Four dams on the Klamath River in California have been scheduled for removal in 2022, but there’s still plenty of work ahead for the researchers who are doing their best to study as much of the system before the unprecedented dam removals begin.
The Klamath has been hurting the past few decades as salmon stocks continue to dwindle and water quality is becoming a concern. Now the dam removal will help a solve many of the challenges, but there are plenty more looming in the foggy mountains. Researchers are most focused on identifying and tracking the changes the river system undergoes once the four dams are removed, so the data can be used to aid other dam removal projects around the world.
Currently, researchers are in a rush to log as much “base-line” data as possible, to have something to base research on once the dams have been removed.
“It’s a huge opportunity to learn about what dams do to rivers and what taking them out can also do,” says Laura Genzoli, a University of Montana ecology doctoral student.
To read more about the Klamath Dam Removal projects, check out this article on Revelator.com: “Drones, Algae and Fish Ears: What We’re Learning Before the World’s Largest Dam-removal Project — and What We Could Miss.”