Tuesday April 23, 2024

Los Angeles Times

While work crews continued dismantling dams on the Klamath River, leaders of four tribes gathered on a riverbank last week to watch and offer prayers as a valve on a tanker truck was opened. From a chute, a stream of water filled with wriggling fish poured into the river.

Over two days, workers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife released 16 truckloads of juvenile salmon that were raised in a newly built hatchery. About 500,000 salmon swam downriver, and tribal leaders said they expect these fish will flourish when they migrate back upstream in a few years to spawn in a free-flowing river.

“They’re a symbol of hope,” said Phillip Williams, a member of the Yurok Tribal Council.

Williams said as he watched the fish disappear into the river that he thought about how he and many other tribal members will be able to catch some of those salmon when they return in three or four years.

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