Not a "fish die off,"
die-off below Keno Dam
Your front page article
about the dead fish seen by a fishing guide, does not constitute
a "fish die off". Adding a large, false inflow of water into the
river at this time of the year and then drawing it down quickly,
is going to leave a few fish trapped in artificially made
The greater damage is done by your reckless, exaggerated
reporting that has been sold to the AP and is now appearing in
large city newspapers, such as San Francisco Chronicle and
Seattle Times. People who have no understanding of our
situation, will hate the "evil farmer" and send their money to
support environmental groups. That is where the real harm lies.
Fish die-off below Keno Dam
and News by Holly Dillemuth 5/6/18.
Reduced flows to the Klamath River have resulted in a
die-off of between 500 to 1,000 fish, crustaceans, and
invertebrates below the Keno Dam.
reduced flows to the Klamath River were issued to charge the
A canal in preparation for water delivery to Basin
irrigators, according to the Bureau of Reclamation’s Klamath
Basin Area Office.
Southern Oregon fishing guide who hiked in to the Keno
section of the Klamath River last week discovered pools of
dead fish. The guide is concerned the die-off could also
impact the diet of the redband trout.
Warren, based in Phoenix, Ore., found the fish, including,
fathead minnows and sculpin — neither endangered — about a
mile below the Keno Dam on Monday, April 30. He heard that
flows in that stretch of the river were low, and having
grown up fly-fishing the Klamath River, he and a friend
wanted to see for themselves.
walked in and almost instantaneously found these fish
stranded,” Warren said. “At that point, we started taking
pictures,” Warren added.
“Because these pools were filled, literally filled with
sculpin and a catfish and a bullhead minnow as well.”
submitted photographs of the dead species to both Oregon
Department of Fish and Wildlife and Bureau of Reclamation’s
Klamath Basin Area Office.
Williams, BOR public affairs officer, called the event a
never heard of it happening since I’ve been here,” Williams
Williams said the reduced flows were issued to prepare canal
systems for irrigation as well as to meet Reclamation’s
required standards for levels of Upper Klamath Lake under
the biological opinion.
a sad thing when there’s so many competing needs for that
water,” Williams said. “We don’t want it to happen.”
Warren, a lifelong fisherman and a guide for steelhead and
trout, is concerned that the fish and invertebrates killed
could affect the diet of the redbands.
can’t mess with the ecosystem that much and not expect for
there not to be some negative impact on the species within
there,” Warren said.
you lower the water that low, in a stream that’s already
higher than it should be with higher sediment loads than it
should be, it puts a lot of stress on those fish,” Warren
then on top of that, you start reducing the amount of food
that’s in the river. You start chipping away at that as
well, and you’re going to see some fish that don’t make it.”
Warren, who has fly-fished the area since his youth, agreed
about the outcome.
sad in the fact that we as fishing guides or fishermen — you
have a connection to the fish you’re chasing after,” Warren
said.“It’s something that really helps me connect myself to
this place — to the rivers, and the fish. And to see those
fish in there …” he added.
is an important part of our culture in Southern Oregon and
we need to look after it.”
hopes more can be done to ensure that a fish die-off doesn’t
occur again in the Klamath River.
said his ultimate motivation for reporting the incident is
not to point fingers, but to spread awareness of competing
demands for water in the Basin.
fourth-generation Southern Oregonian with roots in Ashland’s
Greensprings, Warren said Reclamation has a hard job
managing water flows for different regions of the river.
Warren, who also happens to be in his second year as city
councilor of Phoenix, hopes the conversations continue, and
even that they may lead to new legislation to protect the
Klamath River’s fisheries.
motivation now is to try to establish the desire to create
some sort of legislation for a law that prevents this from
happening in the future,” Warren said.
fishing guide from Phoenix, OR:
His first sentences,
“I am not going to try to convince you that you should help to
sustain wild fish populations. If you don’t want to, then I
can’t persuade you because you are probably part of the problem
and people like me will never see eye to eye with people like
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