In this episode of the “Dive In” podcast, NOAA Fisheries discusses the restoration of the Klamath watershed, spanning 15,000 miles of California and Oregon — the largest dam removal project in history. It will reopen access to more than 400 miles of habitat for threatened coho salmon, Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and other threatened native fish. It is the end result of decades of effort by citizens and government entities alike and, perhaps most consequentially, by the tribal nations who first inhabited the area and who relied on the Klamath River for salmon.
The Klamath was once the third largest salmon-producing river on the West Coast, and an important source of subsistence and cultural resources for Klamath Basin tribes. But dams, combined with land and water use impacts, have contributed to declines in salmon and steelhead abundance. This has impacted tribal, recreational, and commercial fisheries and the communities and economies they support.