Take Down the Dams, and Make Way for Salmon!

By Eliza Strickland | October 1, 2009 10:02 am

Klamath-damsIn a landmark concession that will likely lead to the largest dam-removal effort in U.S. history, an electrical utility company has agreed to destroy four dams on the Klamath River to help migrating salmon and steelhead. The dams won’t be decommissioned until 2020 and there are still regulatory hoops to jump through, but fishermen and environmentalists are delighted by the development. “We’re about to make changes to the Klamath Basin that will be observable from space,” said Craig Tucker of the Karuk tribe, which traditionally fished for salmon [Los Angeles Times].

The Klamath River, which winds through Southern Oregon and eventually reaches California’s Pacific coast, was once home to one of the most vibrant salmon runs in the West. But since the first dam was erected in 1908, the region has been host to a nasty battle over water rights, with wildlife and commercial fishers ultimately bearing the worst scars as regulators were forced to repeatedly close salmon fishing along 700 miles of the Oregon-California coast [Greenwire]. The removal of the dams’ will open 300 miles of river to the salmon.

Related Content:
80beats: Controversial Study Says Dams Aren’t Killing Off the Pacific Salmon
80beats: California’s Water Management Threatens Salmon With Extinction

Image: flickr / patrickmccully

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Living World
  • Palin in 0 twelve

    There is one notable Salmon running in Alaska, but she is blocked by a dam of abortionists and illegal aliens who run too.

  • Pat Riot

    Oh come on- that was an underhanded pitch if there ever was one! No takers? Boy, its a tough crowd to heckle in, geesh.

  • http://blogs.allangrayorbis.org/foodforkids/ donald a. jefferson

    Awful article. Iam not the type of guy who often blog posts, but i need to know where you have your infos from?

  • http://salmonfishingerie.blogspot.com/ Sean

    I doubt that the dams are blocking the salmon’s runs all that much. On dams in salmon rivers there are steps built in so that the fish can make it over….

  • http://www.klamblog.blogspot.com Felice Pace

    Actually these dams were built without fish ladders which only came into wide use after WW 2. The dams will come out because it is uneconomical to build fish ladders and mitigate water quality impacts given the small amount of power they generate. So it is in the owner PacifiCorp’s interest to get the government (taxpayers) to foot the bill for removal.

    If you want to really learn what’s going on in the Klamath check out http://www.KlamBlog.blogspot.com.

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