Friday September 23, 2022


The Six Rivers National Forest Fisheries Program has partnered with the Klamath Basin Fish Health Assessment Team to monitor water quality and fish health conditions in the Klamath River. This is in response to increased mortality and disease rates among the chinook and steelhead salmon populations in the river.

According to officials, this die-off is a result of poor fish health conditions in the Klamath River due to changes in flows, water temperature and fish density. These conditions began to change in early August due to the nearby McKinney Fire’s effect on the water.

“The recently burned material was much more toxic with that fresh ash in the water, and so that coated fish gills, that kept them from breathing the oxygen in the water,” Mid-Klamath Watershed Council Director Will Harling said.

Officials said they have also observed migrating adult chinook and steelhead crowding into small thermal refuges, where these toxins are able to spread more rapidly.

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