Judge Avoids Ruling on Upper Klamath Lake Water Dispute

A federal judge heard arguments in a case filed by the Klamath Tribes of southern Oregon seeking greater protections for endangered sucker fish in Upper Klamath Lake.

Posted: Jul 23, 2018 4:25 PM
Updated: Jul 23, 2018 4:49 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge heard arguments in a case filed by the Klamath Tribes of southern Oregon seeking greater protections for endangered sucker fish in Upper Klamath Lake.

San Francisco District Judge William Orrick listened to the arguments Friday in a lawsuit that requests an injunction to hold more water in the lake for shortnose and Lost River suckers, a culturally significant food for the tribes, the Capital Press reported.

However, farmers and ranchers worry the injunction would shut off surface water irrigation in the Klamath Project, costing about $400 million in lost annual economic value.

Orrick did not issue a ruling, and is considering a motion to move the case to a different court. He did not give a timetable for his decision.

The non-ruling means irrigators in the Klamath Project will be allowed to continue watering their crops — for now, said Mark Jackson, deputy director of the Klamath Water Users Association.

"Things are looking pretty promising in the short-term," he said.

The lawsuit names the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service as defendants.

The Klamath Water Users Association, Sunnyside Irrigation District and California farmer Ben DuVal filed to intervene in the tribes' lawsuit. They argue an injunction would have a devastating effect on local agriculture, and claim there is no scientific evidence linking higher water levels in Upper Klamath Lake with healthier sucker populations.

Both the shortnose and Lost River suckers — known to the tribes as C'waam and Koptu — were listed as endangered in 1988.

The tribes' lawsuit, filed in May, claims the bureau continues to operate the Klamath Project "in a manner inimical to the continued existence and ultimate recovery of the C'waam and Koptu and in direct violation of the (Endangered Species Act)."

Don Gentry, tribal chairman, said the intent is not to harm agriculture, but to do what is necessary to protect the fish.

If the Klamath Tribes succeed with their injunction for more water in Upper Klamath Lake, Johnson said it would essentially shut down surface water irrigation for about 360 square miles (932 square kilometers) in the project.

___

Information from: Capital Press, http://www.capitalpress.com/washington

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 3967

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah105258
Marion91425
Washington69817
Clackamas29610
Deschutes1200
Linn1159
Umatilla1123
Polk9610
Lane672
Yamhill667
Jackson600
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Josephine251
Douglas250
Jefferson240
Wasco181
Columbia160
Hood River120
Morrow120
Lincoln90
Tillamook60
Crook60
Curry60
Union60
Wallowa20
Sherman10
Grant10
Harney10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 99387

Reported Deaths: 3819
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles478452145
Riverside7139303
San Diego6797249
Orange5578131
San Bernardino4567176
Alameda298693
Santa Clara2675139
San Francisco239940
San Mateo190482
Kern187629
Tulare177179
Santa Barbara155112
Fresno148222
Contra Costa135337
Imperial135224
Sacramento131056
Ventura91230
San Joaquin77133
Kings6882
Stanislaus65928
Sonoma5154
Solano45520
Monterey4298
Marin41714
Merced2687
San Luis Obispo2631
Santa Cruz2002
Yolo19822
Placer1889
Napa1093
Humboldt942
Madera852
El Dorado780
San Benito762
Sutter422
Nevada411
Butte400
Del Norte400
Shasta364
Mono341
Yuba281
Mendocino220
Inyo191
Mariposa161
Lake140
Calaveras140
Glenn120
Amador100
Siskiyou61
Colusa50
Plumas40
Lassen40
Tuolumne30
Tehama31
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 64°
Brookings
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 52°
Crater Lake
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 53°
Grants Pass
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 61°
Klamath Falls
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 53°
Hot week, stormy weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Smoke expected through today

Image

Fighting fires during coronavirus

Image

Nate Bittle is gearing up for his senior year

Image

Search and rescue adjusts to a pandemic

Image

Tuesday, May 26th Evening Weather

Image

Search and Rescue teams adjust their jobs during the pandemic

Image

Anywhere Learning: Read-aloud - Sarah, Plain and Tall, Part 2

Image

Anywhere Learning: Mystery Adventure, Part 2

Image

Anywhere Learning: All About Family

Image

Anywhere Learning: Mystery Adventure, Part 1