Did Fish And Game Officials Just Cause 850,000 Juvenile Salmon To Die?

By U Cast Studios
March 6, 2024

Did Fish And Game Officials Just Cause 850,000 Juvenile Salmon To Die?
California Fish and Wildlife. (Photo: wildlife.ca.gov)

Section 2653 grants the Division the powers given to the head of a department.

This article was written by Katy Grimes and originally published by The California Globe.

The removal of dams along the Klamath River in Siskiyou County, Northern California was sold to Californians as necessary to save salmon – specifically, “to restore habitat for endangered fish,” the Globe reported.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recently released between 850,000 and 1 million salmon juveniles into Fall Creek which empties into the Klamath River, even after reports that “every living mollusk, crawdad, turtle, fish, insect in and about the river is DEAD!” William Simpson, a Siskiyou resident, told the Globe in an interview last week, when they were released that the juvenile salmon would also die because of the muddy clay sediment.

During a discussion with the Globe last Wednesday:

“Simpson said about 850,000 salmon fry were released into Fall Creek this week by California Fish And Wildlife. Fall Creek empties into the Klamath River.”

“Simpson said this is nuts. He said he is concerned that the volatile conditions in the Klamath River will likely hurt/kill the tiny fish as they enter the sediment-laden Klamath River, which he describes as mucky clay.”

“He said the ‘water flows are likely to be low in the coming months compounding adverse conditions for any aquatic life, let alone tiny salmonids that are quite vulnerable to turbidity and pollutants from clay lake bottom sediments.’”

The Globe had been alerted by Theodora Johnson that the CDFW was releasing approximately 1M juvenile salmon despite the deadly conditions. So we contacted Fish and Wildlife on Feb. 26, 2024 to ask why:

Hello Mr. Harris and Ms. Robinson,

I am a credentialed State Capitol reporter and have been covering the Klamath Dam removal.

I was informed of the fish hatchery release today of 1M juvenile salmon, under really bad conditions because of sediment levels.

It is my understanding that under these conditions, CDFW should be trying to rescue the juveniles.

Can you explain why and perhaps what the plan is?

Thank you,

Katy Grimes

California Globe

I received a response the following day telling me:

“Good morning Katy,

Thanks for reaching out to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. All media inquiries are routed through our communications offices in Sacramento and one of our team of information officers. I will look into this matter and get back to you. Thanks again.”

And then nothing – no other contact from Fish and Wildlife. No answers as to why they released hundreds of thousands of juvenile salmon under the worst imaginable conditions, only to have them die.

How is this saving endangered fish? And is this just a giant social and scientific experiment – on humans in the region as well as fish and wildlife?

Thus far, California Gov. Newsom has facilitated the destruction of one of California’s largest rivers and the draining of  giant reservoirs.

The Globe reported in 2020:

Governor Newsom’s appeal implored Buffett to back the demolition project to save the salmon populations that many Native American tribes in the area rely on. “The river is sick, and the Klamath Basin tribes are suffering,” said Newsom in his letter. “The Klamath dam removals are a shining example of what we can accomplish when we act according to our values.”

In his letter to Buffett, Newsom said dam destruction could also revive salmon populations for regional Native American tribes that rely on salmon fishing.

Now we learn that the 850,000 to 1 million are dead. From Siskiyou News:

According to California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), ‘830,000’ taxpayer funded salmon are dead. Interesting that on day of the release, at the site of the release, the Senior Environmental Scientist for CDFW, Mr. Eric Jones, told William Simpson they had released 850,000 salmon fry, yet in their news release they seem to have downplayed the number that died.

According to California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced today that fall-run Chinook salmon fry released for the first time from its Fall Creek Fish Hatchery in Siskiyou County are presumed to have succumbed to gas bubble disease in the Klamath River.

On Monday, Feb. 26, CDFW released approximately 830,000 fall-run Chinook salmon fry into Fall Creek, a tributary of the Klamath River above Iron Gate Dam. The fish were hatched at CDFW’s new, $35 million, state-of-the-art Fall Creek Fish Hatchery, which represents California’s long-term commitment to supporting and restoring both Chinook and coho salmon runs on an undammed Klamath River.

“According to Simpson, he believes the so-called ‘bubble disease’ is a red herring, and that the clay-mud turbidity was instrumental in the death of the salmon fry, which are very susceptible to poor quality water and turbidity,” Siskiyou News reported.

CDFW insists the massive die-off was not caused by the water quality of the Klamath River, “which is still undergoing a lengthy- and controversial– dam removal process. According to the CDFW, turbidity and dissolved oxygen measurements in the river came up as ‘suitable’ as of Monday, February 26th,” KRCR TV reported.

“Everyone, including the fisheries scientists are guessing as to what might happen next in this grand environmentally and financially costly dam removal experiment,” Simpson told the Globe.

California Fish and Wildlife news release. (Photo:

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