Demolition set to begin on second Klamath River dam

SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. – The Klamath River Renewal Corporation is moving forward with the removal of Copco No. 1, the second dam to be removed along the Klamath River.

On Friday, KRRC conducted a test blast on the dam which they say was successful.

Earlier this year, we reported multiple fish die-offs which the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says may be linked to the dam removal process on the Klamath River.

This includes the deaths of thousands of Chinook salmon from gas bubble disease.

KRRC CEO Mark Bransom says it’s important for people to look at this process with a long term lens.

“The conditions that we’re seeing – and some of those things are difficult to observe – are within the range of things that we had anticipated through all the planning that we have previously done,” Bransom said. “We’re past the worst of the turbidity and the dissolved oxygen issues in the river and things are going to continue to improve”

Bransom says water quality is already starting to improve in the Klamath River after large amounts of sediment were released from the dams at the beginning of this year.

The process of taking apart Copco 1 is extensive. It includes drilling, blasting, and chipping away at the concrete that makes up the hydroelectric dam.

The dam is expected to be fully removed by the end of August.

Iron Gate and JC Boyle dams will remain until the spring runoff period has ended. KRRC says work on their demolition will likely begin in May.

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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