Monday December 18, 2023


Arron Troy Hockaday leaned over the highway railing to peer into the water below, where the Scott River empties into the Klamath near the Oregon border. 

Beneath the bridge, dozens of threatened coho salmon rested on their journey back from the Pacific. It was the end of October, and they were waiting for rain to drive them to calmer creeks and streams where they could spawn, then die. 

“There should be thousands of salmon in here right now,” said Hockaday, a Karuk Tribal Council member and a fifth generation traditional fisherman. 

“I tell my kids every time I stop by here and look at these fish to take a picture. They ask me why, and I say, ‘This might be the last time you see them.’”  

About 40 miles upriver, through the mountains of Klamath National Forest, lies the flat of the Scott Valley. Jim Morris’ pickup truck bumped past cattle grazing on bright green alfalfa stubble to a dry field covered in tumbleweeds. 

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