Trump Administration Commits to Updating Science in Klamath Project

Jul 29, 2020
Press Release

(Klamath Falls, OR) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after the Bureau of Reclamation announced an initial $1.2 million investment in new science for the Klamath Project. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and Commissioner of Reclamation Brenda Burman visited the Klamath Basin on July 9 to meet with farmers, ranchers, community officials, and other stakeholders at the request of Congressman LaMalfa.

LaMalfa said: “Secretary Bernhardt and Commissioner Burman’s visit to the Klamath Basin earlier this month gave them the opportunity to see just how harmful the bad science has been to the irrigators. For years, farmers and ranchers in the Basin have competed with salmon and suckerfish for a full water allocation – and this year’s battle was the final straw. This commitment to accurate, new science in the Basin will provide relief to the farmers, irrigators, and dwindling fish populations that have suffered for far too long. I thank the Trump Administration for listening to all parties and investing in a viable solution to ending the Basin’s struggle for water.”

Reclamation has announced that the $1.2 million will begin the following four science initiatives:

  • New Naturalized Flow Study. Update a 20-year-old assessment of stream flows to address shortcomings identified in review of the National Academies of Science 2004 and 2007 studies, as well as incorporating more recent data.
  • Flow/Habitat Relationships in the Klamath River. Evaluate contemporary methods of data collection and habitat modeling techniques to tailor a plan to better support habitat and water flow needs of endangered juvenile Chinook and Coho salmon in the Klamath River.
  • Salmon Model Refinement. Refine a salmon survival model in partnership with the United States Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that will update the Stream Salmonid Simulator model, that is used to estimate juvenile salmon survival during their migration to the sea.
  • Salmon Disease and Hydrology Data Portal. Develop a data management process that will improve biologic data management on salmon disease in the Klamath Basin. This improved data management will allow Reclamation experts to be more effective in data analysis and responsive to requests for water supply forecasting, operations planning and hydrologic modeling.