Interior Department releases Klamath dam statement

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Interior Department says removing four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River in California and Oregon would help boost salmon runs in a river marked by poor water quality and fish disease.

The department has posted the draft of an environmental impact statement on the proposal to remove the dams in 2020, along with scientific and technical papers (http://klamathrestoration.gov/home ).

The department said Wednesday that drawing down the reservoirs would end conditions that create toxic algal blooms. It said millions of cubic yards of sediment would be flushed out, and fish numbers might suffer briefly but would soon rebound and then increase.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to decide next year whether to go ahead with the dam removal under a regional agreement that would maintain irrigation for agriculture.