Lower Klamath River Sub-Basin Watershed Restoration Plan

Document Details:

Title: Lower Klamath River Sub-Basin Watershed Restoration Plan
Category: Technical Report
File: YTFP2008_0544_LKR-WRP.pdf
Updated Date: 20.10.2021
Author(s)/Source(s): Yurok Tribal Fisheries Program, Yurok Tribal Watershed Restoration Program
Publication Date: 2020-Apr
Focal Topic: Lower Klamath, Habitat Restoration, Water Quality, Salmon, Steelhead/Rainbow Trout
Location: Lower Klamath
Watershed Code: 180102

The Yurok People have inhabited the lands of and sustained themselves upon the resources of the Klamath River for centuries. They were probably the first “commercial” fishermen in the region as they sometimes traded their surplus catch, as well as fishing rights and territory, for needed supplies and regalia. Indeed, the Tribe’s entire culture is largely based upon the Klamath River and its associated fish populations. The Yurok Tribe is the largest aboriginal tribe in the state of California, with approximately 4,000 enrolled members. The Yurok people are amongst the few aboriginal inhabitants in California with a land base. The Tribe’s ancestral lands make up an area of approximately 320,000 acres. What is now the Yurok Indian Reservation was created by federal actions between 1853 and 1891. The Reservation encompasses a strip of land one mile wide on each side of the Klamath River, from just upstream of its confluence with the Trinity River at Weitchpec, California, to its mouth at the Pacific Ocean.

At this time, 5,090 acres of the 59,000-acre Yurok Reservation are held in trust status. Simpson Timber Company owns more than 85% of the land within the boundaries of the reservation, as well as the surrounding ancestral lands. A smaller portion of the Reservation consists of public lands managed by Redwood National/State Parks, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and a few other private landholdings.

Today, only a fraction of historic anadromous fish runs return to spawn in the Klamath River and its tributaries. Although many factors have contributed to these declines in native fish runs, degradation of freshwater habitat has been pervasive in the Klamath River Basin. Kier and Associates (1991) note that “the fish habitats of the basin have been greatly diminished in extent and value in the past century.

Keyword Tags:
Klamath River, Yurok People, Lower Klamath River, Watershed Restoration Plan