Tribes and Fishermen discuss water rights on the Klamath River

Water rights to the Klamath river have been argued over for more than a century and as recently as this month the federal government was involved.

Last Friday, a federal judge declined to comment on water issues in and around the Klamath River.

That means all the stakeholders including farmers, fishermen and local tribes will have to find a solution without federal help.

For those concerned about water levels in the river itself, it complicated an already difficult situation.

“We are family food providers, we depend on water in the river, they are family food providers, they depends on water in the fields, we have a lot in common,” said Glen Spain, with the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations.

“I think we need to take a good long hard look at what we’re doing and the very fact that we have endangered fish shows that what we have been doing is not sustainable,” said Don Gentry, Chairman for the Klamath Tribes.

Tribal leaders say there isn’t enough water for everyone in a normal year.

The current drought has only made things more difficult for farmers, fishermen and the tribes that rely on the river for their livelihood.

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