Biologists fear repeat of 2002 salmon kill in Klamath River

Aug 6, 2015 12:34 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Biologists are worried the drought is setting up the Klamath River running through southern Oregon and Northern California for a repeat of the 2002 fish kill that left tens of thousands of adult salmon dead.

Low water and warm temperatures have slowed the upriver migration of spring chinook, allowing deadly parasites to infect them as they crowd together in cool water pools. A similar fate is expected for fall chinook when they start arriving in coming weeks.

The water in the Klamath Basin is tightly shared between farms and fish, and local tribes are urging federal authorities to release extra water for salmon.

A Bush Administration decision to restore irrigation to a Klamath Basin project in 2002 created conditions for disease to kill tens of thousands of adult salmon.


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