Reclamation pulls back on water releases
by Gerry O'Brien 2/11/17 Herald
The Bureau of Reclamation has pulled back on the amount of water
it is releasing to the Klamath River as towns downstream are
seeing flooding due to the recent rains.
Laura Williams, public affairs specialist for the BOR, told the
Herald and News late Friday that releases of water from the Link
River dam will not go higher than 6,030 cubic feet per second.
"We had planned to go up to 6,500 cfs but in consideration for
the folks downstream, we're pulling back."
Northern California has been deluged with rain and the town of
Happy Camp along the Klamath River has some roads under water.
The release from the dams on the Klamath has not contributed to
the flooding, but could if the flows are increased.
Thursday, the BOR announced it planned to increase flows below
Iron Gate Dam to reduce the risk of disease for coho salmon in
the Klamath River. The flows below Iron Gate Dam had planned to
be elevated, increasing from approximately 4,000 cubic feet per
second to as much as 9,600 cfs.
"We're going to wait on increasing flows until some of the area
dries out," Williams said.
The public is urged to take all necessary precautions on or near
the river while flows are high during this period.
The reason for the increased flows was due to a recent U.S.
District Court ruling. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William
H. Orrick ordered Reclamation to implement “winter-spring
flushing flows designed to dislodge and flush out polychaete
worms that host C. shasta.”
The increased flow event is consistent with Judge Orrick’s Order
and was planned in coordination with the National Marine
Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Yurok,
Karuk, Hoopa Valley and Klamath Tribes, Klamath Project water
users, state and other fisheries experts, and PacifiCorp.
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