Month: May 2019

One step closer to restoring the Klamath River

Screen Shot 2019-05-17 at 7.04.32 PM
Iron Gate Dam on the Klamath River. (Courtesy of Thomas B. Dunklin)

From Trout Unlimited’s Sam Davidson:

 Thursday, May 9, delivered more good news on the Klamath River restoration front.

PacifiCorp, the utility that owns the four old hydropower dams slated for removal under the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA), announced it has entered into a site access agreement with Kiewit Infrastructure West Company “to allow the firm to conduct initial surveying and other work connected to planned removal of four dams on the Klamath River.”

The site access agreement follows an announcement by the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) on April 25, 2019 that it had signed an initial contract with Kiewit to perform preliminary services that include design, planning and permitting support to carry out dam removal.

Brian J. Johnson, director of Trout Unlimited’s California Program and TU’s
representative in the settlement agreement process, said “The site access agreement and the KRRC’s contract with Kiewit represent two major steps forward for restoration of the Klamath River, and the momentum for removing the four old fish-blocking dams has never been stronger. Moving forward with the KHSA is good for fishing, tribal communities, and ratepayers.”

Johnson noted that the Klamath River, historically, has been the third most productive river for salmon and steelhead on the West Coast and that the dam removal effort is supplemented by work TU and other parties are doing in the upper Klamath Basin to restore water quality and aquatic and riparian habitat, and to improve water security.

Removal of the dams would occur as soon as 2021 upon approval of the agreement by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

PacifiCorp issued a joint press release with the Yurok and Karuk Tribes on the signing of the site access agreement. The two tribes are parties to the amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and applauded the hiring of Kiewit as general contractor for dam removal and the firm’s site access agreement with PacifiCorp as key steps in fulfilling the terms of the KHSA.

“PacifiCorp remains fully committed to successful implementation of the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, which will result in removal of the lower four Klamath River dams coupled with customer protections,” said Scott Bolton, senior vice president for Pacific Power, a division of PacifiCorp that serves electricity customers in Oregon, California, and Washington.

Bolton added, “The agreement provides a better outcome for our customers compared to the unknown costs and risk of relicensing the dams. PacifiCorp appreciates the expertise Kiewit brings to this endeavor and the continued hard work of our settlement partners as we move to fully implement this important agreement.”

Actor Zac Efron searches for carp on the LA River

In the latest episode of Zac Efron’s “Off the Grid” Youtube Series, he is joined by Matus Sobolic of @CaliCarpin, and his brother Dylan Efron. The trio then hit the famous LA River on the hunt for urban carp on the fly. The LA River offers an amazing escape from the urban spread of Los Angeles. Follow along as the group fly fishes, skates and explores this unique fishery. (From Flylords Magazine)

 

CalTrout’s new campaign ‘Dams Out’ targets Malibu Rindge Dam

From California Trout: Rindge Dam, located three miles upstream from Malibu coastline, is listed as one of the Top 5 California dams to remove in our latest report.

Built in 1926, it once provided water for irrigation and household use in Malibu. However, after just 30 years, the 100-foot dam became obsolete after the reservoir filled entirely with sediment. Today it is part of Malibu Creek State Park and remains a total barrier to southern steelhead migration.

Removing Rindge Dam will reconnect access to over 18 miles of high-quality spawning and rearing habitat for the federally threatened southern steelhead.

Reopening the upper reaches could restore the fishery and establish it as a nursery for this particular strain of steelhead so that the population can recover and become abundant once again.

It’s been a decades-long battle but CalTrout remains committed to removing Rindge Dam and reconnecting habitat for endangered southern steelhead.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Life finds a way …

Carp

Trout Unlimited’s Bob Blankenship sent in this amazing photo he took. Here’s what he said: I was at the lower LA in South Gate a couple weeks ago, around Hollydale Park. I walked down into the river channel – the dystopian part where there’s nothing expect a hundred-yard-wide concrete slab. I wanted to check out the low flow channel there and as I walked upstream I came upon a fish – about 18 inches of carp that was headed who-knows-where? There’s about two miles downstream of concrete channel and probably eight miles upstream. Life finds a way, right?

See you on the river, Jim Burns