Klamath Dams Removal

Klamath Dams Removal

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Project Goal:

Recover Klamath River salmonid populations by removing 4 dams on the Klamath River (Iron Gate, Copco 1, Copco 2, and JC Boyle) and opening up fish passage to over 400 miles of potential spawning and rearing habitat.

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Project Stages

Permitting Phase

Impact Study

Conceptual Design



Estimated Completion Date:

Project Funders


State of California

Fish Affected:


Project Description

Klamath Dam removal stands out as one of the most promising salmon recovery opportunities in the history of California Trout. Since 1917, the four Klamath Dams have blocked access to hundreds of miles of salmon and steelhead productive habitat. It has diminished the productivity of the Klamath River and its tributaries, blocked spawning grounds, and blocked off cold source water. Beyond loss of habitat, Iron Gate Dam now serves as a giant heat sink that creates water quality problems, including toxic algae blooms. The decommissioning and removal of the Klamath Dams not only makes economic sense, but would greatly benefit the Klamath-origin salmon fisheries and all other Klamath Basin public resources that have been adversely affected by these dams over the past century. CalTrout is working with more than 20 conservation partners and tribes to facilitate a FERC license transfer to KRRC followed by the removal of the four dams and restoration of the river.

Project Partners:

Trout Unlimited
American Rivers
Klamath Basin Coalition
Yurok, Karuk, and Klamath Tribes
Klamath Water Users Association
The Nature Conservancy
Upper Klamath Water Users
Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman
Salmon River Restoration Council

CalTrout’s work to restore the Klamath River is focused around dam removal but is also deeply embedded in restoration of the river’s tributaries. Klamath River tributaries offer important fish spawning and rearing habitat crucial to allowing fish to more easily access and recolonize the upper Klamath River – once the dams are removed.

Scott River Projects

East Fork Scott River Restoration | Scott Bar-Mill Creek, Scott River Tributary Restoration | Mill-Shackleford Creek, Scott River Tributary RestorationScott River Restoration | South Fork Scott River Floodplain & Instream Restoration

Shasta River Projects

Parks Creek, Shasta River Tributary Fish Passage & Flow Enhancement | Shasta River Flow Enhancement | Shasta River Safe Harbor

Little Shasta River Projects (tributary to the Shasta)

Little Shasta River Spring Restoration | Little Shasta River Flow Enhancement

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