Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region
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Fisheries

Fisheries Program

The Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office (Yreka FWO) Fisheries program provides technical assistance and funding for habitat restoration projects in support of a variety of Federally Listed and Tribal Trust fish species in the Klamath River Basin. We also provide support for a variety of fisheries monitoring and research efforts in collaboration with other agencies, Tribes, and community-based groups. Our Fisheries program also supports the Yreka FWO Hydro Branch for the ongoing licensing of the Klamath River Hydroelectric Project.

 

The Yreka FWO’s current program continues many of the activities initiated under the Klamath Act and the Task Force over the past two decades. We continue to provide financial and technical assistance support for watershed coordination groups throughout the lower Basin. Our Fisheries program also continues to provide operational funding for a large portion of the annual fall Chinook spawning run monitoring in the Klamath River and tributaries (excluding the Trinity River). We work in cooperation with the Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, California Department of Coho salmon found by surveyors during spawning run monitoring.  Photo by CDFGFish and Game (CDFG), NOAA Fisheries, Klamath and Six Rivers National Forests, basin Tribes, and a wide variety of watershed restoration groups and other stakeholders on the spawning run monitoring. CDFG summarizes the escapement and in-river harvest monitoring data in their “Klamath River Basin Fall Chinook Salmon Spawner Escapement, In-river Harvest and Run-size Estimates” table (Mega-Table) each year. Fishery management agencies also use this critical data to develop harvest management regulations for salmon fisheries along the California and Oregon coasts.

 

Coho salmon found by surveyors during spawning run
monitoring. Photo by CDFG


Fisheries Restoration Projects

The Yreka FWO Fisheries Program supports projects to improve riparian and instream habitat for salmon and other fish species in the lower Basin. We support a variety of projects including installation of fish screens, removal of diversions and culverts, and riparian habitat improvement. Below are examples of projects that we have completed.


Araujo Dam Demobilization and Water Quality Improvements Project, Phase 1

Araujo Dam prior to removal.  Photo by Jennifer Silveira, USFWSThe Araujo Dam was one of several large irrigation diversion structures located on the Shasta River. This dam blocked passage of juvenile coho salmon and other anadromous fish to areas of cooler water upstream and also downstream migration to the Klamath River. The impoundment created by the dam also affected fish habitat by raising water temperatures. Increases in water temperature favor growth of aquatic plants that consume oxygen at night, thus reducing dissolved oxygen in the water to levels lethal to fish.


  

Araujo Dam prior to removal. Photo by Jennifer Silveira,
USFWS


In 2007, our Fisheries program supported the removal of the dam, replacing it with a boulder streambed weir and improving passage for juvenile fish. We also helped fund a new pumping New diversion facility.  Photo by Jennifer Silveira, USFWSstation equipped with a self-cleaning fish screen to protect juvenile fishes. The Shasta Valley Resource Conservation District managed the construction of this $2.79 million project. The Yreka FWO Fisheries program cooperatively funded this project with the California Department of Fish and Game, California State Water Quality Control Board, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.



New diversion facility. Photo by Jennifer Silveira,
USFWS

 

Watershed Restoration Coordinator on the Mid-Klamath River

The Karuk Tribe of California has been a partner with the Yreka FWO in restoring anadromous Mid-Klamath Watershed Council meeting.  Photo by Will Harling, MKWCfisheries in the Klamath River since 1982. We contribute funding and technical assistance to their aquatic habitat restoration program. Our cooperative agreement with the Karuk Tribe supports a watershed coordinator to do restoration education, outreach and planning in the middle Klamath sub-basin of the lower Basin. The coordinator also works with the Mid-Klamath Watershed Council, a voluntary community restoration group.




 Mid-Klamath Watershed Council meeting. Photo by Will Harling, MKWC

 

Klamath River Fall Chinook Salmon Spawning Surveys 2008- a Multi-Agency and Community Partner Effort

The Yreka FWO has provided funding for the Klamath River fall Chinook spawning surveys since 1992. These surveys are a cooperative effort by Federal, State, Tribal and other interested stakeholders to determine the number of naturally spawning fall Chinook salmon in the Klamath Basin. We support annual surveys of the Salmon River, Scott River, and other mid-Klamath River tributaries, as well as the mainstem river, using both carcass mark-recapture and/or redd count techniques. This work is critical to harvest management for Klamath River fall Chinook. The data we collect is used to estimate the total in-river spawner escapement of fall Chinook salmon. The Pacific Fisheries Management Council, and State, Tribal, and Federal fishery managers also use our data to monitor the status of these stocks and to determine harvest regulations for subsequent years.


Surveyor conducting spawning surveys.  Photo by CDFG Surveyor with Chinook salmon found during spawning surveys.  Photo by CDFG
Surveyor conducting spawning surveys.
Photo by CDFG
Surveyor with Chinook salmon found during spawning surveys. Photo by CDFG

Who to contact?

Any of Yreka FWO’s Habitat Restoration Staff can assist with project funding through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program or you can contact the Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office at 1829 South Oregon Street, Yreka CA 96097; or you may contact the front office at 530-842-5763.