Local salmon species are threatened by humans and nature. The Klamath River has several species listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Under NOAA fisheries jurisdiction, coho salmon, Pacific eulachon and green sturgeon are listed as threatened.
Chinook salmon numbers are declining, impacting commercial, tribal and recreational fishing opportunities.
“Although it is not listed in the ESA, chinook salmon is of great importance to us. It is a species managed by the federal government, by the NOAA fisheries and an important food source for the list of endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales, ”Jim Simondet, Klamath Branch Supervisor.
Factors contributing to the low number of people in the Klamath River can be traced back to the first impact humans had on the area from the loss of hundreds of miles of habitat above dams in the Klamath Basin, management timber, gold mining, overfishing and recreation.
“Most importantly, I’m focusing on swimmers, boaters who often want to be in the same spot where these fish are concentrated. but know that these pockets of cold water are places of refuge for fish this year.
Human factors are the primary cause of the salmon situation. Add the current drought situation into the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Much of the land where coho salmon live is owned by private companies, ranchers and farmers, and they are working with NOAA to try to stop the decline in the salmon population.