Steelhead and salmon and runs in the Klamath River are in serious decline — less than 90% of historic Chinook salmon runs remain, and Coho salmon have been listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Hydropower dams block steelhead and salmon access to over 400 miles of spawning habitat, and contribute to badly compromised water quality.
The historic Klamath Settlement Agreements (KBRA) could see the four lowest Klamath River dams removed by 2020 (a decision on dam removal will be made in March of 2012), and also provides for Klamath River Basin habitat restoration.
Per the agreement, the goals are to:
- Restore access to 400+ miles of historic steelhead and salmon rearing and spawning habitat above Iron Gate Dam
- Restore salmonid populations to 25% of historic levels
CalTrout’s role is to provide technical fisheries information to the process and to build local support for the Settlement Agreements. To this end, CalTrout will:
- Continue our involvement in the support and implementation of the Settlement Agreements
- Advocate for funding the Agreements at the state and federal level
- Improve habitat conditions between now and 2020 through the support of interim measures to re-manage PacifiCorps dams for improved flow and water quality
- Implement restoration projects in the Shasta River and other important tributaries that harbor steelhead and salmon that will recolonize the area above the dams following removal
- Hold public meetings and Water Talks on the benefits of the restoration agreements and dam removal
Key Partners: American Rivers, Trout Unlimited, Natural Heritage Institute, Friends of the River, Karuk Tribe, Yurok Tribe, Klamath Tribe, Federation of Fly Fishers, numerous federal and state agencies
To see the latest news on Klamath River dam removal and restoration, click here.