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‘Our river is sick’

Yurok Chair Joe James joins tribal leaders at state Capitol to advocate for water rights

Sonia Waraich

August 9, 2022

“In the past seven years, we’ve lost most of our runs, lots of baby salmon and juveniles,” James said. “The fish are dying because of fish disease outbreaks caused by poor water quality, high water temperatures and significant water in-streams. Making matters worse, toxic blue-green algae blooms make the water hazardous to even touch.”

The solution, in part, James said is for the state to support and enforce its own laws, such as the public trust doctrine, which preserves natural and cultural resources for public use, and emergency in-stream flow requirements in the Shasta, Scott, Trinity and Klamath rivers during drought conditions to keep fish alive.

“Ensure there’s clean cold water available for fish in the Trinity River,” he said.

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