But removing the dams is just part of the story. Tribes, environmentalists and some farmers are leading an effort to restore what they can throughout the basin, though the Klamath has been so damaged over the past 170 years that some people believe they won’t live to see the end of that effort. …
Yurok Fisheries Director Barry McCovey said he realizes the river’s recovery may take longer than his life span, but he’s OK with that. The tribes’ long efforts are for their grandchildren and generations to come, he said.
The tribes along the Klamath may not have to wait generations for the return of the salmon, though. Nine years after two dams were removed, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe held its first fishing season on a free-flowing river in more than a century, according to the Wenatchee World and the Seattle Times.
Oscar Gensaw expressed his optimism about the length of time salmon recovery will take: “Once the dams are down, the salmon will know what to do.”