Rep. Huffman Statement on Bureau of Reclamation Decision to Withhold Water Releases on the Trinity River
WASHINGTON—Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) released the following statement after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced its decision today to withhold water releases on the Trinity River needed to prevent a repeat of the 2002 Klamath fish kill:
“The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s decision today to withhold water releases needed to prevent a repeat of the 2002 fish kill in the Lower Klamath River is the latest example of how the federal government fails to plan for drought to the detriment of tribes, fishermen, and the environment.
“Even now, Reclamation continues to divert Trinity River water to the mismanaged Sacramento River system and has drained Trinity Reservoir so there is virtually no available water to protect salmon in the Trinity or Klamath rivers. By state law, Trinity River salmon – which begin their upstream migration in the Klamath River – must be protected before water is used to bail out the Central Valley Project. When you find yourself in a hole, you’re supposed to stop digging, but Reclamation has dug itself a hole it cannot get out of, and tribes and fishermen may once again pay the price.”
Prior to today’s announcement, Huffman had sent a letter calling on the Bureau to immediately address the increasingly hazardous conditions for salmon and steelhead trout in the Klamath and Trinity River watersheds during this drought year.