Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Tribe sues federal agencies


The Yurok Tribe has filed notice of intent to sue the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for massive fish disease outbreaks on the Klamath River in back-to-back years, according to a press release.

“We cannot stand by and do nothing while our salmon hover over the brink of extinction,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr., chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “We will not continue to watch water managers jeopardize the fate of our fish and our river.”

According to the release issued Friday, 91 percent of the juvenile Klamath salmon were infected with a deadly parasite in 2015 as were a nearly identical number of fish in 2014. Given the nearly 100 percent mortality rate associated with the disease, approximately 90 percent of the Chinook salmon and likely an equal quantity of coho died in the mainstem Klamath River during those years, according to the notice. This year’s predicted adult salmon run is one of the lowest on record, prompting the Yurok Tribe to make what O’Rourke said was a difficult decision to completely forgo all commercial fishing in 2016.


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