Hundreds of thousands of fish found dead in Klamath River

by Jason Turk at

Hundreds of thousands of fall-run chinook salmon have reportedly died following their release into the Klamath River.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says that, on Monday, they released roughly 830,000 fall-run Chinook salmon into Fall Creek, which feeds into the Klamath River. Those fish traveled south, past the Iron Gate Dam, where they began to die off in large droves.

Upon analysis, the CDFW says the deaths were caused by gas bubble disease, which occurs when fish experience a drastic change in pressure. The CDFW believes the fish contracted the disease while passing through the Iron Gate Dam’s tunnel which, the agency claims, is “old infrastructure” that is set to be deconstructed later this year.

The CDFW asserts that this massive die-off was not caused by the water quality of the Klamath River, which is still undergoing a lengthy- and controversial– dam removal process. According to the CDFW, turbidity and dissolved oxygen measurements in the river came up as “suitable” as of Monday, February 26th.