Friday, August 5, 2022

Karuk Tribe: McKinney Fire Causing Klamath Fish Kill

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2022 at 1:25 PM

The Karuk Tribe is reporting large numbers of dead fish on the Klamath River in the vicinity of Happy Camp, which it's attributing to impacts from the McKinney Fire, which has spread to nearly 60,000 acres in Siskiyou County.

According to the tribe, "very large" number of dead fish of all species are being observed.

"Preliminary observations suggest that massive debris flows following flash flood events on Aug. 3 in the areas impacted by the McKinney Fire are the cause," a press release states, adding that road closures in the area limit observation efforts.


The Karuk Tribe reports it is working with the Yurok Tribe and state and federal agencies to gain access to fire zones for better monitoring efforts.

"Note that observations of dead fish are being made over 20 miles from source of debris flow," the press release states. "The severity of the event is impossible to characterize until biologists can make direct observations in currently restricted areas."

The report comes as the fall migration of Chinook salmon is just beginning, and on the heels of months of concerns about water quality on the river and its impacts on salmon populations.

The tribe will release more information as it is available.

FIRES TRIGGER KLAMATH FISH KILL
Very large numbers of dead fish, of all species, are being observed in the vicinity of Happy Camp, CA along the mainstem Klamath River.
Preliminary observations suggest that massive debris flows following flash flood events on August 3rd in areas impacted by the McKinney fire are the cause.
Road closures in an active fire zone are limiting detailed observations.
Karuk Tribe is working with Yurok Tribe along with state and federal agencies to gain access to fire zone to better document and evaluate river conditions.
Note that observations of dead fish are being made over 20 miles from source of debris flow. The severity of the event is impossible to characterize until biologists can make direct observations in currently restricted areas.
It is currently unknown if the event will affect the fall migration of Chinook salmon, which is just beginning, or areas of the river downstream.
More information will be released as observations are made.
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