Tuesday February 20, 2024

Herald and News

The massive deaths of non-native fish and the deluge of sediments resulting from the drawdown of reservoirs as part of the Klamath River dam removals was expected and is predicted to result in long-range benefits.

Public concern has been expressed following because of the recently completed initial drawdown of reservoirs created by the John C. Boyle, Copco 1 and Irongate hydroelectric dams. Copco 2, a diversion dam, was removed late last year because it would have interfered with the Copco 1 drawdown. The dam removal project is the largest in U.S. history.

During a Thursday video news conference, Mark Bransom, chief executive office for Klamath River Renewal Corporation, which is overseeing the dam removal project, and Dave Coffman, the habitat restoration as program manager for RES (Resource Environmental Solutions), briefly discussed the ongoing project and impacts of the recently completed initial drawdown.

“All of the conditions we’re seeing are what we expected,” Bransom said of sediment loads created by drawing down the reservoirs. “We need to take a long view and give the river time” to recover, a process that could take several years.” Sediments being flushed downriver are primarily dead algae, fine silts and sands, and gravels.

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