Klamath Falls, Ore. – An Oregon Tech professor wants to use solar power to help boost populations of endangered sucker fish on Upper Klamath Lake.
Professor Mason Terry is the director of the Oregon Renewable Energy Center at Oregon Tech.
He’s working on ways to help endangered shortnose and Lost River suckers.
“The sucker is endangered.” Terry points out. “Let’s do something.”
Senator Jeff Merkley recently held a ‘sucker summit’ at Oregon Tech to address the problem.
Terry was one of the many who attended. “Just to understand the overall picture of the problem for the entire basin of the sucker.”
Young suckers aren’t making it to breeding age.
Professor Terry wants to use floating aeration systems to improve water quality on Upper Klamath Lake. “These are a couple of solar panels with a pump and some batteries that float on some little floats on the lake.”
The pumps would then inject oxygen down into the lake bottom, where the suckers typically live.
The system is similar to what you might use in a household aquarium.
“It’s the same basic concept.” Notes Terry. “You’re just adding oxygen into the water.”
Terry wants to build 10 of the floating systems, at a cost of about $2,000 each. “We’re hoping that we’re going to be fully designed with the first prototype in two months.”
Terry says he’s confident the units can help to improve water quality, and help suckers recover. “Of course – otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing it.”
Prototypes will be developed with the help of students, and the designs tested in the Harbor Isles area of Klamath Falls.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.