Reclamation begins emergency dilution flows early
Monday (May 7) in Klamath River
Water releases from Iron Gate Dam will continue through May 21;
public urged to take safety precautions
Media Contact: Erin Curtis,
Press Release: May 07, 2018
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation increased flows
below Iron Gate Dam early Monday morning, May 7, to address
disease concerns in salmon in the Klamath River.
Releases from Upper Klamath Lake via Link River Dam started
early this morning, with flows anticipated to reach 3,000 cubic
feet per second below Iron Gate Dam by mid-day. Subsequent flows
below Iron Gate Dam could reach up to 4,000 cfs during the
event. The higher flows will continue for 14 days, through May
The public is urged to take all necessary precautions on or near
the river while flows are high.
A March 2017 Court Order from the U.S. District Court Northern
District of California requires Reclamation to release water as
part of its operation of the Klamath Project to mitigate and
address disease concerns impacting coho salmon in the Klamath
River. For the 2018 water year, Reclamation is required to
implement winter-spring surface flushing flows and emergency
dilution flows. Reclamation implemented surface flushing flows
in April 2018.Disease thresholds for implementing additional
emergency dilution flows were exceeded on May 3. The emergency
dilution flows will utilize approximately 50,000 acre-feet of
water from Upper Klamath Lake.
The increased flow event is consistent with the 2017 Order and
the 2013 Biological Opinion on operations of the Klamath Project
to ensure protection of endangered Lost River and shortnose
suckers in Upper Klamath Lake. It was implemented in
coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, the Yurok, Karuk, Hoopa Valley, and
Klamath Tribes, Klamath Project water users and PacifiCorp.
Flows will ramp down after 14 days and return to levels required
by the 2013 Biological Opinion.
"The 2018 water year is one of the most challenging and complex
water years Reclamation has had to manage," said Jeff Nettleton,
manager of the Klamath Basin Area Office. "We will continue to
closely coordinate with Project water users, Tribes, and our
partner agencies to operate the Klamath Project consistent with
the requirements of the Order and the 2013 Biological Opinion,
while providing as much water as possible to the Klamath Project
irrigators during this extremely dry water year."
For more information about the dilution flow, contact
Reclamation Public Affairs Specialist Laura Williams at
541-880-2581 (TTY 800-877-8339) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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