Yurok Tribe, Rep. Huffman respond to increased Klamath River flows

Herald and News

The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) announced last week that it would resume flow increases to the Klamath River after it abruptly stopped them in early May. Dry conditions in 2020 have created dangerously low water levels, endangering juvenile salmon at a time when fish infection rates from C. Shasta parasites spiked at alarming levels, according to a news release.

The Yurok Tribe and commercial fishing groups sought court intervention after the Bureau unilaterally reduced river flows in early May, denying water promised in a plan the Bureau had adopted to resolve a lawsuit brought by the Tribe and fishing groups. However, a federal judge refused to get involved in Reclamation’s flow shutoffs to the Klamath River, preferring all stakeholders to work together to resolve challenging water issues.

“Disease levels were up to 98 percent in May, and we were facing catastrophic losses of salmon,” said Yurok Tribe Vice-Chairman Frankie Myers. “The Bureau’s violation of the commitments it made in the Interim Plan, less than three months ago, represents yet another broken promise to the Yurok Tribe — one that will likely impact our livelihood for years to come.”

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