Klamath Water Users Association 

December 12, 2003
Salmon Rearing Habitats in the
Main Stem Klamath River

by David Vogel, fisheries scientists with Natural Resources Scientists, Inc
Report HERE.  This page's summary is by Dan Keppen, KWUA Executive Director
 Here for Vogel's biography and additional reports.

Dr. Thomas Hardy is currently working to complete the draft Phase II report that recommends higher than normal Klamath River flows. Recall that an earlier version of the Hardy effort was a primary reason for the elevated Iron Gate Dam flow schedule included in the disastrous 2001 Klamath Project operations plan. The attached report-prepared by David Vogel, fisheries scientists with Natural Resources Scientists, Inc - serves to further detail our concerns with the Draft Hardy Phase II Report's treatment of Klamath River flows. Key concerns outlined in the report: 
  • Without supporting data, the draft Phase II Report relied on assumed habitat usage of Chinook fry in the main stem Klamath River as a surrogate for coho fry, despite well-known differences in habitat criteria between the species.
  • It appears the authors have misinterpreted the known rearing habitat characteristics for coho salmon in an attempt to re-create that habitat (in a theoretical sense) in the main stem Klamath River.
  • The draft Phase II report introduced mathematical computations into computer modeled fish habitat that skewed outputs to conclude very high flows would create more rearing habitat.
  • The development of the HSC for the Klamath River in the draft Phase II Report was severely constrained by data collection during high flow conditions and created unintentional bias in the results. This problem was further compounded by inappropriate sampling techniques that resulted in the misinterpretation of fish utilization of habitats in the Klamath River.
The attached report further outlines these and other concerns.

Klamath Water Users Association
2455 Patterson Street, Suite 3
Klamath Falls, Oregon 97603
(541)-883-6100 FAX (541)-883-8893 kwua@cdsnet.net

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