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Bucket Brigade Rescues Salmon Stranded By Drought

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Volunteers joined state fisheries biologists in Southern Oregon over the weekend to form a kind of bucket brigade to rescue young salmon and steelhead stranded by the drought.

The Mail Tribune reports that the flow of Bear Creek through downtown Medford is a fifth of average from the lack of rain and early irrigation withdrawals. That left some juvenile salmon and steelhead unable to survive in warm stagnant pools, and unable to make their way to cooler water upstream.

Biologists figure they got a few hundred juvenile fish out.

Jackson County Watermaster Travis Kelly says irrigation districts could suck the creek dry if they wanted to, but are taking only half their allotments.

Meanwhile, a little extra water was released from Emigrant Lake, but flows remain far below average.

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