Klamath Basin Water Quality Investigations

P2180041The Karuk Tribe's Water Quality Program focuses on water quality conditions within Karuk ancestoral territory.

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.

The Karuk Tribe Water Quality Program is currently contracted by Klamath River Renewal Corporation to monitor river conditions before, during and after Dam Removal



Real-Time Water Quality Reporting Webportal-  

Real-Time Water Quality Reporting


Available Water Resource Documents
Water Quality Reports 2000-2013 Watter Quality Reports 2014-2019 Outside Agency Documents
2013 Water Quality Report 2019 Water Quality Report  CDF&G 2002 Klamath Fish Kill
2012 Water Quality Report 2018 Water Quality Report
2011 Water Quality Report  2017 Water Quality Report OSU 2001 Water Allocation Report
2010 Water Quality Report  2016 Water Quality Report  
2009 Water Quality Report  2015 Water Quality Report  Regulatory Documents
2008 Water Quality Report  2014 Water Quality Report  SOP for Surface Water E.Coli
2007 Water Quality Report    Quality Assurance Project Plan
2006 Water Quality Report    Karuk Tribe Water Quality Control Plan- 2014
2002 Water Quality Report
Appendix - A, B, C, D, E
2000/2001 Water Quality Report
Appendix - A, B, C, D
2000 Indian & Elk Creeks    
Technical Reports
Title Description
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.
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
Synthesis of Continuous Water Quality Data for the Lower and Middle Klamath River, 2001-2011   Analyses include examination of longitudianl, seasonal, and inter-annual patterns as well as a prelininary assessment of the causal factors driving to those patterns. 


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