Sep 29, 2023
A bit of good news for Lower Klamath and Tule Lake NWR
A bit of good news for Lower Klamath and Tule Lake NWR--
California Waterfowl’s effort to secure water for Lower Klamath Refuge continues to press forward. Water acquired by CWA as part of a 3,750 acre-foot water rights purchase began again flowing into the refuge on September 18th despite flowage restrictions placed on neighboring Klamath Drainage District and the larger watershed. CWA’s water purchase has been critical to support breeding, molting, and now migrating waterfowl over the past several months. Additionally, the Tule Lake Irrigation District has been able to deliver surplus water to Sump 1B, which is full, and Sump 1A, which is currently being flooded. CWA’s waterfowl biologists banded a significant number of ducks in the basin and reported decent duckling production considering the available habitat. If favorable hydrologic conditions persist, additional water deliveries may start on December 1st – the date tied to a winter water right for the refuge - and if all goes well, hunting opportunities may open in the Oregon Straights. CWA is working to raise an additional $6.2M to complete the water rights purchase by April 1st, 2024, and remains optimistic as one of many milestones is approaching on the long road to reviving the refuge. A total of 30,000 acre-feet of water could be available for the refuge from water rights purchases from willing landowners in Oregon.