New Reports Support Removal of Klamath Dams

Three new reports show that removing the four dams on Klamath River will benefit the health of the river and salmon in the long run.

A joint press release issued by American Rivers and the Karuk Tribe, states that the removal of the dams will have relatively minor negative effects in the short-run, will not require sediment removal, but will be beneficial to salmon and water quality without incurring any increased flood risk to downstream residents.

According to the press release, removal would result in elimination of toxic blue green algae and subsequent increase in oxygen levels which would greatly increase the habitat conditions for salmon. At the same time, it is expected that the impacts to fall Chinook will be short-term, and the population would fully recover to pre-removal levels within five years. (Right: Iron Gate Dam on the Klamath River is the first dam blocking over 350 miles of spawning habitat)

In November 2008, PacifiCorp reached agreement in principle to remove the four Klamath dams in 2020 and pay up to $200 million in removal and restoration costs.

If removed, this would be the biggest dam removal effort in the world.

To read the reports, visit American Rivers' Klamath River page.