Category: News

One step closer to restoring the Klamath River

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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.”

Earth Day news, so far in 2019

planet earth
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The good: The first phase of an ordinance which bans restaurants in the city of Los Angeles from automatically offering their customers disposable plastic straws unless they specifically request them takes effect today. (CBS-LA)

The bad: The prospect of extinction may seem unduly pessimistic to some, but the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach announced recently that it had acquired 1,200 delta smelt from a UC Davis research hatchery. (Los Angeles Times)

The ugly: Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach could soon be underwater, as rising sea levels caused by climate change overtake its white sand beaches and bustling streets, AP reports:

  • Honolulu will start experiencing frequent flooding within the next 15 to 20 years, officials predict.
  • State lawmakers are considering spending millions for a coastline protection program aimed at defending the city from regular tidal inundations. (Axios)

 

See you on the river, Jim Burns

A ‘concrete’ way of eradicating Asian carp?

BassOmatic
Bassmaster asks: “Will carp-crete prove as
popular as the classic Bass-O-Matic” in the old
“Saturday Night Live” skit by Dan Aykroyd?

(Reposted from The Rural Blog)

The use of market forces to fight Asian carp may be taking a hard turn. By turning the fish into concrete.

For several years, companies in the mid-Mississippi River valley have been buying and processing the fish, largely for the Chinese market. To expand the market and get more anglers interested in fishing for them, civil engineer James Nobles developed a way to use by-products from processing as an ingredient in concrete.

“The main thing is to make (carp-crete) profitable for the fishermen so we can bring more people in to catch these fish and get them out of this lake,” said Western Kentucky marina operator Wayne Breedlove, who hosted a pour of “carp-crete” this week, covered by Laurel Black of The Paducah Sun. “It’s getting to the point where it’s dangerous for these boaters.”

“Asian carp pose a threat to the $1.2 billion fishing and recreational boating industries in Western Kentucky, and are wreaking similar havoc in Tennessee,” Black notes. “The carp consume forage that popular species, like bass, rely on to survive, and one species is known to jump out of the water when startled, potentially causing injury to boaters. If carp-crete proves successful, it would help make catching Asian carp more lucrative for commercial fishermen. Commercial harvesting is the best way to manage the Asian carp population, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.”

Breedlove told Black that cost has proven to be carp-crete’s only drawback so far. “The carp ash for the carp-crete was produced in Southern Illinois, which is also testing the product,” she reports.

So Cal’s Painted Ladies

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Scientists estimate about 1 billion painted lady butterflies are currently flying north from the Mexican desert to reach breeding grounds in Oregon. (Courtesy Yale University)

The beginning of the week, I was stuck trying to make a morning left turn when I saw lots of smudges floating in the distance. Fire? I thought, while the light turned red once again. As I waited for my next chance to turn, the smudges turned into — butterflies, dozens and dozens flew past my windshield, being pushed skyward by the oncoming traffic. It was an amazing sight and I’m sure you’ve shared a similar one if you live here.

You can read more about this year’s incredible numbers here.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Local fly fisher honored by United Women on the Fly

Analiza
HOW STOKED do you get when you waited three years for that first carp? About this stoked! (courtesy @fishshootbrew)

Local fly fisher and buddy Analiza Del Rosario just landed (haha) the United Women on the Fly featured fly girl.

According to the article, “She lives by her motto, “no bitching, just fishing!”

Congratulations, Analiza, you make our local fly-fishing community proud.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Storm videos show the destructive power of the LA River

Thanks for these dramatic video images of the Los Feliz and Sunnynook areas from Trout Unlimited’s Bob Blankenship and stills from Pasadena Cast Club’s Steve Kuchenski. If you ever needed a reminder to stay away from the LA River during storms, this is it!

 

 

 

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THE STORM’S aftermath shows debris halfway up the wall where the water crested. Note, this is the same area as in the video above! (Courtesy Steve Kuchenski)
image1
TIME FOR another river clean up, with more storms on their way. (Courtesy Steve Kuchenski)

 

See you on the river, Jim Burns

As storms move out, water continues to surge

rain in la
Even after the rain stopped falling Wednesday, the pedestrian bridge pilings in Atwater Village cause a mean curl. Because the LA River has little-to-no permanent structure, expect your favorite fishing spot to be radically changed for your next visit. (Courtesy Robert Blankenship)