The Klamath River’s annual toxic algae bloom has appeared; the state is urging boaters and swimmers to avoid contact with the blue-green algae, and have posted health advisories on the water.
This press release from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board outlines the issues:
Sacramento – Due to its potential health risks, federal, state, and tribal agencies are urging swimmers, boaters and recreational users to avoid contact with blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) now blooming in Copco and Iron Gate Reservoirs on the Klamath River in Northern California. The reservoirs have been posted with health advisories warning against human and animal contact with the water.
Cyanobacteria (Microcystis aeruginosa) cell counts and toxin levels in Copco Reservoir and toxin levels in Iron Gate Reservoir exceeded the public health advisory threshold during recent public health monitoring.
“As blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) can pose health risks, especially to children and pets, we urge people to be careful where they swim when visiting Copco and Iron Gate Reservoirs,” said Matt St. John, Executive Officer of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. “We recommend that people and their pets avoid contact with the blooms, and particularly avoid swallowing or inhaling water spray in an algal bloom area.”
Illustrating the water quality issues created by the two lowest Klamath River dams; In past years the toxin plume reached all the way to the ocean.
Opponents of dam removal sometimes suggest the dams actually improve water quality through settling, but they heat the Klamath’s water and create toxic algae blooms.
As the economic benefits of dam removal become clear — and the economic losses associated with keeping the Klamath dams become more apparent — it’s time for the charade to end.
The best way to end Klamath toxic algae blooms is to get those dams out. And the most expeditious way to get the dams out is to return to the FERC process where PacifiCorp will be forced to negotiate a clean dam removal agreement which FERC will then order.
Why are Cal Trout and other “parties” to the KBRA Water deal holding dam removal hostage in a vain attempt to have it carry this other unrelated deal? Why keep dam removal held up waiting for a divided Congress to act on legislation that will cost taxpayers, add to the deficit and which would require other existing restoration programs (including Trinity River restoration) to be cut?
Why is Cal Trout supporting deals that serve the 1% at the expense of the 99%?
It is time for Cal Trout to do what is right for the River and not what serves its organizational and funding agendas.
These deals will continue to give Cal Trout a bad name and cause members not to renew.
We have clearly laid out our reasoning why the Klamath Settlement Agreements are the quickest path to dam removal. Relying on FERC to solve the problem is naive at best. Dam removal is the goal but alone is not enough to restore Klamath fisheries. The Agreements provide restoration dollars to improve habitat above and below the dams. We need a comprehensive solution.
Our latest Op Ed lays out our reasoning and can be found our our website at https://caltrout.org/2012/08/op-ed-the-klamath-dam-removal-settlements-should-move-forward/.