A Plan to Fill Upper Klamath Lake

November 22, 2022

Ernest Conant, Regional Director
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, California-Great Basin Region
2800 Cottage Way
Sacramento, CA 95825-1898

Paul Souza, Regional Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
2800 Cottage Way
Sacramento, CA 95825-1898

Scott Rumsey, Ph.D., Acting Regional Administrator
National Marine Fisheries Service, West Coast Region
1201 Northeast Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100
Portland, OR 97232

Subject: A Plan to Fill Upper Klamath Lake

To the Federal Agencies:

Upper Klamath Lake is not filling and all projections are for that condition to persist well into 2023. Three years of conflict, controversy, and hardship in the Klamath Basin have demonstrated that, in the wake of the current ongoing drought, simply continuing the present rate of releases out of Upper Klamath Lake is the worst possible outcome for fish, wildlife, and humans alike. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has conceded as much with its recent initiation of the meet-and-confer process under the Interim Operations Plan.

The purpose of this letter is to provide the Federal Agencies with a specific, objective plan for how to fill Upper Klamath Lake. Please see the attachment to this letter. Admittedly, the action required now would constitute a significant reduction in river flows compared to current levels, but that condition is the result of a failure to act before now. Moreover, failure to take immediate action now only further compounds the problem that has already been created. It is well past time to act.

Klamath Water Users Association looks forward to working with you on this matter.

G. Moss Driscoll
Director of Water Policy

Klamath Water User Association