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"This is a copy of a letter I sent to have read at Rep. Thompson's fish status forum today..."

Marcia Armstrong, Siskiyou County Supervisor

August 30, 2004

Attn: Elizabeth Murguia, District Representative
Office of The Honorable Mike Thompson
317 3rd St., Suite 1
Eureka, CA 95501

Re: Klamath Fish Status Forum

Dear Elizabeth,

Please accept my regrets for not being able to attend the forum on Klamath
River fish. I find that my schedule and budgetary constraints does not
allow for this trip.

I did want to say that I am very proud of all the voluntary efforts of the
people in Siskiyou County to enhance and restore fish habitat.
Agriculturalists in the Scott and Shasta Valleys are recognized statewide
as leaders in their conservation efforts to benefit anadromous fish.

For example, in Scott Valley alone, voluntary salmonid habitat restoration
projects implemented or currently funded for implementation in the
agricultural areas of the Scott River watershed include:

1.         Completed 17,150 feet of stream channel enhancement projects
such as fish friendly bank stabilization and installed 313+ instream
structures on private property.

2.         Livestock exclusion fencing completed on 95% of privately owned
portions of the Scott River mainstem and 40% of the tributaries.

3.         Installed over 75 fish screens on private water diversion
structures.  Only three unscreened diversions remain within known or
suspected distribution of coho.

4.         Planted 187 acres of riparian zone along the Scott River and its
tributaries with pine, cottonwood and willows.

5.         Continued transition from gravel push-up diversion dams to
boulder weirs where applicable (12 have been constructed).

6.         Outreach and educational activities.

7.         Completed Phase I legal analysis of the Scott Valley Water Trust
concept for increasing flows for fish.

8.         Researched feasibility of improving existing high mountain lake
storage at three sites for release in improving cold water refugia and
over-summering habitat.

The Shasta and Scott River Pilot Program for Coho Recovery (SSRT 2003), in
combination with implementation of the Recovery Strategy for California
Coho Salmon  (CDFG 2003), represent ongoing recovery efforts that should
have a measurable positive impact on coho populations in the Scott River,
Klamath watershed and other tributaries within the range of coho salmon in
California.

A recipient of CSAC's Challenge award, Siskiyou County has engaged in a
$1,217,000 effort to replace road structures that have posed barriers to
fish migration. In addition to eliminating large potentials for road
failure and sediment, 48 miles of previously blocked salmon habitat have
been restored.

I am very encouraged that recent data seem to indicate that the previous
decline in coho populations appears to have leveled off in the 1980s and
that stabilized populations are increasing in a trend toward recovery. I
am, however,  concerned about the developing data that appears to indicate
that, despite all our efforts, diseases, such as Ceratomyxa Shasta, are
taking a growing proportion of the juvenile fish populations that we are
producing.

I am excited about the growing cooperative relationship and positive energy
among the people of the Klamath River system and its tributaries in working
together to recover fish stocks. I look forward to the day when robust fish
runs will return to healthy, local communities.

Sincerely,



Marcia H. Armstrong
Supervisor, District 5
 
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