The news started coming in on a late September Saturday in 2002. Hundreds of salmon, maybe thousands of salmon, were floating belly-up in the lower Klamath River. The first emails were tentative, as folks in northern California wrote "we think there's a fish kill going on." By Monday, no one was using the word "think." The count of dead fish was in the thousands and rising; people said you could smell the river way before you could see it—the stench of dead salmon hanging in the hot California air.