Since 2006, Heather Hendrixson has worked to improve Oregon’s freshwater and the wildlife living in it. She first came to the Conservancy to study endangered suckers in Upper Klamath Lake, then oversaw our Williamson River Delta Preserve and now manages the Klamath Basin Program.
Her work today focuses on restoring lakeshore wetlands surrounding Upper Klamath Lake. These wetlands provide habitat for fish and wildlife as well as store excess nutrients coming from runoff, helping clean water as it moves from the tributaries to the Lake.
This work is vital to fish living in the lake, specifically Lost River and shortnose suckers. Currently, they struggle with conditions resulting from lack of rearing habitat, low dissolved oxygen, altered pH levels and extreme summer temperatures. Restoring lakeshore wetlands not only improves conditions for fish in the Lake, but also provides habitat to many species of birds and other wildlife.
“I love being able to say I am actively working to improve Upper Klamath Lake,” Heather said. “The Klamath Basin is so important culturally and biologically. When the suckers and people are able to equitably share scarce resources, I’ll be content in knowing I had a hand in it.”