KLAMATH – There has been nothing but bad news lately regarding salmon runs on the North Coast. With returning numbers of Chinook at near record lows, last year the Yurok Salmon Festival did not serve the delicacy.
There is some good news… Tribal leaders have stepped up and procured the North Coast’s favored fish from outside the Klamath River for this year’s 55th annual festival. It’s coming from Alaska.
Thomas P. O’Rourke, Chairman of the Yurok Fribe said, “Rather than celebrate the return of the spawning salmon as we normally do, the purpose of this year’s festival is to raise awareness about the struggling fish and rally for the salmon of the Klamath River.”
This year’s low fish run is largely a result of poor ocean conditions, combined with substandard water quality and elevated disease rates in the river when this year’s run was in the juvenile stage of development. The fall run of Klamath salmon is primarily made up of 3 year old fish. In 2014 & 15 up to
91% of sampled juvenile salmon were infected with Ceratonova Shasta, a deadly fish pathogen that favors the in-river conditions created by the four Klamath dams.
And Tuesday, the tribe gave a first ever excellence in partnership award for Congressman Jared Huffman. Vice Chairman, David Gensaw, Sr. said, “We selected the congressman to be the first recipient of this award because of his enduring commitment to restoring the Klamath River, increasing our land base and protecting our natural resources.”