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Lost River in Need
Felice Pace, Letter to the Editor
Klamath Falls Herald & News
November 8, 2005

I read with satisfaction your articles and editorials praising the new fish ladders at Link River Dam. Along with removal of Chiloquin Dam, effective fish passage at Link River will go a long way toward restoring healthy populations of Kuptu and Tshuam (Lost River and shortnose suckers) in the Upper Klamath River Basin.

But what about the Lost River? Should not the species that bears that river's name also be recovered in that river basin? Populations of endangered suckers in the remnant of Tule Lake and in Clear Lake are physically isolated because there is no fish passage at either Malone or Anderson Rose dams. (I'm not sure about Lost River Dam and Miller Dam, but suspect they also were built without fish passage).

As water quality improves in the Lost River and as riparian restoration projects flourish, shouldn't fish passage at the Lost River's dams also be accomplished in order to take full advantage of the improving conditions?

One of the neat things about the Endangered Species Act is that it is not enough to preserve plants and animals in zoos. The act says that species must be preserved and recovered in their natural habitats and that all distinct population segments must be recovered A recovery plan for Kuptu and Tshuam is long overdue. Such a plan ought to include the Lost River and should aim to restore fish passage as an essential step toward full recovery and removal from the endangered species list.

Felice Pace

Klamath, Calif.

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