Klamath River Dam Demolition

Home » » Klamath River Dam Demolition

Klamath River Dam Demolition

Date: 06/06/2023     State: OR     Issues: Climate, Renewable Energy, Watersheds     Partners: Choose Klamath, Karuk Tribe, Klamath River Renewal Corporation, Klamath Tribes, Klamath Water Users Association, Modoc Nation, Oregon Conservation & Recreation Fund, Resource Environmental Solutions, Trout Unlimited, Yurok Tribe Airport Origin : Klamath Falls, OR    


Fly with KRRC and RES, the organizations removing the Klamath river dams and handling river restoration shortly after dam demolition begun at Copco No. 2, the smallest of the four Klamath River dams which will all be removed by the end of 2024, restoring vitality to the river and saving Chinook and coho salmon populations!

Removing the four Klamath River dams is the largest dam demolition effort in US history, and is thanks to the hardwork and dedication of so many, like the Tribes and organizations on board these flights.

The KRRC (Klamath River Renewal Corporation), an independent nonprofit, has taken ownership of the four dams to oversee their removal, restore volitional fish passage, and work with Resource Environmental Solutions to execute ecological restoration.

The four Klamath River dams have long devastated coho and Chinook salmon populations, native fish that play a critical role in Tribal cultural and ceremonial practices and are an important source of economic revenue and subsistence. The old dams were created between 1903 and 1906, before current environmental regulations, and were built without fish passages, critical structures that allow migratory salmon to move from the ocean, where adults spend most of their lives, to the cool waters of high streams where they spawn. The dams prevent salmon from reaching over 400 miles of historic spawning grounds and have significantly degraded downstream habitat. Dams create stagnant, warm waters that are detrimental to Chinook, coho, and steelhead trout, affecting fertility and impeding juvenile fish growth rates. The result is increased mortality rates among hatchlings and juvenile fish. The warm waters create massive blooms of toxic cyanobacteria, turning the water bright green; and in recent years, high temperatures have caused an outbreak that infected over 90% of the Klamath’s juvenile Chinook salmon with a lethal parasite. The dams are largely responsible for the Klamath’s 98% decrease in Spring Chinook populations, and the river’s coho becoming a threatened species.

Thank you to our flight partners and the Tribal leadership that has been critical in the drive to remove these old, inefficient energy producers and restore salmon and steelhead runs.

Flight Images

Flight Location