Klamath Tribes Natural Resources/Aquatics

Working to improve conditions in the rivers and streams for future generations

Mark Hereford ( Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife -ODFW) oversees operation of the conveyor aggregate delivery truck, which propels gravel 100 feet into the Williamson River below Spring Creek. Photo by: Brad Parrish, Klamath Tribes Aquatics/Research Station

CHILOQUIN, OR. – In cooperation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, The Klamath Tribes partially funded the addition of 318 cubic yards of spawning gravel throughout Tribal Treaty land.

Due to historically poor land use practices, such as forestry and agriculture, many of the former gravel beds used by trout and salmon have been covered by fine sediment. Sediment smothers fish eggs and reduces the survival of young fish. By adding gravels to Tribal Treaty land, the Klamath Tribes has given a boost to future fish populations. Also, with the post dam removal reintroduction of salmon in the planning stages, it is critical that there is sufficient habitat to give them the best chance possible for success.

While spawning happens throughout the year, most Redband Trout redds (nests) are built from October to February with young fish emerging in the early spring. Depending on the size of the fish, each redd uses about a quarter of a cubic yard of gravel to house thousands of eggs. After emergence, the young fish need cover and food nearby which makes having intact streambanks with plants and ample woody material in the streams vital for maintaining healthy fish populations. Without stable stream banks and downed trees, the young fish often get swept downstream or are eaten by other fish and birds. Spawning gravels are one component of a fishes life cycle, however the entire ecosystem needs to be healed for fish populations to improve.

The Klamath Tribes’ Aquatics Department continues to work with agencies, providing technical and material support on Tribal Treaty land to improve conditions in the rivers and streams with future generation in mind.”

For more information contact:

Alex Gonyaw

Klamath Tribes Fisheries Biologist, 541-783-2149 ext. 24