Klamath Fisheries Program

The Klamath River flows through the western portion of the Klamath National Forest. The Klamath River and its tributaries that drain the Klamath Mountains are home to Chinook and coho salmon, steelhead trout, green sturgeon, as well as many other species of fish, frogs, salamanders, and mollusks. The Klamath National Forest encompasses some of the country’s most pristine watersheds and wildest streams. Many of the tributary watersheds on the Klamath National Forest are designated as “Key” watersheds because they are in good to excellent condition, provide high quality water, and are critical for the protection and recovery of salmon and steelhead trout populations.

The Klamath National Forest and our partners monitor the status of fish populations and fish habitat conditions, and implement projects to protect and restore fish populations. Examples of these restoration projects include: fish passage barrier removal, improving watershed function by stormproofing and decommissioning roads, and improving watershed condition by reducing excessive fuels and wildfire hazard.

Spring Chinook/Summer Steelhead Snorkel Surveys            

Klamath fish biologists conduct annual snorkel census of salmon and steelhead trout populations.

The Forest conducts an annual snorkel census of salmon and steelhead trout populations in Klamath River tributaries. Fish census numbers are compiled and analyzed through the years to detect trends in fish abundance and to provide information necessary to make sound fisheries and watershed management decisions.


Salmon River – Spring Chinook/Summer Steelhead Snorkel Results

1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006
2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010| 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014

Spring and Fall Chinook Spawning Surveys

The Forest cooperates with federal and state agencies, local organizations, and volunteers to conduct the annual Fall Chinook Salmon spawning census on rivers and streams throughout the Klamath National Forest. Data collected is not only used for project and resource management decisions on the Forest, but also contributes towards State management of Klamath River Fall Chinook fish stocks.

Chinook Spawning Survey Reports

Stream Habitat Assessment

Biologists use a string across the river to aid in Habitat TypingBiologists wading in the river doing habitat typing.

The Klamath National Forest conducts stream surveys to assess fish habitat condition and fish populations in Klamath River tributary streams. Examples of stream attributes assessed during stream surveys include number and size of pools, amount and quality of spawning gravels, amount of woody debris in the stream channel, species composition of streamside vegetation, and fish species distribution.

Cooperative Activities

The Klamath National Forest fisheries program participates in many other cooperative activities with Federal, State, and Tribal agencies, as well as local watershed councils and other entities.

Cooperative Report of the Scott River Coho Salmon Rescue and Relocation Effort: 2014 Drought Emergency

Watershed Condition Monitoring

The Forest assesses the cumulative effects of past watershed disturbances and management actions by examining the condition of aquatic habitats in low gradient “response reaches” of streams.

Water temperature and stream flow in Klamath River tributaries is monitored to establish watershed condition and stream health, and to assess the contribution of tributaries in maintaining water quality in the Klamath River. The Klamath National Forest and partners have generated an extensive database of years of temperature and stream flow monitoring.

Environmental Education and Public Outreach

Local Children get information and prepare for the Kelly Lake Fishing Derby

The Klamath National Forest partners with AmeriCorps to provide opportunities for public school students to learn about the natural history of the Klamath Mountains and to increase their awareness of environmental issues by engaging the students with hands-on activities and giving presentations.