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Drought to Make Salmon Sons of Klamath River Sick

This article originally came to mind appeared Top Stories and is part of Weather Desk agreement.

The film shows a well-washed river water on rocks while sunlight dances in shallow areas. The white leaves look like the leaves are floating on top. But they are not leaves; With the bodies of baby fish, many of them are not fingerless, having died of the warm water-borne disease that was exacerbated by the drought on the Klamath River. The caption to the video, filmed by Yurok vice-chairman Frankie Joe Myers, is interesting: “This is how climate change looks like if we don’t.”

Fish have been dead in Klamath since May 4, according to the Yurok Tribal Fisheries department. At the time, 97 percent of the juvenile fish caught in the riverfish were infected with the virus Ceratonova shasta the parasite, and it can die or die in a few days. In two weeks, 70% of the juvenile fish caught in the trap died.

Photo: Terray Sylvester / Alamy

The spring, the Klamath Basin is already experiencing a severe and unique drought – one of the worst in the last 40 years. Irrigators from fishing grounds were told in mid-May that for the first time since the “A” Canal in the Klamath Project came into operation in 1907, they would not receive any water. Irrigators say they need 400,000 acres of water, but this year they have received only 33,000 acres from the Klamath Project – a very low-lying area. This has brought stress to the area that has been established due to the dry season. “For salmon people, killing small fish is very difficult,” Myers said in a statement.

In his remarks on the drought this year, Klamath Irrigation District President Ty Kliewer said, “This is not going to be a bad thing. The problems that can happen on our family farms and in these rural areas will only increase.”


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Last summer was also a dry day, and farmers and their dependents set up a tractor to protest the water shortage and the Bureau of Reclamation’s decisions. Meanwhile, the Yurok Tribe’s Boat Dance festival was canceled due to a decline in August last year, and after the winter solstice, the water trial cases continued. This week, several irrigators set up camp is the theme of the Klamath Project, which is forced to open by irrigators during a drought. “The drought is not uncommon,” Yurok resident and national adviser Amy Cordalis testified in parliament over a drought in the West this week. “It is part of a drought that is a result of climate change. Climate change is no longer a threat in the future – we see its effects happening now, in real time. “

Rainy years were normal, and dry years were not uncommon, but in recent years they have changed, especially since 2014, says Barry McCovey Jr., head of the Yurok Fisheries department and a Yurok citizen, who studied fish disease at Klamath for 20 years. . This year’s drought is part of a new climate movement in which the basin is moving. “The best water years where there is plenty of water to satisfy all the basin needs are the needs of today,” McCovey said.

With the worst weather at the beginning of the year, communities need help already. The first phase of the drought gave $ 15 million to irrigators and $ 3 million to the Klamath Basin tribes, though those nations – along with commercial and non-profit fishermen – have asked for $ 250 million to help. At a meeting in May with a representative of parliament, Ben DuVal, President of the Board of Directors of the Klamath Water Users Association, called for an agreement to bring “long-term stability”. “It can happen; It has happened elsewhere, ”he said. Such agreements have been tried in the past in various ways, although one of the last major issues, the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, has never been passed through Congress.

Such large-scale agreements are required to participate in government. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) has expressed interest in Klamath’s affairs, but has not commented on the agreement. In April, in recognition of climate change and the difficult future to come, he changed the memos and reviews of Trump administration officials, saying they were released without international consultation and did not reflect the intentions of the current administration. Representative Jared Huffman (D-California) has urged Haaland to nominate “Klamath czar” – “a high-ranking official who is able to make quick and important decisions.” The removal of four dams from Klamath, meanwhile, is still pending approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Ongoing fishing commemorates the tragic death of 2002, in which 60,000 of the adult chinok salmon died of disease due to dehydration in Klamath. Optics that year were amazing – the bodies of fish were everywhere, piled up on the banks of the river, floating on the other side of the river – but the insane death of young people meant they would never reach the sea and would never have another chance to lay eggs. Since the rotation of the fish, it also ensures that the fish that have run for years from here are not as good. “Everyone will continue to suffer if we don’t make an idea that works to move forward,” McCovey said. “And we have a lot of time left.”

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