Klamath Basin Link River Dam
Built in 1921, the Link River Dam controls the flow of water from Upper Klamath Lake into the Klamath River, and contains a fish ladder suitable for sucker fish migration. Both the A Canal and Keno Canal water diversions originate from the Link River Dam area, and carry the majority of water for the Klamath Irrigation Project. The canyon below the dam is a popular fishing, birdwatching and hiking spot for residents of nearby Klamath Falls.
Lost River & Diversion Dams
The Lost River Main Diversion Dam is on the Lost River about 4 miles below Olene, Oregon, and diverts water for irrigation use and towards the Tule Lake Refuge. Most of the Lost River is listed on the 303(d) list for water-quality limited streams for the following criteria: chlorophyll-a, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and fecal coliform. Farms and diaries along the Lost River are contributing nutrients, sediment, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Unscreened diversion dams, and check dams block fish passage.
Tule Lake Refuge
The Tule Lake Refuge is home to many important bird species; including the Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Canadian Geese, pelicans, herons, grebes, and numerous duck species. Migrating and wintering waterfowl compete with farmers for the 39,116 acre refuge, of which 17,000 acres are farmed to grow cereal crops, alfalfa, potatoes and onions. A lack of marshland habitat, pesticide spraying, overcrowding, warm water, algae blooms, and disease threaten wildlife.
Klamath Straits Drain
Water is moved back to the Klamath River after circulating through the Klamath Irrigation Project through the Klamath Straits Drain. This canal carries a toxic soup of nutrients including phosphorous, nitrogen and ammonia from wastewater treatment facilities, faulty septic tanks, farm and dairy runoff, pasture irrigation, and fertilizer applications. Conditions lethal to fish including elevated water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen levels, high ph values, suspended solids, and algae blooms occur every year.