Report: Klamath dam removal will help fish, farms

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A draft report released Tuesday by the U.S. Interior Department says removing four hydroelectric dams in the Klamath Basin will restore salmon and sustain irrigation for farmers in Southern Oregon and Northern California.

The findings support a bill introduced by Oregon Democrat Sen. Jeff Merkley and California Democrat Rep. Mike Thompson that would authorize the Interior Department to decide whether to remove the Klamath River dams.

The report repeats findings from September, and says dam removal will create fishing jobs, reduce disease among salmon and improve water quality in some areas.

The report pins the cost of dam removal at $291 million in 2020 dollars.

Pulling down the dams would increase the stretch of the 100-year floodplain, but the report says only six residences would be affected.