--- Roghfish_at_aol.com wrote:
> Judge Keeps Klamath Water for Farms
> By KAREN GAUDETTE
> .c The Associated Press
> OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A federal judge on Friday
> rejected an effort by
> commercial anglers, American Indian tribes and
> environmental groups seeking
> to force the government to release more water to the
> Klamath River instead of
> diverting it to farms.
> Commercial fishermen sued the U.S. Bureau of
> Reclamation and the National
> Marine Fisheries Service last month, arguing that
> water being stored for
> farmers should be released to help young salmon
> migrate to the ocean.
> The Klamath straddles the California-Oregon state
> line, and its waters
> irrigate crops as well as provide a home to fish
> such as the threatened coho
> In recent days, biologists and U.S. Forest Service
> employees have rescued
> hundreds of baby salmon and other fish stranded in
> puddles along the banks of
> the Klamath.
> But U.S. District Judge Saundra Armstrong said
> Friday there is not enough
> scientific evidence to prove the salmon need more
> water at this time.
> Dan Keppen, executive director of the Klamath Water
> Users Association that
> represented farmers at the Oakland hearing, said in
> a statement they were
> pleased with the ruling.
> Kristen Boyles, an attorney for the Pacific Coast
> Federation of Fishermen's
> Associations that filed the suit, said a decision
> about whether to appeal the
> judge's ruling would not be made until she sees the
> written ruling.
> ``The sad part is, we have salmon being stranded
> right now. We have fish
> being rescued,'' she said.
> In March, Interior Secretary Gale Norton and
> Agriculture Secretary Ann
> Veneman told the Bureau of Reclamation to begin full
> irrigation deliveries to
> the 1,400 farms on the Klamath Reclamation Project,
> straddling the state line
> east of the Cascade Range.
> They were responding to pleas from farmers who
> experienced a shortage of
> irrigation water last year due to record drought.
> Last year, the bureau
> sharply cut back irrigation to maintain water levels
> set under the Endangered
> Species Act for endangered suckers in Upper Klamath
> Lake and threatened coho
> salmon in the Klamath River.
> The suit claimed springtime flows for the Klamath
> River this year have been
> as little as 60 percent of the water required for
> salmon to survive, and
> sought an increase to at least the same amount that
> was provided last year.
> On the Net:
> Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's
> Associations: http://www.pcffa.org
> Klamath Basin Irrigators:
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