Thursday April 18, 2024

Jefferson Public Radio

Deconstruction of three dams on the Klamath River is just weeks away, and this Tuesday, a small crowd gathered just below Iron Gate dam to celebrate another milestone: the first release of threatened coho salmon since three massive reservoirs were drained in January.

A truck containing several thousand yearling fish idled quietly while representatives from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Quartz Valley Indian Tribe, Shasta Indian Nation, Karuk Tribe, and Yurok Tribe offered remarks.

“This is a great day,” said Arron “Troy” Hockaday, who serves on the Karuk Tribal Council. “It’s been a long time coming. I’m a fifth-generation fishermen; I started watching the decline of salmon in my early teens, in the 1980s.”

“We call this area K’íka·c’é·ki,” said Michael Olson, council member for the Shasta Indian Nation. “We’re here today to pray for the healing of that, and this river, and these fish. We need all three to be healthy for all of our people to be healthy.”

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