PNP comment: I believe Dr. Gierak knows what he is talking about. I have watched him for 15 years as he has tediously gathered information on coho and other fish in our region. At this point, I have little trust in what the govmunt officials state. Many seem to only have book learnin’ and little practical experience to prove their science is true science. — Editor Liz Bowen
By Dr. Richard Gierak
Siskiyou Daily News
Letter to the Editor
March 16, 2012
Klamath River, Calif. — I find it of interest that on the DVD handed out at the NOAA meeting regarding the NOAA Coho Recovery Plan, they have placed a picture of a Yellow Perch.
Perhaps it is difficult to understand that both Iron Gate and Copco reservoirs have been evaluated and said to contain biomass quantities of Yellow Perch and Yellow Crappie by California Fish & Game in 2010. 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. Yellow Perch are a real nemesis to salmon of any type by consuming their eggs and fingerlings as food. Should the dam be breached the Yellow Perch will decimate any and all salmon eggs and fingerlings to feed their ravenous appetites. This sounds like a great plan to recover salmon populations in the Klamath Basin. Thank you NMFS.
Are we to assume that the “experts” from NMFS do not realize what they have done, or, is it a slap in the face assuming that the public is ignorant or stupid? Amidst the multiple scientific reasons to not remove the dams on the Klamath, this one is not even considered in their reports. The primary reason for not considering the Coho Recovery Plan is that there are no documents or historical references to coho being indigenous to the Klamath Basin prior to plantings in 1895. Under the Federal Endangered Species Act there is no provision to list a non-indigenous species. NMFS and NOAA should abandon any more expenditure of our money on a species that legally cannot be listed in the Klamath Basin.
Editor’s note: NOAA Coho Recovery Plan Coordinator Julie Weeder confirmed that the fish pictured on the DVD is a coho salmon. “The species the image most resembles is juvenile chinook, but this is not a chinook because of the coloration of the leading edge of the fins and the coloration on the top of the fish,” Weeder said. “There is some superficial similarity between juvenile salmon and yellow perch (i.e. there are dark vertical stripes on the sides), however there are also clear differences (i.e. shapes of the dorsal and adipose fins on the top of the fish).”
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