[Wildlife & Habitats]

Why Removing Four Aging Dams Could Save the Klamath River

By: Meredith Sweeney and Nicolas Rapp


No matter where you live in the United States, chances are you’ve encountered a dam in your lifetime. There are over 75,000 dams over six feet tall on rivers across the country.  While these can provide drinking water, power generation and flood control, the cumulative impact of these structures, especially once they have deteriorated, can be devastating to rivers, and the fish that call them home. But removing a dam is no easy task. For one thing, all of the stakeholders along the river have to agree on how the water will be used once the dam is removed. And depending on how large the dam is, the state government will have to approve of the removal. This can take years to coordinate and millions of dollars to execute.

Trout Unlimited (TU) has a 60 year track record of conservation achievements and works with local communities and government to achieve its mission of ensuring that native trout populations are allowed to thrive in clean, healthy water. They are currently taking on the biggest ecosystem restoration project in the nation’s history by working to remove the four aging dams on the Klamath River that runs through Oregon and Northern California.

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While recreational fishing in the Klamath River remains productive in many reaches, the commercial and tribal fisheries dependent on this river have suffered greatly in recent years. Check out the infographic below to find out more about Trout Unlimited’s efforts on the Klamath River and how you can help!