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California Fire and Floods Turn a River to ‘Sludge,’ Killing Thousands of Fish

Livia Albeck-Ripka

August 8, 2022

Development and dam building had already threatened the salmon population of the Klamath River, impacting local tribal groups.

Mr. Brink, the fisherman, noted that all of the fish that were killed hold cultural importance for the local tribes that live near the river. He said that he felt frustration over the region’s history of forest management, which had in the past prohibited local tribes from conducting cultural burns to tame the landscape.

“It smells vile,” Mr. Brink said. “If it was in that river, it died.”

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