Skip to main content

There’s a new (old) fishing spot in Oregon as a river flows again for the first time in a century

Klamath river opens again, fishing returns

Man fishing in a river
Greysen Johnson/Unsplash / Unsplash

For the first time in 100 years, the Klamath River is free to flow due to the removal of four dams. This environmental milestone, which is the largest dam removal project in the U.S., has reopened over 400 miles of habitat for many fish species. Consequently, fishing enthusiasts in Oregon and Northern California can’t wait to get their feet wet.

closeup of a man holding a fishing rod
TeodorLazarev/Shutterstock / Shutterstock

Benefits of freeing the Klamath River

This development promises several benefits. Firstly, the increase in salmon and steelhead populations can make the Klamath River a more fruitful fishing ground. These species, especially salmon, are highly sought after for their sporting qualities and are considered a prized catch due to their size, strength, and fighting ability.

Moreover, the restoration of the river’s natural flow enhances the overall health of the aquatic ecosystem. Initially, the removal of dams will allow for the free flow of water, which is crucial for the natural migration and spawning of fish like salmon and steelhead. This, in turn, revitalizes the river’s ecosystem, promoting biodiversity. The time frame for seeing the benefits of such restoration can vary.

Generally, some positive changes might be noticeable within a few years, but for the full benefits to the ecosystem and fish populations to manifest, it could take several years or even decades. This gradual process requires ongoing monitoring and management to ensure the health and sustainability of the river’s ecosystem.

By aiding in the recovery of fish populations, the project aims to aid in the long-term viability of sport fishing through a balancing act of environmental conservation with recreational interests. Now more than ever, sustainable fishing practices and observing natural habits will become crucial to the success of the project.

The Klamath River restoration also benefits the local Indigenous communities, for whom fishing is a crucial cultural and subsistence activity. This underscores a broader movement towards more inclusive and community-oriented approaches to environmental management, where the interests of all stakeholders, including recreational fishers, are considered.

Why was the Klamath River dammed in the first place?

The dams on the Klamath River were constructed in the early 20th century, driven by the era’s industrialization and developmental needs. Their primary purpose was to generate hydroelectric power to meet the growing electricity demands of nearby communities and industries. Additionally, these dams played a crucial role in water management, providing controlled water flow for agricultural irrigation and mitigating the risks of seasonal flooding, thereby protecting nearby communities and farmlands.

At the time, these structures were also seen as symbols of progress, bringing employment opportunities and economic growth to the region. However, perspectives on these dams have evolved, recognizing their environmental impacts and leading to current restoration efforts that aim to balance human development with ecological sustainability.

The Klamath River may be the start of something big

The removal of dams from the Klamath River and the resulting restoration of its natural flow is a significant event for fishing and environmental enthusiasts. It not only promises enhanced fishing opportunities in the region but also represents a shift towards more sustainable and ecologically responsible fishing practices.

Editors' Recommendations

Sarah Joseph
Sarah is a lover of all things outdoors. With a bright sense of adventure and a heart for the mountains, she is always…
Why you need to be just as wary of moose as bear attacks (and what to do when you encounter one)
You know what to do when you encounter a bear, but how do you handle a moose?
Moose sitting in a field in an open clearing during the day

Moose are majestic and peaceful-looking animals that we're lucky to see in wild spaces. But are moose dangerous? Like bears, they are unpredictable creatures that may not take kindly to our presence. And if you're taking a long-distance hike or are in a remote area, you're likely to see one. So what do you do when a moose comes your way? Here are our thoughts, as well as some helpful tips to stay safe during a moose encounter.

Unforeseen moose attack in Colorado Springs
On September 12, two hikers alongside their three dogs encountered a distressed cow moose on the Craigs Trail in Colorado Springs. According to the report, they spotted the moose about 1 mile into their hike in a scenic opening. Although the three dogs were leashed and the hikers did their best to move along the trail at a safe distance, the moose began to close in on them. As the moose neared, the dogs barked in response to the moose’s presence. This didn't deter the moose, and the animal then trampled a hiker. Despite their efforts to escape the moose and flee, the persistent creature pursued them relentlessly along the trail.
After some time, they outran the moose and made it safely to their car. The injured individual was able to walk and the two then immediately headed to the hospital. Thankfully, their injuries were minor. The bull moose reportedly attacked because it was accompanied by a young calf. It's well understood that when a moose is threatened by a predator, such as the barking dogs, it will defend its young at all costs.
This story serves as a stern reminder that it's important to be aware of our surroundings when heading into wild spaces. Colorado Parks & Wildlife has responded to the incident by posting warning signs in areas with known moose activity, including the Craigs Trail.
But a moose encounter can happen anywhere, with their populations increasing by over one-third over the past decade. Here are a few tips for how to safely deal with a moose sighting if one of these creatures gets too close for comfort.

Read more
Grand Canyon closures expected to last into 2025 – what to know before you go hiking or camping
Planning a trip to the Grand Canyon? Hold that thought
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon (Arizona)

Are you planning a trip to the Grand Canyon? You'd better hold that thought. The National Park Service has just announced a series of closures for various trails and campgrounds within Grand Canyon National Park that could impact your trip. Fortunately, they aren't permanent, and they are mostly construction-related closures. In this article, we will explore the details of these closures, their expected durations, and the importance of adhering to the guidelines set forth by the National Park Service.
Grand Canyon North Rim closures
The Transcanyon Waterline construction-related closures will affect several popular areas within the Grand Canyon. The closures are as follows:

Silver Bridge: September 15 to December 31, 2025.

Read more
Time to wake up: Climate change gave us our hottest summer ever and the Earth is in meltdown, U.N. says
We're entering a whole new era of climate change. "Climate breakdown has begun," the U.N. warns
Wild bushfires burning in Tasmania, Australia.

If it seems like this summer, and 2023 in general, has been a wild one weather-wise, you’re not imagining things. In North America, Canada had its worst wildfire season ever, by far, and much of the U.S. continued to break high-temperature records in July and August, only to break them again a few days later. It’s not just happening here, of course, but worldwide. The bottom line: We’re entering a whole new era of climate change, folks.

Earlier this month, the United Nations weather agency confirmed that the last three months were indeed the hottest on record. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned, “The dog days of summer are not just barking; they are biting.” But his might be the most sobering warning we’ve seen from any expert on the matter: “Our planet has just endured a season of simmering — the hottest summer on record. Climate breakdown has begun.” The keyword is breakdown. There’s no denying the situation is dire, but it’s not irreversible — yet.

Read more