EUREKA, Calif.(KIEM)- Local species of salmon are being threatened by humans and by nature. The Klamath River has several species that are listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Under the jurisdiction of NOAA fisheries, Coho Salmon, Pacific Eulachon, and Green Sturgeon are listed as threatened.
The number of Chinook salmon is dwindling, impacting opportunities for commercial, tribal, and recreational fishing.
“While not listed under ESA, Chinook salmon are of great importance to us. They are a federally managed species, by NOAA fisheries and an important food source to the list of endangered resident southern killer whales,” Jim Simondet, Klamath Branch Supervisor.
Factors contributing to the low numbers in the Klamath River date back to the first impact humans have had on the area from the loss of hundreds of miles of habitat above dams in the Klamath Basin, timber management, gold mining, overfishing, and recreation.
“More importantly im focusing this on swimmers, boaters who often want to be in the same place where those fish are concentrated. but be aware that those cold water pockets are places of refuge for fish this year.”
Human factors are the number one cause of the salmon situation. Add the current drought situation into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
A lot of the land where Coho Salmon lives is privately owned by timber companies, ranchers, and farmers, and they work with NOAA to try and stop the decline of the salmon population.