Friday, March 5, 2010

Klamath Region Bracing For Low Water

Poor snow pack throughout the coastal Northwest has managers worried about providing adequate instream flows for salmon in the Klamath Basin where the interest of irrigators has in the past trumped that of fish in the river. Low water will put the recently signed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement to the test in its first summer. Last Tuesday Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski called together agency heads in Salem to discuss options for the summer, and how much water can be allocated to irrigators while still maintaining instream flow for salmon. In 2002 thousands of migrating salmon and steelhead died in the Klamath when low water and a failure to protect instream flows led to extremely high in river temperatures.

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