NANFA-- Klamath Basin Fish Threatened (just for information)
Fri, 26 Apr 2002 12:41:32 EDT

Klamath Basin Fish Threatened

.c The Associated Press

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - A federal irrigation project in an area straddling
the Oregon-California border is jeopardizing the survival of endangered
sucker fish, federal scientists said Thursday.

In a draft biological opinion, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that
operators of the Klamath Reclamation Project have taken steps to help
suckers, but urged them to do more to protect the fish while continuing to
supply water to Klamath Basin farmers.

The report recommended reducing the number of suckers that are fatally drawn
into the project's canal system, and taking steps to improve water quality
and to retain the suckers' habitat in dry years.

``It gives us the flexibility to operate the project to meet endangered
species needs and provide water to the farmers,'' said Jeff McCracken,
spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the irrigation

Last year, the bureau sharply cut water to Klamath Basin farmers after
federal biologists found that drought-diminished water supplies were needed
for threatened and endangered fish.

The decision touched off a tense standoff between farmers and the federal
government. Protesters forced open the irrigation headgates, only to have
them shut off again under the guard of federal police.

Final biological opinions are due June 1 on the irrigation project's effects
on the endangered suckers and threatened coho salmon. The National Marine
Fisheries Service is expected to release a draft report on coho salmon later
this week.

04/25/02 22:55 EDT
/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,