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for people who care about the West

Tribal fishing on the Klamath River

Photographs of sturgeon, steelhead, salmon and lamprey fishing.

 

The Klamath River flows out of the high deserts of southern Oregon, bending southwest across the state line and then plunging through thickly forested canyons before emptying into the Pacific Ocean on the Northern California coast. Its headwaters are dammed and diverted, mainly for agriculture and electricity generation, but the lower river is home to the third-largest salmon runs in the Continental U.S., as well as populations of steelhead, lamprey, sturgeon and other species. Tribes in the lower basin—the Yurok, Hoopa and Karuk—have long relied upon this fishery and have fought to protect it in the face of habitat loss and ecological degradation. California’s ongoing drought has brought additional stress to an already strained situation, but the river remains an essential source of food and income for many of those who live along it.

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A plague on the Klamath River