Federal judge sides with fish in Klamath water dispute

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has denied a request from Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers to ease their water situation this spring.

A court injunction requires the Bureau of Reclamation to hold 50,000 acre-feet of stored water in Upper Klamath Lake through early June to flush away a deadly parasite that infects threatened coho salmon.

Because it’s been a dry year, the bureau believes the injunction makes it unlikely there will be enough water for farms.

The Klamath Water Users Association asked U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick to modify the injunction, but the San Francisco-based judge denied the request late Monday.

The ruling pleased groups that rely on salmon, such as the Yurok Tribe and Pacific Coast fishermen.