By Barry Nelson
From NRDC - Monday, Oct. 29, 2012
Coalition response...This author and others continue to point toward the flow of water through the Delta as the deciding factor in improving fish populations but they neglect to address issues that today's scientists are increasingly pointing toward as the cause of dwindling fish populations. Scientists from the Pacific Marine Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service have identified poor ocean conditions---warm temperatures and reduced food supply---as the leading cause of the salmon population decline. Results of these studies have been published in the last two years, which are much more current that any studies used to approve legislation 20 years ago.
The deadly impact of predatory fish such as striped bass on juvenile salmon is also absent in this article. In the past 20 years, which coincides with the passage of CVPIA, studies by the California Department of Fish and Game and UC Davis have shown a strong increasing trend in the abundance of warm water predatory fish in the Delta, including largemouth bass. These predatory fish create a "blood bath" for juvenile salmon as they make their way through the Delta to the ocean, according to fishing guide J.D. Ritchey in an article he wrote for Outdoor News --- http://farmwater.org/salmonslaughter.pdf.
Consider also the refusal of the fishing industry, both commercial and recreational, to embrace proposals that would lead to the catch and release of wild salmon, thus protecting their populations. These groups have rejected suggestions that only hatchery salmon with clipped fins be caught and kept.
Furthermore, the four-year-old study the author refers to in citing that Reclamation "does not dedicate and manage 800 kaf of water from headwaters storage through the Delta" is another example of only providing part of the information. Discretionary authority is granted to Reclamation in its treatment of the 800 kaf of B2 water as upstream actions (increased releases for fish) and Delta actions (export cuts for fish). What the author fails to mention is that Reclamation routinely exceeds its B2 water budget --- http://farmwater.org/B2Budget.pdf.
Continuing to claim that flows alone are the answer to the declining numbers of salmon fails to fully present the facts that scientists and others are dealing with in an effort to provide Delta ecosystem restoration and establishing a reliable water supply.
By Darrell Gentry
From ACWA - Monday, Oct. 29, 2012
From Stockton Record - Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012
From California Economic Summit - Monday, Oct. 29, 2012