April 18, 2014
Brian Johnson, California Director, (510) 528-4772
Sam Davidson, Communications Director, California/Nevada, (831) 235-2542
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Trout Unlimited Lauds New Klamath River Agreement
Latest water sharing agreement is good for farmers, fishermen, and hunters
BERKELEY, Calif.—Today’s formal signing of a water sharing agreement between the Klamath Tribes and ranchers in the upper Klamath River basin is vital to resolving the complex challenges of water use and management and to restoring the once-iconic runs of salmon and steelhead in this watershed, according to Trout Unlimited.
Historically, the Klamath River system was the third most productive fishery for Chinook salmon on the West Coast, and its steelhead runs are legendary among sport anglers.
“We commend the Klamath Tribes and upper basin ranchers for getting this done,” said Brian Johnson, California Director for Trout Unlimited, who served on the Congressional task force charged with resolving outstanding issues for the Klamath. “This shows that, when people put their minds to it, we can achieve meaningful agreements that benefit everyone.”
Johnson also applauded the leadership of Governor Kitzhaber of Oregon and Oregon Senators Wyden and Merkley in fostering the latest agreement. “This would not have been possible without the strong support of Governor Kitzhaber and Senators Wyden and Merkley, who appointed and helped drive the Task Force that delivered the agreement,” said Johnson.
“For sportsmen, this agreement is most welcome. It will help salmon and steelhead in the lower Klamath River as well as the many waterfowl species which depend on wildlife refuges in the upper basin during their annual migrations,” said Craig Nielsen, owner of Shasta Trout Guide Service.
In California, which is in the midst of its most severe drought in memory, Trout Unlimited is working across the state to help align the interests of farmers, anglers and other stakeholders to develop cooperative agreements that make fishing better and keep water flowing for agriculture and downstream users.
“Trout Unlimited is leading the way on cooperative programs to increase water supply reliability and stream flows for both people and fish,” said Johnson. “With a little foresight and willingness to adopt new strategies and technologies, what ranchers want and what anglers want actually tend to line up well. Now it’s time for Congress to pass legislation that will authorize all of the Klamath Basin agreements, and we look forward to working with the Oregon and California delegations to make this happen.”
Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon and their watersheds. Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and visit us online at tu.org.