60 pages | 6 x 9
During 2001, a severe drought occurred in the Klamath River Basin. The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) determined that the newly issued biological opinions and their RPAs must prevail; thus, water that would have gone to irrigators was directed almost entirely to attempts to maintain minimum lake levels and minimum flows as prescribed in the two RPAs. The severe economic consequences of this change in water management led DOI to request that the National Research Council (NRC) independently review the scientific and technical validity of the government's biological opinions and their RPAs. The NRC Committee on Endangered and Threatened Fishes in the Klamath River Basin was formed in response to this request. The committee was charged with filing an interim report after approximately less than 3 months of study and a final report after about 18 months of study. The interim report, which is summarized here, focuses on the biological assessments of the USBR (2001) and the USFWS and NMFS biological opinions of 2001 regarding the effects of Klamath Project operations on the three listed fish species.