Oct 25, 2016
Oct. 25, 2016
For 22-years I studied the flawed arguments on supposed benefits of Klamath River dams removal. I told USDI rep. John Bezdek at his first public meeting in Yreka, CA: “the Klamath River watershed is the poorest possible situation to consider removal of dams in North America”, maybe worldwide.
This river frequently dried up in summer prior to construction of the first of the dams. The high-phosphorus content of parent rock, soils, water and sediments have always created naturally very poor water quality, even long before Indians and later white man settled in the Upper Klamath Basin (UKB).
Couple that with California and Oregon agendas including carbon credit accounting for electricity production, a switch-over to natural gas will provide the means for high pricing of electricity beyond an affordable level for everyone.
UC Davis Professor of fish biology Dr. Peter Moyle’s Ph.D. student Dr. Ken Gobalet, Professor of biology at CA State Univ. Bakersfield, would long ago have identified Chinook and coho salmon bones in Indian middens in the UKB if those species of fish ever frequented the UKB. Gobalet is the expert on that subject. The reef barrier near the site of the current Keno water diversion disallowed fish to migrate past that point most years.
Dr. Moyle and his colleagues including me have stated that slowing down the water passage rate in the Klamath River by the dams allows natural bioremediation of the high phosphorus levels in the water by blue-green algae sequestration into reservoir sediments—dead algae muck. Water quality below the dams is better with the dams than without.
Reservoir sediments can be harvested economically and supply phosphorus for food production on a sustainable basis.
John W. Menke. A.A. Mathematics (1966), B.S. Range and Wildlands Science (1969), M.S. Agronomy (1970), Ph.D. Range Systems Ecology and Management (1973), professor UC Davis and Berkeley (1973-98).
Oct 7, 2012
October 5, 2012
When I spoke at the Open Forum session of the California Fish and Game Commission meeting in Sacramento last Wednesday, October 3rd, and requested the Commission do the following:
1) Stop maxillary clipping (maiming) 75,000+ coho juveniles each year before they are released from Iron Gate Hatchery, and the same for Lewiston Hatchery for coho reared in the Trinity River, and instead mark them with a coded-wire tag.
2) Stop killing any returning spawner coho salmon not needed for egg or sperm take at Iron Gate and Lewiston hatcheries and return them to their respective rivers to spawn naturally. Do the same for all salmonids on the American and Feather rivers.
3) Stop continuing to feed Chinook salmon at Iron Gate and Lewiston hatcheries to nearly a year of age prior to release since they prey on smaller escaping coho juveniles.
4) Replace the blocking video weir on the Scott River with a benign sonar weir so that all returning spawning coho salmon can reach fine existing slow-water spawning habitat upstream of the weir including habitats in Quartz Valley.
5) Reinstall the sonar weir on the Smith River and use the weir to set periods of no fishing to allow all salmonids to spawn after flood scour events where most redds are lost periodically. Fish and Game just ceased this contracted monitoring station for very fishy reasons–they don’t want the information to come to light.
6) Install a sonar weir in the lower Klamath River to monitor escapement of all salmonids from the ocean year-round.
7) Install a sonar weir in the lower gorge reach of the Trinity River above Weitchpec to monitor all upstream salmonids entering the Trinity River.
8) Install a sonar weir in the mainstem Klamath River just above Weitchpec to monitor all salmonids migrating up the Klamath River above the mouth of the Trinity River.
9) Reinstitute night-time monitoring of all gill net harvest by Yurok and Hoopa Tribes.
If the agricultural community is being held in a “prisoners’ dilemma situation” (in sensu of Common Pool Resource [CPR] Economics terminology) by ocean-commercial, ocean and in-river sport-fishing, and ocean and in-river tribal harvest of salmonids, it is high time that meaningful monitoring of fish numbers commence with monitoring team contractors made up from the agricultural and harvest interests for each team. That is, 24-hour teams with at least one agriculture representative and one fisher interest representative. NOAA/NMFS can supply the funding from their coho recovery funds, not from California Department of Fish and Game since they demonstrated their contempt for the agricultural community in its highest form in listing the grey wolf as a candidate species for CESA listing in one year even before a female has entered California to join OR-7 and following the oppositing views of the Commission’s legal counsel (all this is on the audio/video record).
The jocular response by the Vice Chairman of the Fish and Game Commission in stating that the KBRA and dams removal on the Klamath River would supplant the need for all of the above demonstrated where the Commission and the California Department of Fish and Game’s motives are and those stances are incongruent with the agricultural community.
John W. Menke, Ph.D.
Jul 30, 2012
Yreka Tea Party Patriots
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Decision Life Church
Corner of Main and Oberlin — 1301 South Main St.
“Black Bear Commune Expose`” by Mark Baird
You won’t want to miss this one, it will be juicy!!!
Public Welcome. Contact Louise for more information at
Comment from John Menke Ph.D. —
We really need to be at Mark’s presentation since it directly connects with all that is going on in Siskiyou County — removal of the dam in Shasta Valley (lawsuit by the Riverkeepers on the Montague Water Conservation District), the ramping up of the Trinity River beginning August 15th by BOR, and the wolves reintroduction in Butte Valley by California Department of Fish and Game very likely.
Petey Brucker of the BB Commune is involved in all three. He and Mark Hampton and now Tom Cannon are conspiring to link the low flows this year in the Scott and Shasta Rivers with fish die offs by promoting ramping up the Trinity River beginning August 15, when the Klamath River will be way too warm for healthy salmon occupancy and no added flow out of Iron Gate Dam because BOR already dumped the water out of Upper Klamath Lake last winter creating low Upper Klamath Lake levels.
The Department of Water Resource watermaster called me in the last week of August in 2009 and told me “they are going to kill a bunch more salmon”.
That year when he called he said the Trinity River was up to over 2,200 cfs from a base of less than 700 cfs–that was a pulse 6-day event, not an extended ramp up like is planned this August, but the triggering of salmon will commence anyway as soon as the first new water (3,600 cfs this time) gets to the estuary.
The watermaster let me know that Brucker was doing his annual complaint that the Shasta Valley irrigators need to turn their diversions off in late August. Hampton who worked for CDFG at the time said the kegged up salmon in the canyon reach of the Shasta River were doing fine–lie!!!!!
Now Hampton works for NMFS and is not complaining about the ramp up flows in the Trinity River which he should.
The Hoopas should not be wanting to trigger salmon to leave the estuary until at least September 15th.
The Klamath is too inhospitable to salmon before that date, especially for large runs which are very likely this year. This whole affair is related to dam removal on the Klamath River and the trouble US DOI is in with the whistleblower Dr. Paul Houser.
Brucker chaired the Klamath Basin Fisheries Task Force Technical Workgroup for which I was the Siskiyou County representative in 2005-6.
The last meeting after Brucker thanked me for serving for the year as a volunteer, in the same breathe stated he was going to do everything he could to get wolves introduced to Scott Valley.
Well CDFG is starting with Butte Valley on the wolves because OR7 is there and available for planted females to be added and apparently that has happened already. This new director of Fish and Game moves fast and furiously at the end of Obama’s first term just in case.
Jun 1, 2012
May 29, 2012
California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) has failed on several occasions in recent years to take control of private property in Siskiyou County–clearly part of the Agenda 21 movement. Currently the Farm Bureau (Siskiyou County) vs. CDFG lawsuit court case is on hold until June 25th, just put off from the restart scheduled for May 29th. Three CDFG administrators from Redding (Stopher, Manji, and Babcock) perjured themselves repeatedly during the case a couple of weeks ago. Their answers while under oath didn’t agree with their previous sworn depositions and they don’t care! These guys are patent liars and by law they should lose their jobs and pensions. The legislature is coming to their rescue with AB 2179! Author Legislator Allen is from the Agenda 21 Transition City of Santa Rosa!
Several months ago when Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey arranged to have the new director of CDFG Chuck Bonham meet in a round table discussion with members of the public from Siskiyou County, Bonham voluntarily brought up the topic of the Bay Delta Smelt and CDFG’s failed attempt to get the striped bass bag and size limit fishing regulations changed from 2 fish18-inches or larger per day to 12 fish 12-inches or larger per day to reduce the striped bass population. Bonham told us that the striper fishermen lobbied the Fish and Game Commission so hard that the newly CDFG-proposed regulations were rejected. This was a patent lie. My former colleague at UC Davis Dr. Peter Moyle (long-term fish biologist) with the help of Mr. Tom Cannon, Fish Biologist, Fish Foundation (Sacramento), submitted a scientifically sound report to the Commission stating that the new regulations would be damaging to the Delta Smelt because stripers actually control 27 other non-native fish populations in the Bay Delta to the benefit of Delta Smelt because many of these other 27 species could have more severe effects on the Smelt if striped bass abundance declined due to the proposed new regulation. The Commission agreed with Dr. Moyle and Mr. Cannon and rejected the CDFG proposed change in regulations. Bonham has no respect for the truth nor science-based decision making and should not be confirmed by the Legislature.
Bonham previously worked for Trout Unlimited for 10-years as an attorney. Whistle Blower and former US Department of Interior Scientific Integrity Advisor Dr. Paul Houser’s (George Mason University Professor) supervisor in Washington DC was likewise a former employee with Trout Unlimited. She told Dr. Houser he was not a “team player” when USDI was about to release an untruthful press story claiming assured benefits of Klamath River dams removal when two previous expert scientific panels were much more uncertain about benefits to the Klamath River fishery from dams removal. Dr. Houser upheld the integrity of the science and got fired for it! That issue is now before a Congressional Committee.
AB 2179 is an end run on existing law giving too much police power to Game Wardens statewide. Former CDFG Director John McCamman immediately removed Mr. Stopher and two other CDFG employees in Scott and Shasta Valleys involved in the proposed CDFG Scott and Shasta Valleys Watershed-Wide Permitting Program the day after he met with Assemblyman Nielson and local landowner Mr. Mark Baird (Vice President of Scott Valley Protect Our Water organization). Nielsen and Baird showed Director McCamman in his office in Sacramento a video re-inacting the color-of authority violations by Game Wardens in Scott Valley and a letter from an attorney describing the multiple Penal Code violations including threatening warnings of $25,000 fines and up to 6-months in jail if agricultural diverters of water did not sign up for the new watershed program–extortion action clearly. Later a court threw out the CDFG program because CDFG had not documented take of coho salmon in their EIR/EIS for the new program. This failed effort by CDFG cost taxpayers in California more than $1,000,000!
John W. Menke,
Quartz Valley, Fort Jones, CA.
A.A., B.S., M.S., Ph.D. and retired Professor University of California, Berkeley and Davis for 25 years of service and rancher since retirement in 1998.
May 5, 2012
By John Menke
Posted on My Outdoor Buddy.com
To help facilitate a yes on the Klamath River dams-removal decision, it appears California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service and USDI Bureau of Reclamation (BOR-Trinity River Restoration Program) have conspired to harm the functionality of the Klamath River Watershed fishery. BOR-approved late-summer pulse-flow actions have and continue to foment anger by coastal fishermen and enviros at irrigators.
The first pulse action caused the big fish die-off in 2002 by falsely triggering spawners to prematurely leave the Klamath River estuary when the water was too warm upstream of the Trinity River confluence. They tried again and nearly killed more returning spawning salmon in 2009 (warning was given by California Department of Water Resources Watermaster Joe Scott to me by phone alert–“they are going to kill a bunch more salmon John”) and 2011 (Toz Soto, Yurok Fisheries, alerted us to stressed salmon following the BOR-approved pulse flow).
CDFG has and continues to maim hundreds of thousands of hatchery reared coho salmon and steelhead by maxillary clipping juveniles (since 1995) prior to release from Iron Gate and Lewiston hatcheries in violation of the US Supreme Court Iron Gate Dam Mitigation Order to rear fish un-maimed (CDFG take-permitted by NOAA/NMFS). One would think HSUS would disallow this treatment of animals since they influence CDFG policy.
CDFG unnecessarily killed returning coho salmon spawners, beyond those wild-reared as well as hatchery reared coho spawners needed for egg/sperm take, nearly 2,000 returning spawning coho salmon (1997-2004) that could have produced larger future low brood-year coho salmon runs, and larger coho salmon runs to the Shasta River.
CDFG have blocked and caused poor-choice tributary habitat-selection for returning spawner coho salmon by using spawner-unfriendly video censusing weirs especially in the Scott River when benign sonar weirs could be used (again CDFG take-permitted by NOAA/NMFS).
CDFG have reared and continue to rear Chinook salmon juveniles to near yearling if not post-yearling age causing predation of 0+ coho juveniles (remarkably this has been funded by coastal fishermen at both Iron Gate and Trinity hatcheries–no longer paid for at Trinity Hatchery according to Wade Sinnen–CDFG-Arcata, pers. comm.).
The National Research Council (2004) report on rare fishes of the Klamath River watershed led by Dr. Peter Moyle (UC Davis) identified residualized steelhead predation on coho salmon juveniles as the prime negative effect of Iron Gate and Lewiston hatcheries. Residualization is where reared fish stay in freshwater for extended periods of time following release as juveniles.
CDFG has seen fit since that report to rear more predators–in this case too-large/too-old Chinook juveniles that residualize just like steelhead below Iron Gate and Lewiston hatcheries. Adding to the steelhead residualization problem by raising more predatory Chinook when coho are Federally and State listed in inexcusable and certainly against the law!
Chinook should not be in freshwater at these older ages and sizes–Nature didn’t intend that. I wonder if NOAA/NMFS has and continues to issue CDFG take permits for this extended size/age rearing practice?
Ocean fishermen fund this practice (pay for hatchery staff and fish food rations) because they think it produces higher Chinook populations when ,in fact, the Earth’s decadal oscillation cycle is the primary driver of ocean current upwelling and salmon survival and growth in the ocean through food and baitfish for adult salmon in the ocean. So, even the ocean fishermen are being misled by agency staff agendas.
In effect, we have a ‘conspiracy to oppress’ rural agriculture going on in the Klamath River Watershed, led by agenda 21-motivated enviros and willing agency staffs.