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Klamath Basin News & Weather, Wednesday, April 3rd; A Canal Water Begins To Flow

Contributions from Paul Hanson at Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS 1450AM / 102.5FM and The Herald & News

Wednesday, April 3, 2019


TA chance of morning showers.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 55.  Showers continue overnight, low of 39.

Rain and showers all day, with a high near 55.

Rain. High near 49. Gusty winds at times.

A chance of morning rain mixed with snow flurries, then rain during the day, high near 50.

A chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 55.

See Road Camera Views
Lake of the Woods   
Doak Mtn.   
Hiwy 97 at Chemult   
Hiwy 140 at  Bly       
Hiwy 97 at GreenSprings Dr.
Hiway 97 at LaPine


Water rushed forth into the A Canal in Klamath Falls yesterday as Fritz Frisendahl and Scott Cheyne of the Klamath Irrigation District opened the headgates via the control panel.

Between 20- and 40-cubic feet per second of water is now traveling through the canal, about as much water to fill about 20 bathtubs per second, according to Gene Souza, manager of the Klamath Irrigation District.

Frisendahl, who helped turn on the headgates, has been through some tough water years in the Klamath Basin, including the 2018 drought.

“Last year, you’d go forward and then you’d come back,” Frisendahl said, referencing the start-and-stop water year, which was also delayed due to drought conditions.

“This year, you turn it on and we’re rolling,” Frisendahl said. “Not a lot but we’re rolling.”

The water flowing from Upper Klamath Lake, which carries a strong aroma of algae and decomposing biological bi-products, is delivered through the canal system to approximately 230,000 acres in Southern Oregon and Northern California. Irrigators can expect to see the water to reach irrigators in upwards of 10 days as water reaches the full Project.

Souza was on hand for the opening and enthused about the outlook.

“When I interviewed for the position in January, the outlook was not as good as it is this year,” Souza said, prior to multiple snow and rain events.

“I was a little concerned about when this season would happen but I’m very happy that we did get the precipitation and the snowpack that we were looking for.”

Simultaneously Tuesday, Bureau of Reclamation’s Klamath Basin Area Office released its 2019 biological opinion. (See related story).

Souza expressed appreciation of Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service and Reclamation for their work to finish the document, which ensures theEndangered Species Act is followed as water is managed and delivered to water users in the Project. -By Holly Dillemuth, Herald & News


The Bureau of Reclamation announced Tuesday that it has completed all steps necessary to transition to a modified operating plan for its Klamath Project, which delivers irrigation water to approximately 230,000 acres in southern Oregon and northern California.

Reclamation issued a finding of no significant impact related to its modified water management approach for project operations between 2019 and 2024. The approach is consistent with coordinated biological opinions issued on March 29, 2019, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The biological opinions analyze the effects of the ongoing Klamath Project operations on federally listed species, including the endangered Lost River and shortnose suckers and threatened coho salmon.

 “Our biological opinion uses the best available science in determining that the Klamath Project will not jeopardize coho salmon or other listed species in the Klamath Basin,” said NOAA Fisheries West Coast Regional Administrator Barry Thom.

“We are pleased that the Klamath Project improves flows for threatened coho salmon and other listed species in the Klamath Basin.”

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to recovery of the Lost River suckers and shortnose suckers and used the best available science to offer a plan that will sustain these fisheries,” said USFWS Pacific Southwest Regional Director Paul Souza. “We believe captive propagation is an important part of the species’ future recovery.” Additional information on Klamath Project operations and anticipated water supplies will be found in Reclamation’s 2019 Operations Plan, which is expected to be released during the first half of April.

Bonanza Cares, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to Care for Our Community.  We encourage our community to invest in each other by helping those in need.  Bonanza Cares has a network of volunteers who perform services such as weekly senior meals, Produce Connection, transportation, visiting, yard work, or anything that is needed.  We also accept household item donations that we store for families in need.  

In addition to caring for our residents, Bonanza Cares has been working on revitalization in the Bonanza community.  We have installed banners along the highway to show our support of our farmers and to welcome all those who visit or pass through. We offer a 100% matching grant to business owners to improve their storefronts.  And now we are working on the idea of a
community center.  Bonanza Cares is applying for a Ford Family Foundation grant to hire a consultant to complete a feasibility study on a community center. 

This report will answer questions such as, “Does the community want a center?   Can we afford to build one?  Where would it be?  What would it look like? What features would it have?” And the most important question, “Can we keep it operating?” The Bonanza Cares board of directors will be touring the community centers in Chiloquin, Tulelake and Butte Valley to gather information from those who operate them and to help determine what features a Bonanza community center might have.  

We are inviting anyone who wants to be involved in this process to join us.  Please call us at 541-892-5537 or email if you would like to be a part of this planning committee.

…For complete details on these and other stories see todays Herald & News.  Wynne Broadcasting and the Herald and News…stronger together to keep you i,

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