[env-trinity] Clarification of comment about fires keeping Klamath River cool

Michael Belchik mbelchik at yuroktribe.nsn.us
Sat Aug 17 08:40:48 PDT 2013


During the KFHAT call on Thursday August 15th, I noted what had been true during that past week, namely that temperatures were cooler than average for mid-August, a fact I attributed to the heavy smoke from the Butler, Salmon, and Corral fires.  I did so because I had seen that in past years with fires and water temperatures.  Since then, I posted this update to the KFHAT group yesterday:  (you will need to click on the link to see the temperature graph)

It should be noted that real-time data regarding water temperatures, air temperatures, blue green algae, estuary tide height, and more can be found on the Yurok Tribe's website as collected by our Environmental Department.  


(begin quoted email from myself yesterday to KFHAT group)

Dear KFHAT team members and others:  
Re:  water temperatures in the Klamath River
Although the river enjoyed a brief respite from very high temperatures last week, it should be noted that the water temperatures are climbing again in response to warmer weather, and hot weather (over 100F) is forecast from Monday on.  Below is a temperature graph from the Yurok Tribe’s real-time monitoring station in the Klamath River near Tully Creek (approximately river mile 35).  As you can see, there was very poor rebound last night (the temperatures did not drop).  
Forecast highs for Somes Bar are 97F today, 96F on Saturday, 107F on Sunday and 110F on Monday, 105 and 102 on Tues and Wednesday this week.  These hot temperatures will cause river temperatures to rise regardless of smoke levels.  I give this update because the phone call dealt with conditions in the recent past, but I am sounding a cautionary note that water temperatures will rise sharply in the next few days.  Thus our concern over a possible fish kill remains high.  
Thank you,
Mike Belchik
Yurok Tribe


From: Tom Stokely [tstokely at att.net]
Sent: Friday, August 16, 2013 5:15 PM
To: env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
Subject: Clarification of comment about fires keeping Klamath River cool

I have had feedback on my prior comment about the Salmon Complex fires keeping river temperatures low.  I wanted to clarify the following:

1.  I personally do not know this to be a fact.

2.  Others refute the statement.

3.  The comment is attributed to Mike Belchik of the Yurok Tribe was quoted in minutes of the August 15, 2013 teleconference of the Klamath Fish Habitat Assessment Team that temperatures were a couple of degrees lower than normal due to the fires.  You can access those meeting highlights at: http://kbmp.net/images/stories/pdf/KFHAT/Meetings/August_15_2013_Meeting_Highlights.pdf

I apologize for any misunderstandings.


Tom Stokely
Water Policy Analyst/Media Contact
California Water Impact Network
V/FAX 530-926-9727
Cell 530-524-0315
tstokely at att.net

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