Klamath Watershed Management Area
Hydrologic Units: Klamath, Lower Klamath, Salmon River, Middle Klamath, Scott River, Shasta River, Upper Klamath, Butte Valley, and Lost River
Description:About half of the Klamath River watershed is north of the California state line in southern Oregon.The Oregon section of the watershed is mostly upstream of the Klamath WMA, which affects water quality and quantity in the California section. In recognition of the diversity of land use, climate, and geology of the basin and to facilitate budgeting, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has divided the section of the Klamath River basin in California into three sub-basins – the Lower Klamath, Middle Klamath, and Upper Klamath.The Trinity River watershed, which is a part of the Klamath watershed, is not included within the WMA but rather is a distinct WMA.
The Lower Klamath Sub-basin is 2,654 square miles and contains the Salmon and Blue Rivers and the Klamath River delta.The major industry in the watershed is silviculture and some limited mining.Salmon fishing has occurred in the basin since Native American occupation, although in 2006 the commercial fishery has been restricted due to record low populations.The Middle Klamath basin encompasses the Klamath River and its tributaries between the confluence of the Klamath and Scott Rivers and Iron Gate Dam.It is 2,850 square miles and contains the Shasta and Scott River watersheds.Silviculture and agriculture are the primary industries.The Upper Klamath basin encompasses the area upstream of Iron Gate Dam; only a small part of the upper basin occurs within California.The primary sub-watershed in California is the Lost River watershed, which is about 1,689 square miles.Land uses include crop agriculture, grazing, the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge, and the fish hatchery at Irongate Dam.There are many complex jurisdictional issues involving water supply and delivery related to agricultural irrigation, hydropower, Upper Klamath Lake level demands, tribal rights, and instream habitat needs in the upper basin.