Yesterday I ran into one of the biologists who monitor the Chinook and Coho salmon runs in the
This year the Fall Chinook run in the
Relatively generous harvest allocations made for lots of happy faces at the mouth of the Klamath this fall. It was great to see Yurok and sport fishers working together at the River’s mouth to make sure everyone had an opportunity. Among the Yurok fishers were several teenagers who fished commercially to finance their college educations. Below are two photos from the height of the harvest at the Mouth. The first shows a sport fishing couple who had caught their daily quota; the second shows tribal fishers at work:
As the Chinook moved up river, however, it became clear that this years spawning run will likely not meet the 35,000 “escapement floor” established by the PFMC. This is not new! With seats for commercial fishermen, tribal interests and state wildlife agencies that favor high sport allocations, the PFMC has often overallocated West Coast Chinook salmon; as a result, the Klamath spawner “floor” is regularly not met. Even when achieved, 35,000 spawners will not produce the maximum number of harvestable salmon. To maximize the Klamath Fall Chinook run the PFMC would have to manage for 41,000 Wild Fall Chinook to escape capture and spawn. (A more complete explanation of Klamath Harvest Allocation by legendary tribal fisheries biologist Ronnie Pierce is available from the Yreka Office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service: 1829 South Oregon Street, Yreka, California 96097, Phone (530) 842-5763, Fax (530) 842-4517 http://www.fws.gov/yreka/outreach.htm).
In one way the lateness of the Fall Chinook run was a blessing. Flows in the Scott and
The situation in the
Coho spawners also appear to be in trouble again this year. Unless the latest storms translates into increased stream flow, it appears that Scott River Coho will only be able to access one of the prime spawning creeks in the
The State of
Those who want to encourage Governor Schwarzenegger to step up on the Shasta and Scott can contact the governor’s chief adviser on
The photo below is of the Scott River at Serpa Lane near Fort Jones. It was taken this July. In addition to low flow, you can see the tracks of cattle in the bed of the stream. Scott River farmers have received funding to exclude livestock from the Scott River. However, it is still very common there to see livestock or their tracks in the bed of the river as well as in tributary streams. The riparian vegetation visible in this picture is the result of a government funded bank stabilization project.