Klamath Basin Water Quality Investigations

Natural resourcesThe Karuk Tribe's Water Pollution Control Program focuses on water quality conditions within the mainstem Klamath River.

The Karuk Tribe has entered into cooperative agreements with both the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to monitor and assess water quality conditions in the Klamath and its major tributaries.

The largest contributor of water pollution entering our ancestral territory comes from the Klamath River itself. This river once supported a very productive salmon fishery, and provided a main food source and way of life for our people. Now because of upriver actions such as the construction of dams, inefficient water usage, diversions, and polluted runoff, many of our salmon species and seasonal runs are in danger of becoming extinct.

The Klamath River can get as high as 80 degrees fahrenheit (25*C) in the summer, when migrating adults and growing juveniles need temperatures below 68 degrees (16.5*C) in order to survive and grow properly. Elevated temperatures and nutrient levels from agricultural runoff cause massive amounts of algae and other plant life to grow and flourish within the river. This plant life decays at night using up oxygen that the salmon need to survive, dipping dissolved oxygen levels down as low as 2-4 mg/l. Fish become stressed when DO levels fall below 5 mg/l. Prolonged stress stops growth, increases susceptibility to disease and eventually will cause death.

Our Tribe has documented and witnessed large fish kills, in the thousands, within the Klamath River as the result of prolonged fish stress.

Water Quality Documentation

Available Video Documentation

Karuk Cultural & Ecosystem Restoration Program 1999 ( 221 MB )
Steinacher Project Update 2000 ( 175 MB )
Uknii-Karuk Fishing Rights ( 258 MB )

Real-Time Water Quality Reporting

Real-Time Water Quality Reporting

Continuous Water Quality Data Synthesis

Available Water Resource Documents
Water Quality Reports Regulatory Documents Outside Agency Documents
2013 Water Quality Report Quality Assurance Project Plan  
2012 Water Quality Report SOP for Surface Water E.Coli
2011 Water Quality Report Karuk 305(b) CDF&G 2002 Klamath Fish Kill
2010 Water Quality Report   OSU 2001 Water Allocation Report
2009 Water Quality Report    
2008 Water Quality Report    
2007 Water Quality Report    
2006 Water Quality Report    
2002 Water Quality Report
Appendix - A, B, C, D, E
2000/2001 Water Quality Report
Appendix - A, B, C, D
2000 Indian & Elk Creeks    
Blue Green Algae Documents
Title Description
Karuk Tribe Klamath River Toxic Algae and Microcystin Monitoring Results through August 11, 2010 This memo provides results received to date from the Karuk Tribe’s Klamath River public health monitoring program for toxic cyanobacteria... As of August 11th, all available cell density and toxin results were below World Health Organization and State Water Resources Control Board/Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment public health guideline levels..
2009 Middle Klamath River Toxic Cyanobacteria Trends The following report summarizes 2009 toxigenic MSAE trends in the Klamath River below the reservoir complex, as well as provides a comparison to upstream reservoir concentrations to provide consistency with previous years monitoring trends.
2008 Karuk Toxic Cyanobacteria summary Toxigenic Microcystis aeruginosa bloom dynamics and cell density/chlorophyll a relationships with microcystin toxin in the Klamath River, 2005-2008.
Klamath River MSAE Memo 9-12-08 Klamath River Microcystis aeruginosa and microcystin concentrations for late August and early September, 2008
Copco/Iron Gate Reservoir Toxic Cyanobacteria Results:
August 7-8th, 2007
Data from August 7-8, 2007 continued to show that blooms of potentially toxic cyanobacteria are present in both reservoir systems
Copco/Iron Gate Reservoir Toxic Cyanobacteria Results: July 10-11th, 2007 Toxigenic Microcystis aeruginosa (MSAE) increased at some stations but decreased at others since the last sampling period
Copco/Iron Gate Reservoir Toxic Cyanobacteria Results: June 26-27th, 2007 Toxigenic Microcystis aeruginosa (MSAE) increased substantially in both Copco and Iron Gate Reservoirs since the last sampling period of June 12-13
Copco/Iron Gate Reservoir Toxic Cyanobacteria Results: May 31st, and June 12-13th, 2007 Data from late May and mid-June, 2007 indicate that blooms of potentially toxic cyanobacteria appear to be occurring approximately one month earlier than in 2005 and 2006
Summary of 2006 Toxic Microcystis aeruginosa and Microcystin Trends in Copco and Iron Gate Reservoirs, CA This technical memorandum summarizes 2006 toxigenic MSAE trends in Copco and Iron Gate Reservoirs and in the Klamath River directly above and below the reservoir complex.
Kann and Corum- Karuk Tribes Toxic Cyano In Copco-Irongate Reservoirs; 2005 Final Report Summary of 2005 Toxic Microcystis aeruginosa Trends in Copco and Iron Gate Reservoirs on the Klamath River, CA
Microcystin Bioaccumulation in Klamath River Fish and Freshwater Mussel Tissue: Preliminary 2007 Results A preliminary presentation of microcystin tissue analyses performed by the California Department of Fish and Game on Klamath River fish and freshwater mussels in 2007
Available Watershed Documents
Watershed Reports  
Karuk Watershed Final Report 01    
Karuk Watershed Final Report 02  


Get in touch

Go to top