Did Fish and Game Officials Just Cause 850,000 Juvenile Salmon to Die?

by Katy Grimes at californiaglobe.com

The removal of dams along the Klamath River in Siskiyou County, Northern California was sold to Californians as necessary to save salmon – specifically, “to restore habitat for endangered fish,” the Globe reported.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recently released between 850,000 and 1 million salmon juveniles into Fall Creek which empties into the Klamath River, even after reports that “every living mollusk, crawdad, turtle, fish, insect in and about the river is DEAD!” William Simpson, a Siskiyou resident, told the Globe in an interview last week, when they were released that the juvenile salmon would also die because of the muddy clay sediment.

During a discussion with the Globe last Wednesday:

“Simpson said about 850,000 salmon fry were released into Fall Creek this week by California Fish And Wildlife. Fall Creek empties into the Klamath River.”

“Simpson said this is nuts. He said he is concerned that the volatile conditions in the Klamath River will likely hurt/kill the tiny fish as they enter the sediment-laden Klamath River, which he describes as mucky clay.”

“He said the ‘water flows are likely to be low in the coming months compounding adverse conditions for any aquatic life, let alone tiny salmonids that are quite vulnerable to turbidity and pollutants from clay lake bottom sediments.’”

The Globe had been alerted by Theodora Johnson that the CDFW was releasing approximately 1M juvenile salmon despite the deadly conditions. So we contacted Fish and Wildlife on Feb. 26, 2024 to ask why: