Tag Archives: Klamath River

Limited salmon numbers, sea lion population making tough season for fishermen

Governor Brown, along with Governor Jerry Brown of California, recently submitted a request to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for a declaration of a “catastrophic regional fishery disaster,” and a commercial fishery failure. The request comes after the National Marine Fisheries Service closed the southern half of the Oregon coast to commercial salmon fishing to protect dwindling stocks of Chinook salmon on the Klamath River. “When you look at the Klamath situation, it affects fisheries all up and down the coast,” said Steve Fick, who owns Fishhawk Fisheries in Astoria. Executive Director of the Port of Astoria Jim Knight said the south coast closure will likely mean more fishing boats competing for limited numbers of salmon on the north coast. click here to read the story 08:09

In ‘Crisis,’ Yuroks Suspend Commercial Salmon Season

For the second year in a row, the Yurok Tribe will not have a commercial fishery — a devastating blow to the tribe’s culture and economy. “We are in crisis mode,” said Yurok Tribal Chair Thomas O’Rourke in a press release that lamented poor conditions on the Klamath River that have led to historically low salmon returns. “The Klamath is our grocery store, our church and our main highway. It’s our lifeline. We will leave no stone unturned in search of additional short-term and long-term solutions to address the most terrible fisheries disaster in the Tribe’s history.” The release comes after the Pacific Fisheries Management Council released its predicted Chinook salmon returns for 2017 at 11,000 fish — the lowest on record — and the tribe’s fish harvest allocation at 650 fish, or one for every 10 tribal members. The predicted return comes after two years of disease outbreaks in juvenile fish due to low flows and elevated water temperatures in the Klamath River. continue reading the story here 13:44

Low Numbers of Sacramento and Klamath River Salmon Point to Poor Season

Recreational and commercial fishermen attending the annual salmon fishery information meeting in Santa Rosa on March 1 received grim news from state and federal biologists – they will see reduced salmon fishing opportunities in both the ocean and the Sacramento and Klamath River systems, due to low returns of spawning fish to the rivers last fall. The pre-season numbers unveiled by Dr. Michael O’Farrell of the National Marine Fisheries Service estimate only 230,700 Sacramento River fall run Chinook adults and 54,200 Klamath River fall run adults will be in the ocean this year. Biologists noted that both forecasts are lower than those of recent years, with the forecast for Klamath fall run being among the lowest on record. Salmon originating from these river systems typically comprise the majority of salmon caught in the state’s ocean and inland fisheries. Ocean regulatory management for salmon fisheries on the ocean from Cape Falcon in Oregon to the Mexico-US Border is heavily based on these runs. continue reading the article by Dan Bacher here 11:22

Feds Facing Order to Redirect Klamath River Water for Salmon

Two Native American tribes sued the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation last year, claiming its bungled management of Klamath River waterways allowed a deadly parasite to infect 91 percent of endangered juvenile Coho and Chinook salmon.  The Yurok and Hoopa Valley Tribes say they depend on the salmon for subsistence, income and for traditional ceremonies that define their people. Lawyers for the federal government and an industry group of farmers and ranchers argue that diverting water to help salmon will harm businesses that support local jobs and communities and threaten another set of endangered fish, the shortnose sucker and Lost River sucker. In separate complaints against the federal government, the tribes say infection rates caused by the deadly parasite C. shasta, should have required the bureau to review its Klamath Irrigation Project’s impact on threatened salmon two years ago, but the bureau failed to take action in violation of the Endangered Species Act.During a hearing Friday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick III agreed the bureau should have reviewed the project when infection rates climbed to 81 percent in 2014 and 91 percent in 2015, well beyond the maximum 49 percent estimated in a 2013 biological opinion issued by co-defendant National Marine Fisheries Service. Read the story here 16:47

Yurok Tribe finds deadly disease in Klamath River salmon

sm_klamathDan Bacher: The Klamath River salmon fishery, an integral part of the culture, religion and livelihoods of the Yurok, Hoopa Valley and Karuk Tribes of Northern California, is going through some tough times this year. Because of the record-low run of fall-run Chinook salmon projected by federal fishery managers earlier this year, the Yurok Tribe, the largest Indian Tribe in California, held its Klamath Salmon Festival this August without serving traditionally-cooked salmon to the public as it has done for 54 years.  Then on August 19, the Tribe announced that Yurok Fisheries crews conducting routine fish disease monitoring have found that salmon in the Klamath River on the Yurok Reservation are infected with a potentially deadly disease.  Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, commonly known as ich (pronounced “ick”), is capable of causing large fish kill events, according to the Tribe. Ich was the primary pathogen that caused the 2002 fish kill in the Klamath River and killed more than 35,000 adult Chinook salmon and steelhead after the disease spread in low, warm conditions spurred by Bush administration water policies that favored irrigators over fish and downstream water users. Read the story here 19:22

Yurok Tribe Files Intent to Sue National Marine Fisheries Service and the Bureau of Reclamation

272106c4c2f6f8b444d177f854f5ab8aIn response to massive fish disease outbreaks in back-to-back years on the Klamath River, the Yurok Tribe submitted a 60-day notice of intent to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Bureau of Reclamation. “We cannot stand by and do nothing while our salmon hover over the brink of extinction,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr., Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “We will not continue to watch water managers jeopardize the fate of our fish and our river.” 91 percent of the juvenile, Klamath salmon were infected with a deadly parasite in 2015, as were a nearly identical number of fish in 2014. Given the nearly 100 percent mortality rate associated with the disease, approximately 90 percent of the Chinook salmon and likely an equal quantity of coho died in the main-stem Klamath River during those years, according to the notice. This year’s predicted adult salmon run is one of the lowest on record, which forced the Yurok Tribe to make a difficult decision to completely forgo all commercial fishing in 2016. Read the rest here 15:22

Feds release extra water to save Klamath salmon from disease

With water scarce in Northern California’s Klamath Basin, a federal agency is again releasing cool, clean water into the Klamath River to prevent a repeat of the 2002 fish kill that left tens of thousands of adult salmon dead.The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said releases started Friday from Lewiston Dam on the Trinity River, the Klamath’s primary tributary, and would continue into late September. Similar releases were done the last three years. They come from water that is shared with farms in the Central Valley. “In this fourth year of severe drought,,, Read the rest here 19:54

Keeping the Klamath safe for salmon

A federal agency, under pressure to supply water to irrigators, diverts a North Coast river, creating a killing field for tens of thousands of chinook salmon and other fish. Sound familiar? It’s the Cliff’s Notes version of events 11 years ago on the Klamath River — an unnatural disaster with disastrous consequences for coastal communities and Indian tribes that rely on salmon fisheries for their livelihoods. [email protected] 10:34

Feds recommend removing dams from Klamath River – leaving office, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called on Congress to take action

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The federal government on Thursday recommended that all four aging hydroelectric dams be removed from the Klamath River in southern Oregon and Northern California to help struggling wild salmon runs, and nearly $1 billion should be spent on environmental restoration. continued