Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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2012 Salmon fish kill on the drawing boards
According to Alaska, Oregon and California Fish & Game the prediction is that there will be a large run of salmon in the Klamath this year. It is of interest that the Yurok and Hoopa tribes are calling for a major pulse release of water for a ceremony which could again cause a large fish kill in the Klamath. Should this be allowed to happen it will again raise the argument that “toxic algae in the reservoirs” will be the cause and a hue and cry for dam removal will again be raised.
Salmon Fish-Kill Phenomenon
We are all aware that in 2002 there were over 30,000 salmon killed in the lower Klamath River. Multiple scenarios have been brought forward as to the cause of this kill and they are listed below.
1. Hoopa tribe called for a pulse of water to perform their ritualistic water boat dance ceremony which enticed salmon in the estuary to move upriver into the Klamath. They then reduced the flow leaving thousands of fish stranded in shallow water.
2. Normally cold water from the Trinity is fed downriver and with the diversion in place there was never to exceed more than 50% of the available flow to go to Southern California. However, at the time of the fish kill 73% of the waters in the Trinity were being sent South resulting in the shallow water when the surge was discontinued and that precipitated the fish kill.
3. According to the Del Norte Sheriff's Department, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department and Larry Hand of the California Conservation Corps (CCC), a CCC crew run by John Buttons discovered several large glass flasks used for cooking methamphetamine on Ohpah Creek, a tributary of the Klamath River just 21 miles from the mouth of the river. Their determination was that the fish kill was caused by toxic chemicals. Interesting that Fish & Game did not sample the waters until a week after the kill and found them to be non-toxic.
4. Although the prior three possible causes of the fish kill are more than likely a fourth proposal made by environmental groups was that “toxic algae” from the reservoirs behind the dams was the cause of the fish kill. This is their primary argument for removing the hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River which is ludicrous. In 2009 the CDC conducted tests on the waters behind the dams and deemed them to be non-toxic.
Factual data regarding Coho Salmon from NMFS
PACIFIC NORTHWEST SALMON LANDINGS DATA
Specifically referring to Coho Salmon, in 1970 27% of all Coho were caught in Alaskan waters and in 2009 the percentage caught in Alaskan waters was 82% definitively confirming that the increase in temperature of the Pacific Ocean has driven Coho Salmon North into Alaskan waters. http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/commercial/landings/annual_landings.html
COHO SALMON NMFS DATA 1960 - 2010
The total number of metric tons of Coho Salmon landed in the Pacific Northwest in 1960 was 6,200 metric tons. In 2010 the total was 15,079 based on NMFS landing data. There is no doubt that Coho Salmon population along the Pacific Coast has increased by 243% since 1960 and any listing of Coho Salmon in SONCC ESU is unlawful, capricious and arbitrary and is not based on scientific data
The 1993 NMFS Oceanic Report states that the “El nino of 1983-1985 was responsible for devastating the Coho Salmon population off the coast of California by driving Coho Salmon North into Alaskan waters.”
Dr. John Palmisano formerly a Marine mammal
biologist for NMFS in Juneau, Alaska, teaching fisheries and
biology at U of Washington
If you wish to help stop this possible impending fish-kill in 2012 I suggest that you write Kevin Moore, (541 880-2557) U. S. Bureau of Reclamation 6600 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls, OR 97603, Shane Hunt (202-513-0669) of Bureau of Reclamation at 1849 C Street NW Washington DC 20240-0001. , Erin Williams Field Supervisor (530) 841-3112 at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 829 S. Oregon Street Yreka, California 96097, or Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources Division, Attn: Rosalie del Rosario, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4213 and demand this travesty be averted. It might also be of value to call your State representatives, Senators and Governor.
Dr. Richard Gierak, SCWUA science consultant
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Page Updated: Saturday July 14, 2012 03:38 AM Pacific
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