More than $350,000 awarded to benefit
and News October 9, 2019
D.C. – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and
the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday the
award of $350,939 in funding to improve the health and water
quality of Upper Klamath Lake to benefit two federally
protected species of sucker and other native fish.
Lost River nor shortnose sucker, which are listed federally
as endangered, are are surviving to maturity due to a host
of water quality and other issues in Upper Klamath Lake.
wetlands and marshes throughout the Klamath Basin have
become degraded, reducing the amount of aquatic plants
available as natural filters to keep water quality at a
level adequate for fish survival. Consequently, these
conditions increase the growth of blue-green algae. When
these large algal blooms die off, they dramatically reduce
the oxygen in Upper Klamath Lake, making it even more
difficult for fish to survive.
Sciences and a team of technical experts will implement one
of the two projects focused on water quality in the upper
Klamath Basin. The team will assess the feasibility of
removing algal blooms from Upper Klamath Lake to determine
if it can be done at a scale that has a positive effect on
lake water quality conditions.
“We are proud
to be part of the broad coalition of organizations and
individuals working to restore fish and wildlife habitat in
the Klamath Basin,” said Jonathan Birdsong, director of
NFWF’s western regional office. “These projects are
important tools for helping improve watersheds in the
project through Trout Unlimited is to design a method for
separating nutrient-rich tailwater in West Canal from
Sevenmile Creek, an area designated as critical native trout
habitat and a tributary to Upper Klamath Lake.
regional director for the Service’s Pacific Southwest region
is optimistic the projects will help to restore lake water
quality to improve sucker survival.
“The Service is
absolutely committed to working with our partners to find
solutions that recover Klamath suckers, and we are
optimistic about the success of the project,” Souza said.
“Improvements to Upper Klamath Lake are a key part of the
equation that will benefit suckers as well as the entire
were identified by experts convened in a 2018 Sucker Summit
organized by U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley.
incredibly heartening to see the people in the Basin and
federal officials who are committed to meeting the sucker
crisis respond so quickly to the short-term action items we
identified at the Summit — from sucker propagation to water
quality,” Merkley said. “This grant to improve the lake’s
water quality shows stakeholders’ determination to come
together and tackle this challenge. I am committed to being
a strong federal partner and continuing to do everything I
can to secure resources for the Basin.”
grants for these projects were awarded through the Klamath
Basin Restoration Program, a partnership between NFWF and
the Service. For more information, visit www.nfwf.org/klamathbasin.
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