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Fishing Groups Ask for Emergency Steps to Save Salmon

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Four fishery conservation groups have asked state and federal fishery and water officials to convene an urgent meeting to save California Central Valley Chinook salmon runs from the drought.

 

 

Source: San Francisco Bay Area Indymedia


“We have a potentially dire situation in which a large percentage of 2013 Central Valley salmon may be lost if no action is taken,” said Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance.


“Salmon have been suffering from a manmade drought for decades and this years’ lack of rainfall exacerbates the problem. We’re calling on the state and federal government to save this year’s salmon run, which can be done if we act now.”


“All four of the Central Valley Chinook runs are in immediate peril due to the drought and a large percentage of the 2013 production may be lost if no action is taken,” said Marc Gorelnik of the Coastside Fishing Club.


Poor water management of rivers and reservoirs by the Brown and Obama administrations has also exacerbated the impact of the drought.


Below is the joint press release from the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Golden Gate Salmon Association, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and Coastside Fishing Club:


Catching and moving salmon out of deadly drought zone needed.

The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Golden Gate Salmon Association, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and Coastside Fishing Club have asked state and federal fishery and water officials to convene an urgent meeting to save California Central Valley Chinook salmon runs from the drought.

The groups are asking the officials to meet with key leaders from the fishing community (commercial and recreational) along with non-government fishery scientists and other stakeholders, to map out a drought action plan.

“We have a potentially dire situation in which a large percentage of 2013 Central Valley salmon may be lost if no action is taken,” said CSPA Executive Director Bill Jennings. “Salmon have been suffering from a manmade drought for decades and this years’ lack of rainfall exacerbates the problem. We’re calling on the state and federal government to save this year’s salmon run, which can be done if we act now.”

“All four of the Central Valley Chinook runs are in immediate peril due to the drought and a large percentage of the 2013 production may be lost if no action is taken,” said Marc Gorelnik of the Coastside Fishing Club.

Drought has left rivers and reservoirs extremely low during this critical time for incubating fall run salmon eggs and out-migrating fry. Other wild juvenile salmon, including the listed winter and spring run Chinook, are still rearing in the upper portions of rivers waiting for unlikely winter and spring pulse flows to aid in their downstream migration to the sea.

“Juvenile salmon migrate from the rivers to the ocean from mid-January to May so the window of opportunity to act to save these fish is very short,” said charter boat captain and GGSA board chairman Roger Thomas. “This is an avoidable crisis we need to avert because we’ve got a lot of families that depend on salmon to pay the bills.” Thomas is also the president of the Golden Gate Fishermen’s Association, which represents passenger fishing boat owners and operators.

The groups are also asking state and federal fish, wildlife and water managers to consider trapping and moving wild and hatchery juvenile salmon to safety beyond the drought zone and to refrain from weakening already soft flow requirements needed to keep fish alive.


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Comments (5 posted):

trout trekker on 29/01/2014 20:08:24
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Being a resident along the banks of one of the three rivers mentioned in the article, the dewatering of the salmon redds was both predictable and largely avoidable. ( Steelhead spawn in these rivers too. ) The flows ( water exports ) should have been dialed down early last summer to reflect the lower than average runoff from the 2012 / 2013 winter and the lower reservoir levels. That and with the water rationing, water shortages and emergency pipelines being built. It’s mind boggling to see the rice farmers in the valley flooding their fields to rot off the post harvest rice stalk stubble, just as this article gets published. They can’t burn off the stubble anymore ( air quality issues ). So instead, they re-flood the dried up rice patties and let the stubble rot, right along the banks of two of the three rivers mentioned in the article. The article: Fishing Groups Ask for Emergency Steps to Save Salmon : Indybay Re: “The groups are also asking state and federal fish, wildlife and water managers to consider trapping and moving wild and hatchery juvenile salmon to safety beyond the drought zone and to refrain from weakening already soft flow requirements needed to keep fish alive. “ Like we haven’t tried this many times before. Trucking juvenile salmon “ to safely beyond the drought zone “ which is a euphemism for dumping them in the lower Sacramento / San Joaquin delta below the reach of the aqueduct pumps or directly into the straights / middle grounds. The big winners in this fisheries management debacle will be of course the Striped Bass. It will take all of about an hour before the carnage starts, after dumping tens of thousands of disoriented juvenile salmon into Mr. Stripers neighborhood. Well, at least we’ll know what color streamers the Stripers will be keying on. Not a lot of other options at this point. Believe it or not, just as I wrap up this post the rain has started to fall. TT
Hardyreels on 29/01/2014 22:52:31
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I realize that agriculture places a huge demand on available water supplies but until people individually cut their waste the situation will get worse and quickly. I was recently talking to a fellow inquiring about a fishing trip here. In discussing 'the cabin' it was ruled out right away. This guy had a cabin in PA. for years and had recently sold it. He told me that 300 gallons 'usually' would hold them over for a week! Think about that, 300 gallons at a cabin for a 5 day stay. That's 60 gallons / day. What the heck do you do with 60 gallons per day at a cabin? Now think cities, people who will stay in a shower until the 40 gallon hot water heater is out of hot stuff. People who live in an arid semi desert land and water a lawn. etc. etc. Unfortunately there will be a choice to be made and as your lack of water deepens the people will get the water. It will take until there is no water at all before the people will get it. Water is the single most important resource and people waste it in obscene quantities everywhere I've ever lived. When it comes to a choice between the fish & those who use at least 60 gallons of water every day which side do you figure has the most people who will raise the devil? Very sad situation indeed.
ia_trouter on 30/01/2014 01:26:46
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I have never lived where rationing water was an important issue. In the absence of strict enforcement (fines), you can only raise the prices high and force those of lower financial means to do the conserving for everyone else. And 60 gallons per day at a cabin. I can comment on that to some degree. 25 years of vacationing at a rustic cabin in Minnesota. No running water except the bathhouse, so excluding the occasional shower, I haul every bit of the water into the cabin in buckets for a family of three. 10 gallons a day gets it done pretty easy and that is doing the dishes after we cook twice a day. I've gotten by with much less in a military situation, but we don't smell so good at some point. :)
labradorguy on 30/01/2014 02:05:25
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California..... sigh. The same fools who grow golf course quality grass out on their desert lawns, who take 40 gallon showers, or who leave bags of metal cans out on the curb for the trash man to take off to the landfill will think nothing of organizing protests against a Montana or Alaska copper mine reopening or a lumber company harvesting trees in the National Forest. They will raise hell about a coal mine operating in West Virginia while they're standing in a huge living room that has 20 light bulbs burning. They flip a switch and the electricity just comes on... Where does it come from? Who gives a damn as long as it comes on.... The lack of environmental awareness and education in the general population is shocking and the "infinite" natural resources in North America are becoming more and more finite each and every day. It makes me wonder what it will take for so many people to stop taking what we have for granted. If we ever do, I wonder if we will do it in time? Very sad. :(
tyler_durden on 30/01/2014 02:24:37
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Cadillac Desert is an excellent book about the history of water in the west. Starts in the mid 1800's and takes you to almost current day. For those of us that live west of the Mississippi, water is likely the most heavily subsidized resource around. Sent from my BNTV600 using Tapatalk
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