Klamath fish over farmers

Klamath Basin farmers will see their normal irrigation cut by more than half to save salmon.

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In an effort to help threatened coho salmon survive the drought, a new plan will give Klamath Basin farmers just 30% of normal irrigation water.

The 1,300 farms on the Klamath Reclamation Project will start receiving irrigation in mid-May, six weeks later than usual.

A new plan for protecting threatened coho salmon in the Klamath River made a little more water available for farms, but even this much depends on normal rainfall in coming weeks, [U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Mike Connor] said.

He added that he hopes to get irrigation up to 50 percent of normal by spending $5 million to buy water from wells and pay some farmers to leave their fields dry. Farmers will also be eligible for $2 million in federal aid — $1 million on the Oregon side and $1 million on the California side.

Read the full story at The Bulletin.

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