Sunday, March 31, 2013

2012 Klamath Salmon Return

That's the title of a great letter to the editor in Saturday's Times- Standard. The writer points out what I've written here before about the Klamath's supposed "fish killing dams", although I'd never seen the numbers. Since not everybody can access the T-S web site, I'll post his letter here in its entirety:

The official Pacific Fisheries Management Council's (PFMC) Chinook Salmon count is in.

Spawning escapement was 55,939 to the hatcheries, 122,018 “natural” spawners, 13,574 fish recreational catch, 101,476 fish Indian catch, 9,101 fish non-landed mortality for a total return of 302,108 Chinook Salmon. 

The highest documented pre-dam return was in 1915 with a total in river commercial catch of
72,357 fish and a total return to the egg taking stations of approximately 7817 fish. If we correlate as best possible the 2012 returns known escapement or previous known escapement from 1978 to 2010 meta tables, we can estimate the largest pre-dam run size at 153,000 to 160,000 fish. 

There was no reliable data before 1913. (John O. Snyder, Cal. Fish and game report #34)

Keep in mind in 1915 there was no modern troll fleet or foreign mid water trawlers.

With a 2012 return almost double the highest documented pre dam return, it is obvious we must hurry and get the dams removed on the Klamath to “restore” the runs to their much smaller pre-dam size! 

Stephen Rapalyea
Chiloquin, Ore.


At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Henchman Of Justice" says,

Interesting write.

Personally, if Historic Buildings are so important, then why dam major waterways where the effect is altering natural history. Personally, major waterways should flow as they naturally flow, not be developed (sorry New Orleans). Also, what was the water quality prior to the dams being built, probably not much data on that either. Gold mining, agriculture, farming, other dirty water activities, etc... - HOJ

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

We need to save as much water as we can in this state. I'm not saying we shut off the rivers from the ocean entirely, but dams allow us access to water we normally wouldn't have available.

At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Henchman Of Justice" says,

in certain situations, storage of water may be acceptible using "dams". Yet, major waterways is not the way to go imo. Additionally, why should over-population be allowed to abuse important natural resources needed for the survival of the human race. Seems if people want to live in areas where natural water supply is limited, then they deserve to dehydrate and go thirsty or move to a region where water naturally is more abundant.

At some point, limitation of natural resources is gonna need to be implemented in order to "save the human race" if production, maintenance and future opportunities to expand the natural resource base don't occur fairly quickly. - HOJ


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