Jan 22, 2013
KBRA – KHSA- KLAMATH DAM REMOVAL BASED ON COHO SALMON RECOVERY PLANS
Coho recovery plans are based on the opinion by NMFS and California Fish & Wildlife that Coho were native to the Klamath Basin.
NOAA, NMFS and California Fish & Wildlife have all illegally listed Coho Salmon in the Southern Oregon ESU and the Northern California ESU as this species is a non-indigenous species and is a violation of the Endangered Species Act. The Karuk and Shasta Tribes have both confirmed that this species was never present until they were planted in 1895. Genetic analysis in the Klamath River indicate their origin is from the Willamette River in Northern Oregon. Genetic analysis in the Rogue River indicate their origin is from the Columbia River in Northern Oregon.
Mr. Bonham of California Fish & Wildlife has issued a letter indicating that their efforts and cooperation of ranchers were responsible for the large Salmon runs in 2012
This is a very cleverly written letter which lauds the work of our Siskiyou Ranchers on improving habitat for the Coho. What is not mentioned is that the volume of Salmon returns are dependent on the temperature of the Pacific Ocean. A drop in temperature over the last two years was the true deciding factor in the numbers of Salmon in 2012 as confirmed by NMFS, NASA and SCWUA. A historic rise in temperature in the Pacific Ocean from 1970 to 2009 was as a result of historic activity within the Pacific Ocean.
Coho recovery plan calls for control of water flows in the Klamath Basin for the benefit of Coho Salmon.
Klamath Basin Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation Fisheries Research division model study indicating that changes in BOR controlled Klamath flows are insignificant to the life cycle of ‘endangered’ Coho salmon as confirmed by credible Biologists in both NMFS and SCWUA.
Coho recovery plans predict increase in future runs of Salmon in the Klamath Basin
(Klamath Basin Area Office of the BOR) Fisheries Research division documents clearly indicate that the Klamath Project to remove dams could decimate future Salmon runs in the Klamath Basin. This statement also corroborates scientific data gathered by the Siskiyou County Water Users Association and other involved groups. This is further elucidated in the DOI EIR documents.
Removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River will allow for increased spawning grounds for Salmon species per NMFS and California Fish & Wildlife.
BOR documents point out that the 20 million cubic yards of sludge from removing the dams contain toxic levels of Mercury, Chromium, Zinc and Antimony which could decimate not only Salmon, but, 34 other species that depend on the quality of water in the Klamath River.
Consequence of Dam Removal on the Klamath River.
Perhaps it is difficult to understand that both Iron Gate and Copco Reservoirs have been evaluated and are said to contain biomass quantities of Yellow Perch and Yellow Crappie by California Fish and Wildlife. Should these two species be allowed to have access to present Salmon spawning grounds they would consume all of the Salmon eggs laid and the viability of sustaining Salmon runs will likely be terminated within five years.
The entire premise of removing the dams to allow Salmon to return to “historic” spawning grounds was based on conditions prior to 1918. At that time there were no Perch or Crappie to feed upon the spawning Salmon eggs nor did Salmon spawn above the present location of Copco 1 Dam.It is also to be noted that removal of dams or the addition of fish bypass around the dams would also introduce a plethora of diseases that Salmon carry and would substantially put at risk species that have been isolated from Salmon for the last 95 years above the dams.
Conclusion based on scientific data from BOR, NMFS and SCWUA
Dam removal for an illegal listing is a travesty and listing of Coho Salmon in Southern Oregon and California ESU’s must be removed to halt this insanity.
President, Siskiyou County Water Users
Dr. Richard Gierak
Science Officer, SCWUA
Jan 15, 2013
Siskiyou County Water Users Assoc.
Scientists have accused the Department of the Interior of Klamath related scientific misconduct in yet another recent incident claiming the ignoring of credible science from its own Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) Klamath Basin Area Office (KBAO). 7 KBAO biological scientists attest they are being reassigned or terminated, and the field fisheries research office shut down, in response to field office studies contradicting assertions made by several other founding Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) Agencies advocating dams removals plus Klamath Basin wide ‘Agreement’ regulatory expansion and mandate. In a meeting reportedly held Nov. 30th, BOR cited USFWS and NMFS, along with undisclosed ‘other interests’, expressed ‘distress’ over the studies, resulting in the area director terminating further field office fisheries research and ‘shelving’ those studies from pertinent decisions for fear they may be perceived as ‘biased’ against the current ‘mission’ to remove four hydroelectric dams supplying over 79,000 homes and businesses in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Unfortunately, requested supporting ‘transparent process’ meeting documents appear ‘unavailable’ as being ‘not routinely maintained’. The 7 scientists filed a complaint with PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) charging Director Phillips and other BOR Management with ‘coercive manipulation’, ‘sublimating science to political priorities’, ‘hindering’, ‘censorship’, ‘failing to use best quality science’, and Scientific and Scholarly Misconduct among others.
One of the studies involved contradicted the USFWS (US Fish and Wildlife Service) claims that Lake Ewauna was a ‘dead zone’ to sucker fish resulting from ‘human activities’ and forming a basis of their ‘restoration’ assessments. The KBAO study determined that there was actually a stable and viable resident Lake Ewuana sucker fish population .
Another of the KBAO studies which ‘distressed’ NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) revealed that Klamath Basin Project controlled Klamath River flows have very little effect upon ‘endangered’ Coho salmon lifecycles, countering NMFS demands for dams’ removals and the statistically unsupported flow increases.
Examples of other studies, by the BOR, receiving minimized recognition include finding the minimal 20 million cubic yards of sequestered sludge which could be released by removing the dams contain toxic levels of Mercury, Chromium, Zinc and Antimony, which could decimate not only Salmon, but, 34 other species that depend on the quality of water in the Klamath River.
In February, 2012, Dr. Paul Hauser, former Chief Science and Integrity Office of the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Reclamation Branch in D.C., was fired for disclosing DOI agenda driven bias regarding the KBRA and the intertwined Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA). He charged the DOI with “Scientific Misconduct”. The KBRA and KHSA call for the procurement of regional resources, taxpayer/ratepayer funded unaccountable authority for the ‘Agreement’ creators, ‘adaptively managed’ mandates affecting the majority of un-represented regional residents, and the regionally majority opposed removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River.
Richard Marshall, President SCWUA
Dr. Richard Gierak, Science Consultant, SCWUA
Jan 1, 2013
Siskiyou County Water Users Association Inc.
347 North Main Street
Yreka, Ca. 96097
January 1, 2013
Relative to the announcement of the signing of the extension of the KBRA, the Siskiyou County Water Users Association is disappointed but not surprised.
We are disappointed because significant information has been provided regarding the misuse of the scientific process by the Department of Interior and the revelations of Dr. Paul Hauser, and now by the revelation of the situation in Marin County, with the oyster farm by Senator Diane Feinstein and Dr. Corey Goodman. Apparently, Secretary Salazar has clearly indicated that he can make decisions without being confused by good science. It is clear that the decision to try to remove four perfectly good and productive dams is politically motivated and has nothing to do with the Coho salmon. The current Salmon run numbers are indicating one of the best runs ever. This fact is further illuminated by the findings of Dr. Nathan Mantua of the Farrallon Institute and the JISAO study by the University of Washington marine scientists, who have tied the volume of Salmon production to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation process. The riverine system is at the tail end of the process when it comes to returning Salmon. The DOI has indicated that any study of the impact of the ocean environment on the Coho is not within its jurisdiction and should not be considered. The recent decision by Judge Dixon of the Siskiyou County Superior court (Siskiyou FarmBureau vs CDFG) raises questions concerning the Department of Fish and Game motives and ability to manipulate the process for their own ends. They are one of the main signatories to the KBRA.
We are not surprised that the signatories to the KBRA have decided to extend the time frame. It is to be noted that significant pressure was brought to bear on those ranchers and farmers who decided to sign up or face potential impact to their power and irrigation water availability, in the event that the project went ahead without their being a party to it. The Tribes and NGO’s, in our opinion, obviously are not ready to give up on the opportunity to raid the public treasury. The significance of the hundreds of millions of dollars which are involved in the KBRA cannot be under estimated.
In the end, we believe that the right decision will be made, leaving the dams in place producing blue power for our region and the issues confronting the Salmon at sea and as they enter the riverine system will be resolved.
Siskiyou County Water Users Assoc.
Oct 10, 2012
Coho de-listing petition rejection
Siskiyou County Water Users Association coho de-listing petition
By Leo Bergeron,
Ridgecrest Daily Independent
October 9. 2012
Siskiyou County Water Users Association coho de-listing petition rejection response. Historical Note: In the late 1990s, a coho de-listing petition was rejected by NMFS and a federal court judge ruled in 2001 that the NMFS position was arbitrary, capricious and unlawful utilizing junk science. All coho listings in Southern Oregon and Northern California were withdrawn. The following are excerpts from the 14-page de-listing petition that has been rejected at this time.
Reasons for nominating the taxon for de-listing including any reference in any scientific journal or other literature dealing with the taxon
The Federal ESA has no provision for listing a non-indigenous species and there is no historical evidence that coho salmon were ever indigenous in the Klamath River Basin. The present listing by California ESA and NMFS has been based upon erroneous data and should be removed from the endangered or threatened listing under the California and Federal ESA. In addition to same, the following data clearly indicates that National Marine Fisheries Service ignored the science that was available to them and instead relied upon “junk science”.
In 2001, not one person on the Karuk Tribal Council believed that coho salmon were native to the Klamath River, within the tribe’s jurisdiction between Bluff Creek and Clear Creek on the California portion of the Klamath River, which is approximately between 91 and 140 miles below the lowest slated dam, Iron Gate, for removal, this statement is reflected for example, in the minutes of the Karuk Tribal Council meeting.
“Sandi Tripp. A written report was included in the packets and Sandi was present to review it with the council. She addressed questions and concerns the council members had. Discussion was had regarding coho salmon and whether or not they were ever present in the main stream and tributaries. Sandi states NMFS has scientific proof that there were coho present and if they can make the river conducive to these fish they can work towards getting them off the Endangered Species List and get rid of the NMFS presence. Council states it may be easier to prove the coho were never present, also, the other comment was made that if they were never here they should not be encouraged to come back.”
Shasta Tribe has held that coho salmon were never in the Klamath Basin
“The coho were planted in the Klamath River in the mid 1890s after being raised in hatcheries on Redwood Creek, Humboldt County, because they failed to thrive in the warmer river the coho were planted numerous times through the years. The coho were not native fish in the Klamath River.”
Quote from 2009 Water Quality Klamath TMDL scoping comment responses –
“The Regional Water Board can not establish life cycle-based water quality objectives for the mainstem Klamath River because the DO concentrations associated with salmonid life cycle requirements can not be met even under natural conditions – conditions in which there are no anthropogenic influences.”
Effects of timber, mining, farming and mismanagement of inland streams and rivers
“It does not appear that it is resource users (timber, farming, mining,) in the mid-Klamath is the reason, but is instead ocean and climatic conditions” on salmonid populations.
Final report – Coho Salmon-Steelhead – Klamath Expert Panels – 04/25/11
Dr. John Palmisano formerly a Marine mammal biologist for NMFS in Juneau, Alaska, teaching fisheries and biology at U of Washington an environmental scientist for a consulting firm in Bellevue, Wash. ((503) 645-5676) 1997: pg2. “Coastal waters from Mexico all the way to Alaska have gradually warmed since the climate shift of the 1970s and the subsequent, periodic affects of El Nino.” “It is estimated that 40-80 percent of estuarine habitat along the Pacific Northwest has been diminished or destroyed.” “It is clearly not the perceived mismanagement of inland streams and rivers that has caused the recent degradation of the salmonid population.”
It is also to be noted that upon genetic analysis of the “coho salmon in the Klamath Basin appears to be from plantings from Cascadia, Ore.” This statement also verifies the statement that coho salmon were never indigenous to the Klamath Basin.
Final Report – Coho Salmon-Steelhead – Klamath Expert Panels – 04/25/11
Pacific Northwest Coho Landings.
It becomes clear that coho salmon population in the Pacific Northwest is not declining and that the coho have moved north into cooler Alaskan waters as a result of the historic rise in Pacific Ocean temperature. This NMFS data clearly indicates that coho salmon in the Pacific Northwest is not in decline, but is maintaining a 62-year average landing with 91 percent of coho being landed in cooler Alaskan waters in 2010. Prior to the warming of the Pacific Ocean the landings in 1950 of coho salmon in Alaskan waters was only 55 percent. This data alone negates the listing by California ESA and NMFS for coho salmon in any ESU south of Alaskan waters.
Importance of salmonids to native populations of California and dam effects
Native tribes have spoken of millions of Chinook salmon in the Klamath River prior to the construction of dams. However, the reality based on California Division of Fish and Game 1930 report, fish bulletin #34, the total number of salmon on the Klamath totaled between 30,000 and 45,000 prior to the dams being installed. After the dams, the numbers went up to between 45,000 and 90,000 fish Dr. Ken Gobalet Professor of Biology Ph.D. California State University, Bakersfield “The rarity of salmonids in archaeological materials suggests that the ethnographic record overstated the importance of salmonids to the Native Americans of California.” It becomes clear based on this evidence that dams have improved salmonid populations in the Klamath River. (www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a932170617)
Siletz Tribes speak to low coho numbers
Van de Wetering, aquatics program leader of the Siletz Tribe, argues that “recent weak runs are most likely the result of unfavorable ocean conditions, which go through cycles.” (indiancountrynews.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3936&Itemid=118)
1913 California Fish and Game Commission report
(CFGC 1913) W. H. Shebley, superintendent of hatcheries, writes “Most of the salmon and steelhead eggs were taken at the [Redwood Creek] substation, as there was no run of either kind of salmon in the Trinity River.” Any reported coho after 1895 were as a result of plantings in the Klamath.
There is no evidence in historical documentation that coho salmon were ever native to the Klamath River prior to plantings in 1895 and 1899. NMFS referral to statements made 36 years after initial plantings is arbitrary, capricious and ludicrous in an attempt to list a species that is non-indigenous to the Klamath River. Based on NMFS statements and “proof” there is little doubt that any court in the land would throw out this ridiculous claim of “proof.” (www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/documents/SAL_SH/SAL_Coho_StatusNorth_2002/SAL_Coho_StatusNorth_2002_D.pdf)
2006 California position on coho salmon
“California Fish and Game Finfish and Shellfish Identification Book” published in December 2006 does not list coho salmon as being present in California waters. This information alone should make it clear that California Fish and Game do not consider coho salmon native to the Klamath River.
Understanding coho reduction in California waters
In an attempt to understand the movement of commercial salmon into Alaskan waters research found that there has been a historic rise in temperature of the Pacific Ocean which directly correlates with the historic increased activity in the Ring of Fire volcanoes. In 2010, 91 percent of all coho salmon have been caught in Alaskan waters. Although California, Oregon and Washington commercial fisheries are suffering, there is significant scientific evidence that the Pacific Ocean temperature increase is the primary cause. In 1950, the total catch of coho salmon in Alaskan waters was 55 percent. Further, in 1960, the total coho catch in the Pacific Northwest was 6,200 metric tons and in 2012, was 15,079 metric tons, according to NMFS landing data again proving coho salmon are not in peril of extinction.
Genetic analysis of hatchery vs. natural salmon
The initial statement regarding the controversy between “natural” and “hatchery” fish was made in a report by Busack and Currens in 1995, wherein they stated, “Interbreeding with hatchery fish might reduce fitness and productivity of a natural population.” Mr. Michael Rode of the California Department of Fish and Game at a hatchery evaluation meeting on Sept. 19, 2002 at Iron Gate Hatchery disclosed that less than a 2 percent genetic survey has been taken to date and no genetic differences have been noted between “hatchery” or “natural” coho salmon. A 2011 report by the expert panel indicated that their genetic analysis indicated the salmon in Northern California were from Cascadia, Ore. plantings.
Based on evidence presented in this petition, coho salmon were never indigenous to the Klamath River and the listing of coho salmon by California ESA and Federal ESA should be terminated. Concluding that coho salmon were not indigenous, there is no provision in the Endangered Species Act to list a non-native species. Not only were they not indigenous, scientific evidence is conclusive that planted coho runs in the Klamath Basin in Northern California have moved north due to historic warming of the Pacific Ocean. This clearly indicates that said listings are in violation of the Federal ESA and are unlawful, arbitrary and capricious.
Final Report – coho salmon-steelhead – Klamath expert panels – 04/25/11
Further, the Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife are in violation of the Federal ESA as their mandates are restricted to freshwater species and their involvement in the dam removal issue is out of their jurisdiction for a salt water species of fish.
Jun 8, 2012
Help us to continue to PROTECT and
PRESERVE your Property and Water Rights
Santa Maria Style BBQ Dinner
$25 per person / $40 per couple
June 18th 6-8PM
Fish Hook Restaurant
Klamath Ranch Resort
6930 Copco Road
Beverage included ~ No Host Bar
Slide Show / Dam Removal Update
Live Music by Tulsa Band
Antiques, Auction, Opportunity Drawing
Savage Rifle, Fishing Trips, Helicopter Ride,
Gift Basket, Desert Auction
RSVP to Louise:
Tickets available at the Grange Insurance and at the door
347 N. Main St. Yreka