Klamath dikes blasted to save fish

CHILOQUIN — With four blasts, explosives experts have breached two miles of dike to return farmland to marsh in the Klamath Basin and help endangered fish known as suckers.

The fish are at the heart of a long and bitter battle between Indians and farmers over irrigation in the Klamath Basin.

The blasts today will help create marshland in which young suckers can take refuge from predators. The marsh also will filter agricultural waste that gets into the lake and feeds the algae blooms that deprive fish of oxygen, killing them.

The Nature Conservancy has been working for 12 years on the Williamson River Delta help the Lost River suckers and shortnosed suckers, fish sacred to the Klamath Tribes.

— The Associated Press

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