Klamath Basin-wide Fish Disease Investigations by the USFWS 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service California-Nevada Fish Health Center (CNFHC) has conducted numerous surveys for fish diseases in the Klamath and Trinity River basins. Staff from the center routinely study fish diseases in the Klamath Basin, including at hatcheries and through sub-sampling at established downstream migrant traps. The CNFHC also responds to fish health crises and helped to establish the cause of the die off of adult salmon and steelhead in the lower Klamath River in September 2002 (Guillien, (2003). Walker and Foott (1993) conducted a survey for disease occurrence in Klamath River salmonid smolt populations in 1992. Anderson, CA. 46 pp. Foott (1995) studied the health of chinook juveniles released from Iron Gate Hatchery in Spring 1995, while Foott et al. (2003) studied resistance of juveniles salmonids to Ceratomya shasta in the Klamath River. CNFHC sampled 650 chinook salmon juveniles at five sites in the Klamath River basin during the months of June and July 2001. Juvenile Chinook salmon captured in the lower Trinity River were generally healthy. In contrast, two parasitic infections caused significant sickness and mortality in salmon collected in the Klamath River and estuary. 

Klamath Basin Pesticide Data from the California Pesticide Use Reporting Database

The pesticide use data in KRIS database were extracted from the California Pesticide Use Reporting Database (California Department of Pesticide Regulation, 2002. It is a statewide database, but only data for the Lower Klamath and Trinity Basins are presented in KRIS Version 3.0 because of lack of a budget for fuller exploration in other Klamath sub-basins. Pesticide applicators are required to submit data to county agricultural commissioners, who submit it the to Department of Pesticide Regulation. The dataset is compiled annually and CDs are released to the public annually. KRIS staff used ArcView to link the data to a GIS layer of Public Lands Survey (PLS) sections, and calculated summaries using MS Access. 

Klamath Adult Salmon Fish Kill in September 2002

In September 2002, there was a large and unprecedented adult salmon and steelhead fish kill on the lower Klamath River. Pictures of this event were provided by Tim McKay of the Northcoast Environmental Center. The KRIS Version 3.0 Bibliography has a number of documents which describe the fish kill and also advance various hypotheses about the causal mechanism for the kill (CDFG, 2003; Guillen, 2003 2003b; Vogel, 2002). It was estimated that over 33,000 adult Pacific salmon, mostly chinook, met their demise during this time. 

Yurok Tribe Lower Klamath Tributary Fisheries Monitoring

The Yurok Tribe Fisheries Department has conducted widespread fish sampling in Lower Klamath Basin tributaries to better understand production of salmon and steelhead in these streams that lie within the Yurok Ancestral Territory. Downstream migrant traps have been operated in McGarvey Creek and electrofishing used to ascertain standing crops of juvenile salmonids (Voight, 1999). More widespread surveys in the Lower Klamath Basin allowed Voight and Gale (1998) to describe the distribution of fish species in all tributaries. The Yurok Tribe Fisheries Department has also expended considerable energy in sampling and observing the fish populations of Blue Creek  and conducting habitat surveys (Gale et al., 1998).  

California Department of Fish and Game Klamath River Estuary Studies

The California Department of Fish and Game has been studying the Klamath River estuary since 1994 to determine its use by juvenile salmonids and its habitat conditions, including water quality. Electrofishing and sampling with seine nets are the two principal methods employed by the study. Fish are checked for species, measured and scale samples are taken. An element of the study from 1997-1999 was to mark individual fish with a panjet and thereby track their length of residency in the estuary. The scope of the study also includes presence and absence of non-salmonids in the estuary and a water temperature monitoring. For more information see Wallace (1994; 1998; 2000; 2002; 2003).

USFWS Lower Klamath Tributary Downstream Migrant Trapping Results

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Arcata field office operated a downstream migrant trap on several lower Klamath tributaries during spring of 1990. Only one downstream migrant was available for this project and it was placed near the mouth of the tributaries sampled for several nights and then moved to another location. Rotating the trap in this fashion may have yielded results that may not be wholly representative of either the abundance of salmonids in each creek or the fish community structure. For example, if salmonids tended to migrate downstream on spring storm events, then only the stream being sampled during the event would reflect that behavior. Complete details of this study can be found in the publication Investigations on the Lower Tributaries of the Klamath River (USFWS, 1991) which can be obtained from Arcata Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. See also Yurok Tribe fisheries Department Lower Klamath salmonid sampling.
 Hoopa Tribal Lower Klamath and Trinity Tributary Downstream Migrant Trapping Results

The Hoopa Fisheries Department operated downstream migrant traps on Mill Creek, Pine Creek, Supply Creek and Tish Tang Creek from 1992 to 1996. Fyke nets were operated starting in February or later depending on late winter and spring flows. More than one net was used in Pine Creek and Mill Creek at one location to cover more of the stream channel. Fyke nets may vary in efficiency depending on flow conditions and the traps were never calibrated. Consequently, no population estimates can be generated from these data. Larger salmonid juveniles may be able to avoid the trap and, therefore, may be under-represented in fyke net samples. Hostler Creek was sampled only in 1994. Traps were pulled during high flows but were often manned on weekdays and taken down on weekends. Consequently, these samples better reflect the fish community structure of tributaries sampled than the USFWS trapping which used only one trap and rotated its location. For more information about Pine Creek, see Kier Associates (1999) in the KRIS Bibliography and search on Pine Creek as  key words.

Yurok Tribe Lower Klamath Tributary Water Quality Monitoring

The Yurok Tribe has collected water quality data in the Lower Klamath sub-basin.  Water Quality monitoring has occurred on the mainstem Klamath River an on some of its tributaries.  The Yurok have established three HydroLab data collection sites located on the Klamath River located: at Martins Ferry, at the Terwer Gauge, and at Weitchpec, as well as one on the Trinity River at Weitchpec. These samplers collect data on temperature, DO, pH, and conductivity (see Water Quality Background page for more information). Dissolved oxygen data may be skewed if the automated probe catches dead or living algae, which may make readings immediately adjacent to the probe unrepresentative of those in the water column. In addition to the HydroLab data collection, the Yurok Tribe has monitored turbidity and streamflow in McGarvey and Blue Creeks. Flow or discharge calibrations are necessary for understanding the significance of turbidity measurements. Reference lines on turbidity charts in KRIS Version 3.0 come from Sigler et al. (1984), who found that steelhead growth ceased at turbidities over 25 ntu. See Sediment Background page for more information.

USFWS Water Temperature Monitoring

There now hundreds of water temperature datasets for the Klamath and Trinity River basin locations in KRIS Version 3.0. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Arcata Field Office has deployed automated temperature sensors throughout the Klamath and Trinity River watersheds and has  published numerous reports, which utilize the water temperature data they collect (Guillien, 2003; Zedonis, 2003). Water temperature references used in KRIS are based on Pacific Northwest wide literature on salmonids and temperature (Armor, 1990; McCullough, 1999; Sullivan et al., 2000; Welsh, 2001). See the KRIS Temperature Background page for more information.

Yurok Tribe Mainstem Klamath River Water Temperature Monitoring

The Yurok Tribal Fisheries Department has collected water temperature data at select sites from Tree of Heaven below the Shasta River downstream to Weitchpec and Young's Ranch below. The study is headed by the Water Management and Rights Protection Division of the Fisheries Department which is located in the Yurok Tribal Center in Weitchpec. Data is provided to Dr. Thomas Hardy at Utah State University to use in the Klamath River Flow Study. Onset Instrument Tidbit automated temperature sensing devices were placed in the river at eight locations throughout the summer and fall in 1999 and 2000. Data was edited for outliers and provided for use in KRIS. Water quality conditions were intensively monitored during fish kills in summer 2000 and refugia at the mouths of cold water streams surveyed at that time as well. Records also cover the September 2002 fish kill period.

Water temperature references used in KRIS are based on Pacific Northwest wide literature on salmonids and temperature (Armor, 1990; McCullough, 1999; Sullivan et al., 2000; Welsh, 2001). See the KRIS Temperature Background page for more information.

Main Stem Klamath River Flow Data at Klamath Glen

Main stem Klamath River flow data has been collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and captured from the USGS Internet site. The gauge at Klamath Glen and the one at Orleans have the longest periods of record.

Station number: 11530500
latitude (degrees, minutes, and seconds)...... 413052
longitude (degrees, minutes, and seconds)..... 1235957
state code.................................... 06
county code................................... 015
hydrologic unit code.......................... 18010209
drainage area (square miles).................. 12100.0
contributing drainage area (square miles).....
gage datum (feet above NGVD)..................
WATSTORE parameter code....................... 00060
WATSTORE statistic code....................... 00003
Discharge is listed in the table in cubic feet per second.
----Date Range In File----
1 10/01/1910-09/30/1926 and 10/1/50-9/30/95
Pine Creek Sediment Investigations

The Hoopa Fisheries Department Fine measured sediment at 16 sites in Pine Creek during 1992 and 1993 using McNeil samples (Hoopa Fisheries, 1997). Sample results were analyzed using the FREDLE Index (Lotspeich and Everest, 1981) to gauge emergence to survival of steelhead, coho salmon and chinook salmon. The thresholds for fine sediment referenced on charts are taken from the Garcia River Sediment Total Maximum Daily Load (U.S. EPA, 1998). Cross section and scour chain measurements were also taken but results were confounded by high flows in 1992-93 which washed away bench marks and swept away or buried scour chains to where they were irretrievable. See discussion in Appendix 5 of the Mid-term Evaluation Of The Klamath River Basin Fisheries Restoration Program (Kier Assoc, 1999). (Search on Pine Creek as key word in Acrobat Reader). See KRIS Background page on Sediment to learn more.

Yurok Tribe Lower Klamath Restoration Program

Photos in KRIS of restoration projects in the Lower Klamath sub basin were provided by the Yurok Tribe Restoration Office in Orick. The Yurok Tribe has embarked on an ambitious program of erosion control related to roads in the Lower Klamath. Tribal members have been trained to operate earth moving equipment and grant funds have been won to remove or upgrade old stream crossings in Ah Pah Creek and McGarvey Creek. Many of the projects are carried out on Simpson Timber Company land with the company's permission and cooperation. Funding has come from the USFWS Jobs in the Woods program, California Department of Fish and Game and Klamath Restoration Program funds.

Vegetation and Timber Types From 1994 Landsat Imagery

The vegetation and timber types shown for the Lower Klamath sub basin were derived from Landsat multi-spectral images taken in 1994. They were provided to Humboldt State University by NASA as part of the Mission to Planet Earth program. The Humboldt State University Spatial Analysis Laboratory analyzed the image using the Wildlife Habitat Classification method under the direction of Dr. Larry Fox. To learn more about vegetation and timber types, see the Vegetation Type Background page. For use in KRIS, vegetation and timber types were simplified into ten classifications. Vegetation classifications are:

Very Large Trees = 36" in diameter or greater
Large Trees = 24-36" in diameter
Medium Trees = 11-24" in diameter
Small Trees = 6-11" in diameter
Small Trees/Shrubs = Trees 1-6" in diameter and shrubs

This simpler classification provides an easy to understand index of watershed disturbance in coastal watersheds but difficulties may be encountered in interior areas of the Klamath Basin. Large components of early seral stage conditions (i.e.. shrubs, grasses and bare soil) are often associated with recent logging disturbance in coastal areas whereas the same signatures in interior Klamath watersheds may be as a result of site conditions. The resolution of Landsat images is about 30 meters. An accuracy assessment for the Klamath Basin is currently underway by HSU in a project funded by USFWS Yreka. Problems can arise from topographic shading causing some over estimation of old growth, for example. Size classes in the range of 20-30 inches may also be under-represented. Data from the USFS Spatial Analysis Lab is also available for the Klamath Basin, but budget did not allow for its use in analysis for KRIS Version 3.0. 

KRIS Map Project Partially Integrated into Version 3.0 Database
All KRIS database projects have companion ArcView projects for the geographic area covered and selected themes are now included in KRIS Version 3.0, which has a new built in KRIS Map Viewer. Nearly all map layers have a readily-accessible companion metadata file that describes the map layer and provides contact information for the source of that layer. If KRIS is installed on your computer's hard drive and you are viewing maps using the KRIS Map Viewer (the map tab), you can view metadata for a layer by clicking on a layer in the map legend to make it the active layer and then clicking the "M" (metadata) button on the toolbar. If you are browsing KRIS on the www.krisweb.com Internet site, or viewing the web pages included on the KRIS CD-ROMs, you can view map metadata by clicking on a metadata link at the link at the bottom of a map page. 

The Lower Klamath KRIS Map project relies heavily on base layers provided by Humboldt State University. No new data were added to the Lower Klamath KRIS Map project for Version 3.0 because of budget limitations, but selected themes were added to the KRIS database to demonstrate the new KRIS Map Viewer and its utility for sharing Lower Klamath watershed spatial data. Data are acquired from various sources and re-projected, easily understood legends crafted and metadata compiled by Dr. Paul Trichilo of the KRIS project. Data are arranged for ease of use in subsequent watershed studies. Vegetation data were derived from Landsat satellite images by the U.S. Forest Service Spatial Analysis Lab. To learn more about vegetation and timber types, see the Vegetation Type Background page. 

Humboldt State University Historical Photographs

Humboldt State University library's Humboldt Room offer a wealth of historical information and photographs. Several early-1900s pictures of canneries at the mouth of the Klamath River are included in KRIS.