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Pacific Coast – NOAA and DOI Recommend Measures to Improve Fish Habitat Along the Klamath
Fish News, April 3, 2006, NOAA Fisheries Service

On March 29, NOAA Fisheries and the Department of the Interior (DOI) jointly submitted preliminary fishway prescriptions for the relicensing of the Klamath Hydroelectric Project. These preliminary prescriptions were developed after several years of careful analysis and interagency cooperation and include fish passage, both upstream and downstream, at PacifiCorp’s Iron Gate, Copco I and II, J.C. Boyle and Keeno dams.

The fishway prescriptions in this project area would restore 58 miles of habitat for Chinook, steelhead, and lamprey, including 46 miles of habitat for the threatened coho salmon, and would improve connectivity for resident trout. Fish passage would also create the opportunity for the development and implementation of a reintroduction plan to return salmon, steelhead and lamprey to more than 300 miles of historic habitat above the project. The exclusion of these fish from the upper basin began with the completion of the first dam in 1918.

The Upper Klamath River, above Iron Gate Dam, historically supported the spawning and rearing of large populations of both anadromous and resident fish. Due to many factors in the watershed and in the Pacific Ocean, Klamath River anadromous fish populations are substantially diminished and, in some cases, are struggling to survive. Safe, timely, and effective fishways at all hydropower and water diversion developments on the river are essential precursors to the eventual re-establishment of more robust and resilient fish populations.

NOAA Fisheries recommends that a number of specific measures be included in the new license to improve habitat function and ecosystem integrity. These measures include: improvements to hatchery management and full marking of hatchery fish, improved flow and water quality conditions, parasite management and control, monitoring and other habitat improvements necessary to enhance the benefits of fish passage and mitigate for the impacts of the hydroelectric facility.

For more information, contact Steve.Edmondson@noaa.gov.




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