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Judge puts fish death trial on ice Thursday
trial pitting the Yurok Tribes against the federal
government and the Klamath Water Users Association,
set to start on Sept. 20 in Oakland's District
Court, was postponed, said Judge Saundra B.
Armstrong's court clerk.
the heart of the potential trial is determining
whether the Bureau's Klamath Project contributed to
the die-off of salmon on the lower Klamath River in
2002. The Bureau and the water users have moved to
have the case dismissed because they say the court
doesn't have proper jurisdiction and because the
plaintiffs, who have a reservation on the river, are
asking for relief that doesn't match any damages.
The Yuroks have said they want more water to flow
down the river from the Klamath Project to prevent
another fish kill caused by infection and disease
like that seen in September 2002.
The potential trial is an off-shoot of an
overarching case that was set for the courtroom in
Spring 2003. In that case, the Pacific Coast
Federation of Fishermen's Associations and other
downstream interests, along with they Yurok Tribe,
sued the federal government to release more water
down the Klamath River from Iron Gate Dam.
The trial for the original case was canceled the day
it was set to begin in May 2003 and Armstrong said
she would come out with a written decision, except
for the issue of what caused the death of the
salmon. For that, she said, a trial was needed.
She didn't give a time frame on when the changes needed to be made. The Bureau has made one of them and is still working on the other.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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