

Clearly we prefer the four lower dams be removed and we hope that PacifiCorp will eventually make that decision voluntarily. In the meantime, we expect that they will implement these critical fish passage and flow prescriptions immediately."

The PacifiCorp dams have blocked all anadromous fish passage to more than 350 miles of historic habitat since the first dam was built in 1918. Additionally, the dams impound and warm the water and annually produce blooms of algae that degrade into toxic byproducts that create poor conditions for fish in and below the dams.

Late last year, a consultant's report on behalf of the California Energy Commission and Department of the Interior found that PacifiCorp's ratepayers and shareholders would be better served with the removal of the four antiquated dams then in having to absorb the cost of the prescriptions proposed by the federal agencies.

The Klamath Hydroelectric Project contributes only one percent of PacifiCorp's total power needs and this will decline as more water flows are protected to improve environmental conditions.

PacificCorp's long-term "trap and haul" plan, submitted as an alternative to the federal agencies prescriptions were rejected as being less protective for the fish and habitat.
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