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Demonstrators Fight for More Water in Trinity, Klamath Rivers

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More than 200 Native American tribe members came down to Sacramento Tuesday to increase the amount of water flowing down the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

They claim adding the water could save tens of thousands of fish.

Demonstrators say dams are blocking water flow and that is putting fish in danger.  They are pressuring the Bureau of Reclamation to release more water into the rivers.

“ We will die for those fish, B.O.R. they’re just breaking our river,” Karuk tribe member Chook Chook Hillman said.

Other protesters say if something isn’t done, there could be a repeat of 2002, when low water flow from dams killed 70,000 salmon.

Last month, the Bureau of Reclamation decided against preventative releases, but vowed to monitor the situation closely.

"We feel that the plan we put in place will meet the needs,” Bureau of Reclamation Regional Director David  Murillo said.

Murillo added that officials will continue to monitor the situation and will adjust the plan if needed.


Demonstrators drove nine hours to meet with Murillo to try and change his mind.  Tribe leaders FOX40 spoke to came out disappointed.

"He said he needs time to pull his staff together to make a decision he said he’d have an answer tomorrow but that’s what we heard last week," Danielle Vigil-Masten said.


Officials from the Bureau of Reclamation say the current drought is making this situation harder, but they say they’ll continue to work closely with the tribes and fishing agencies to monitor the situation.

Tribe members say they won’t give up their fight.

Ali Wolf filed this report.

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