Videos Show Massive Fish Kill Near the Removal of the Klamath River Dams

In late-January, the detonation of a tunnel at the base of the 101-year-old Copco 1 dam on the Klamath River sent water and sediment rushing downstream at a rate of approximately 4,000 cubic feet per second. Now, videos are showing that water and sediment may have caused a massive fish kill on the river.

The Klamath Dam Removal Project will restore access to 400 miles of fish habitat that has been cut off for over a century. Once completed, the restoration of the Klamath River will have significant environmental benefits, allowing fish to migrate freely, revitalizing ecosystems, and enhancing the overall health of the river.

But during the removal process, their may be environmental impacts, including the fish kill shared on the Siskiyou News TikTok page. The three videos show the river turning a brown color and hoards of dead fish lining the shores of the river: #CDFW #siskiyoucounty #klamathriver #copco #irongate #salmon #damremoval #deadfish #saveearthfromus #siskiyounews ? original sound – Siskiyou News #CDFW #siskiyoucounty #klamathriver #copco #irongate #damremoval #deadfish #saveearthfromus #siskiyounews ? For What It's Worth – Billy Porter #irongate #siskiyoucounty #trout #bluegill #cdfw #damremoval #earth ? OZZY OSBOURNE Dreamer – themusicofmonik

The argument behind removing dams is nuanced. There are well over 1,000 dams in California, some more than a century old. Most dams were erected not only to establish critical water supplies but also for hydroelectric power generation and flood control. If Shasta and Keswick Dams in Shasta County were removed, towns like Redding could literally be washed away during the spring flooding season.

But the Klamath Dams were built specifically for the purpose of generating electricity, a practice that has since been modernized by more efficient energy providers. The dams provide no irrigation diversions, no drinking water, and almost no flood control benefit. Managing the aging structures today costs more than they’re worth.

Despite the fish kill that is certainly sad to see, fish species are expected to once again flourish on the river following dam removal. Salmon will once again be able to reach their historic spawning ground for the first time in over 100 years, which is expected to revive other fish species and wildlife in the area.

There’s no doubt there’s some growing pains during dam removal, but the final product will likely be a flourishing environment on the Klamath River.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


    1. I see you also caught that…

      We homesteaders in the Tulelake basin in 1949. All the farmers were given water rights in perpetuity, a letter signed by the President. That is now null and void..

      1. you’re the same cat complaining because California is welcoming the wolves to return but your “family” raises cattle and BLAH! Y’know what dude, your family deserves NOTHING, you think you should benefit and have “water rights” in perpetuity? Wait, you actually think your family should profit from your claim to a natural resource, that being water? Get off it and quit being a leech of the state of California.

    2. I saw that too. Don’t blame the author, blame our government for underfunding schools and parents for letting their kids be on smartphones all day. Soon enough they won’t even teach kids to read or write, because smart phones will be able to do it for us.

  1. the fish won’t go back to those grounds because they are programmed to go back to where they hatched. Only if the plant new fish up there will they come back up there

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