Federal Register Volume 80, Number 134 (Tuesday, July 14, 2015)]
[Notices] [Pages 41061-41062] From the Federal Register Online
via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] [FR Doc No:
Notice of Intent To Prepare a Draft
Environmental Impact Statement for the Long-Term Plan To Protect
Adult Salmon in the Lower Klamath River, Humboldt County,
Klamath Falls meeting Tuesday,
August 11, 2015, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Klamath Falls, OR.
COMMENTS DUE Aug. 20, 2015
received this link from the Bureau that works..the link in their
press release did not work:
AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.
ACTION: Notice of intent and scoping meetings.
SUMMARY: The Bureau of Reclamation will prepare an Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the effects of the Long-Term
Plan for the Protection of Adult Salmon in the lower Klamath
River. The proposed action is to increase lower Klamath River
flows to reduce the likelihood, and potentially reduce the
severity, of any fish die-off in future years due to crowded
holding conditions for pre-spawn adults, warm water
temperatures, and presence of disease pathogens as the likely
major factors contributing to the adult mortalities. The
proposed increased flows would be provided primarily from
releases of water stored in Trinity Reservoir on the main stem
of the Trinity River, with the potential for some of the flows
to be derived from the Klamath River above the confluence with
the Trinity River depending on existing hydrologic and related
environmental conditions. The purpose of the proposed action is
to reduce the likelihood, and potentially reduce the severity,
of any Ich epizootic event that could lead to an associated fish
die-off in future years. The need is based on the past extensive
fish die-off in 2002.
DATES: Submit written comments on the scope of the draft EIS by
20, 2015. Four public scoping meetings will be held on the
following dates and times:
Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Arcata, CA.
Thursday, August 6, 2015, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Weaverville, CA.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Klamath Falls, OR.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Sacramento, CA.
ADDRESSES: Send written comments on the scope of the draft EIS,
or requests to be added to the EIS mailing list, to Mr. Paul
Zedonis, Northern California Area Office, Bureau of Reclamation,
16349 Shasta Dam Boulevard, Shasta Lake, CA 96019; or by email
to sha-slo-klamath-LTP@usbr.gov. Environmental documents for the
Long-Term Plan EIS will be available for review and download at
The public scoping meetings will be held at the following
locations: Arcata--Red Roof Inn, 4975 Valley W Blvd., Arcata, CA
95521. Weaverville--Trinity County Library, 351 Main Street,
Weaverville, CA 96093. Klamath Falls--Shilo Inn, 2500 Almond
Street, Klamath Falls, OR 97601. Sacramento--Cafeteria
Conference Rooms 1001 & 1002, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Paul Zedonis, Bureau of
Reclamation, 530-275-1554; or by email at email@example.com.
In August and September 2002, an estimated 170,000 fall-run
Chinook salmon returned to the Klamath River, and a significant
number of adult Chinook salmon (~33,000) and other salmonids
died prematurely in the lower Klamath River. This included an
estimated 344 coho salmon listed as threatened under the
Endangered Species Act. Federal, tribal, and state biologists
studying the die-off concluded that: (1) Pathogens
Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich) and Flavobacterium columnare
(Columnaris) were the primary causes of death to fish; and (2)
warm water temperatures, low water velocities and volumes, high
fish density, and long fish residence times likely contributed
to the disease outbreaks and subsequent mortalities. Flows in
the lower Klamath averaged about 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs)
during September 2002. In 2003, 2004, 2012, and 2013 predictions
of large runs of fall-run Chinook salmon to the Klamath River
Basin and drier than normal hydrologic conditions prompted the
Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to arrange for late-summer
flow augmentation to improve environmental conditions in the
lower Klamath River to reduce the probability of a disease
outbreak. The State Water Resources Board has advised
Reclamation that, as the operator of Trinity Dam, Reclamation
may bypass and/or release water for various purposes, including
releases made to improve instream conditions for the benefit of
aquatic resources, without State Board approval. In these years,
38 thousand acre-feet (TAF) of supplemental water was released
from Trinity Reservoir in 2003, 36 TAF in 2004, 39 TAF in 2012,
and 17.5 TAF in
2013. In 2013 a legal challenge occurred over implementing the
flow augmentation action, which subsequently resulted in a
delay. Also, accretions were greater than forecasted and
ultimately lead to the smaller volume used in that year. General
observations regarding the effectiveness of the sustained higher
releases are that no significant disease or adult mortalities
occurred suggesting flow augmentation was effective at meeting
its intended purpose. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
reviews (Environmental Assessments) were conducted in each of
these years concluding in Findings of No Significant Impacts.
The initial decision in 2014 was to not provide augmentation
flows on a preventive basis due to the small run size and lack
of any disease outbreak. However, during the first half of
August, hydrologic conditions and observed fish health worsened.
It was reported the adult return began much earlier than
expected, and thousands of fish were stalled at the mouth of
Blue Creek on the lower Klamath River mainstem. After consulting
with fish agencies, Reclamation determined that an emergency
release from Trinity Reservoir was necessary to avert a
potentially significant fish loss. In response to a continued
and unprecedented concern that a fish die-off was imminent,
extended the release of augmentation flows on an emergency basis
for a longer duration (and higher magnitude) than in prior years
based on the emergency criteria established for the releases. In
2014 the total volume released was 64 TAF. As in prior years of
implementing flow augmentation, and despite the unprecedented
high incidence of infection, no significant mortalities of fish
occurred. In 2014 due to the rapid worsening of conditions in
the lower Klamath River and the documented occurrence of
disease, NEPA compliance was implemented through the
``Emergency'' provisions as identified by the Council of
Environmental Quality. In response to the need to provide
augmentation flows in several of the past years, and the
indication that such flows will be needed in future years,
Reclamation committed to developing a long-term plan to address
this need along with the appropriate NEPA compliance.
Reclamation has determined an EIS is the appropriate level of
NEPA compliance for the Long-Term Plan, and will serve as the
The purpose of the scoping process is to solicit early input
from the public regarding the development of reasonable
alternatives and potential environmental impacts to be addressed
in the EIS for the lower Klamath River Long-Term Plan. Written
comments are requested to help identify alternatives and issues
that should be analyzed in the EIS. Federal, State and local
agencies, Tribes, and the general public are invited to
participate in the environmental review process.
Special Assistance for Public Scoping Meetings
Requests for sign language interpretation for the hearing
impaired and all other special assistance needs to participate
in the meetings may be submitted by any of the following methods
at least five working days before the meeting: Email to: Mr.
Paul Zedonis, sha-slo-klamath-LTP@usbr.gov. U.S. Mail to: Mr.
Paul Zedonis, Northern California Area Office, Bureau of
Reclamation, 16349 Shasta Dam Boulevard, Shasta Lake, CA 96019.
Telephone: Mr. Paul Zedonis, 530-275-1554.
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