Fish Kill Likely on the Klamath: A Guide to Reporting Fish Health

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Friday, June 5th, 2015
Fish Health Readiness Levels for Klamath

Source: Klamath Basin Monitoring Program

Data released by the California/Nevada Fish Health Center showed that as of April 30th of this year, 100% of out-migrating juvenile salmon trapped in the main stem of the Klamath River were infected with Ceratomyxa shasta, a lethal parasite that infects salmon intestinal tracts. Based on this data, the Klamath Fish Health Assessment Team has raised current fish health readiness levels to Orange for the mainstem of the Klamath River from Iron Gate Dam to Weitchpec, which means that a kill is likely to occur and management levels in agencies need to be alerted.

Fish kills often occur rapidly over a short period of time, limiting the ability to provide a timely response to prevent large scale fish die-offs. For this reason, it is incredibly important that residents within the Klamath Basin immediately report any signs of fish mortality. If dead fish are spotted and reported, the Bureau of Reclamation would likely release water flows from the upriver dam to flush the parasite out of the area, possibly preventing a kill.

Sick fish usually congregate at creek mouths during periods of heightened stress, and dead fish generally accumulate in eddy areas. If you encounter high numbers of sick or dead fish, please alert the Office of Emergency Services Warning Center at 1-800-852-7550. Click here to download the Klamath notification poster, which you can display in your community.