Wednesday, November 14, 2012

News articles and links from November 14, 2012

By Kelly Coplin
From NRDC - Monday, Nov. 12, 2012
Coalition response...As admitted by the author, the index report compiled by NRDC and the Golden Gate Salmon Association contains no new information. It's too bad that it doesn't because maybe greater acknowledgement of factors impacting salmon population to a greater degree than the pumps would be recognized. Instead, the author and the two organizations continue to blame the pumps for the low salmon numbers while ignoring the significance of recent scientific studies.
Scientists from the Pacific Fisheries 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.

Since the adoption of CVPIA, studies conducted by the California Department of Fish & Game and UC Davis have shown a strong increasing trend in the abundance of warm water predatory fish in the Delta, including largemouth bass, that feed on juvenile salmon as they make their way through the Delta. The result is predator species consuming and replacing native fish species in the Delta --- .

Beating the drum that the pumps are to blame for the reduced salmon numbers is getting weaker and weaker.

By Barry Nelson
From NRDC - Monday, Nov. 12, 2012
Coalition response...The "death trap" for salmon that the author claims was caused by pumping water to 25 million Californians and several million acres of farm land should more accurately be applied to the upswing in predator fish feasting on juvenile salmon. The California Department of Fish & Game, along with researchers from UC Davis, determined that in the years since adoption of the CVPIA that the numbers of warm water predatory fish, including largemouth bass, in the Delta has been on an upswing. There is no questioning the peril salmon face as they navigate the Delta to the ocean. The massive increase in predatory bass, which more than doubled over the last 25 years, has had a profound impact on baby salmon survivability --- More water won't change that.

The author conveniently references a 2008 lawsuit brought by NRDC and others that resulted in "a new science-based salmon biological opinion, brought pumping levels down to a more sustainable level." But the author does not reveal the final decision by the federal judge that was issued in May 2010. The judge stated, "Federal Defendants have acted arbitrarily and capriciously in formulating RPA Actions to protect threatened species under the ESA that lack factual and scientific justification, while effectively ignoring the irreparable harm those RPA Actions have inflicted on humans and the human environment." Consequently, the judge ordered federal fish agencies to redraft the salmon biological opinion. We're still awaiting those results.

Blaming the pumps as the primary reason for the low salmon population numbers is misleading and does a disservice to those who are seeking answers to problems confronting the Delta and its fishery.

From Imperial Valley Press - Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012
From Capital Press - Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012
From Porterville Recorder - Monday, Nov. 12, 2012

From Fresno Bee - Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012

From NY Times - Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012
TV news
From KGET/17 - Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012
From Siskiyou Daily News - Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012

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