Our Klamath Basin
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Contractor picked to remove
Herald and News 2/7/07
PORTLAND (AP) A contractor has been chosen to
remove the Chiloquin Dam to open up spawning
habitat for endangered suckers in Upper Klamath
Lake in southern Oregon.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said Tuesday that
Slayden Construction Group of Stayton, was awarded
the $9 million contract to remove the dam, an
irrigation diversion built in 1914 on the Sprague
River outside the town of Chiloquin. The
11-foot-high dam is scheduled to be removed by the
end of 2008. It is to be replaced by pumps to
serve the Modoc Point Irrigation District.
This is a significant step in helping to restore
the traditional fishery for the Klamath Indian
Tribes, which have reserved fishing rights in the
area, said Steve Thompson, head of the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service California-Nevada office.
Besides being protected by the Endangered Species
Act, the suckers are a traditional food for the
Klamath Tribes, who conduct a ceremony each year
near the dam to welcome the spawning run of the
In 2001, drought conditions forced the shut-off of
water to farms on the Klamath Reclamation Project
in an effort to maintain water for endangered
suckers in Upper Klamath Lake and threatened coho
salmon in the Klamath River, triggering conflicts
between the tribes and farmers.
The National Research Council suggested removing
the dam in 2003 as one way of boosting numbers of
Lost River suckers and shortnosed suckers. The
U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service threw their support behind the
Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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