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Additional water releases for Klamath River
  By LACEY JARRELL, Herald and News 8/23/14
     The Bureau of Reclamation began releasing additional flows into the Trinity and Klamath rivers this morning. According to a news release, Trinity Reservoir releases into the Trinity River began at 7 a.m. The releases, which are coming from the Trinity Reservoir and the Lewiston Dam, are intended to help protect the returning run of adult Chinook salmon from a fish-kill.

   “We were really thankful and really glad there was a reconsideration given,” said Hoopa Tribe Fisheries Director Mike Orcutt. “We’re happy Reclamation made the right decision.”

   Earlier this week, members of the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa tribes gathered in front of the Sacramento BOR office to protest the agency’s initial decision to withhold water releases in the Trinity and Klamath rivers.
    New dam releases will begin at 7 a.m. today

   “We have determined that unprecedented conditions over the past few weeks in the lower Klamath River require us to take emergency measures to help reduce the potential for a large-scale fish die-off,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo.

   Several factors prevalent in the lower Klamath River are the basis for the decision to provide emergency augmentation flows, the release said. Several dead fish have already been observed in the rivers and a recent report by the California-Nevada Fish Health Center found that more than three-quarters of juvenile Chinook salmon surveyed in the Klamath River are already diseased with parasites that proliferate in warm, slow-moving water.  

   “We fully recognize that during this prolonged severe drought, every acre-foot of water is extremely valuable, and we are making every effort to conserve water released for fish health purposes to reduce hardships wherever possible,” Murillo said.

   Lewiston Dam releases will begin increasing at 7 a.m. today. The cubic feet per second (cfs) will increase from approximately 450 cubic feet per second to approximately 950 cfs to achieve a flow rate of 2,500 cfs in the lower Klamath River.

   At 7 a.m. Monday, releases from Lewiston Dam will begin increasing to approximately 2,450 cfs to achieve a flow rate of approximately 4,000 cfs in the lower Klamath River. The release will be maintained for approximately 24 hours before returning to approximately 950 cfs. The release will be regulated near that level to maintain lower Klamath River flows at 2,500 cfs until approximately Sunday, Sept. 14.

   River and fishery conditions will be continuously monitored, and those conditions will determine the duration, the release said.


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