Environment | Law

California tribes support release of water to benefit salmon runs

California tribal members push for the release of more water in the Klamath Basin. Photo from Hoopa Valley Tribe / Facebook

A federal judge refused to stop the release of water to benefit salmon in northern California.

The Hoopa Valley Tribe and the Yurok Tribe pushed for the release of more water. The Bureau of Reclamation agreed in order to prevent a fish kill but farmers went to court, saying it would harm their operations.

The releases started on Saturday. Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, however, refused to stop them, saying the potential harm to farmers didn't outweigh the potential harm to salmon and to tribes.

"There is no dispute -- and the record clearly reflects -- that the 2002 fish kill had severe impacts on commercial fishing interests and tribal fishing rights, and that another fish kill would likely have similar impacts," O’Neill wrote on Wednesday.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority v. Jewell.

Get the Story:
Update: Judge denies TRO to stop releases for salmon (The Eureka Times-Standard 8/28)
Judge Rejects Bid to Block Emergency Water to Klamath Salmon (KQED 8/28)
Judge won't stop water for Klamath salmon (AP 8/28)
Groups sue to stop Trinity River increased flows (The Siskiyou Daily News 8/27)

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