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.