- As a Conservative John Muir conservationist I believe we need to protect our environment and food supply. It disgusts me to see both parties put temporary gain ahead of long term planning.
(Los Angeles Times) - It’s still a little too early to tell for sure, but the news on the California wild salmon front is not good. A combination of low water levels in streams because of the drought and high summer temperatures resulted in a massive die-off of young salmon in Northern California.
This week the California Department of Fish and Game, in cooperation with its federal counterparts, will begin releasing young hatchery trout into tributaries of the Sacramento River. That’s something that happens almost every year, but this time the number of young salmon being released is three times the average.
More than 600,000 Chinook salmon fry are being released below Keswick Dam on the Sacramento River after biologists say warm water killed 95% of the existing salmon eggs this summer.
“We have never seen anything like this,” says Jordan Traverso of the Department of Fish and Game. “We’ve been experiencing bad years because of the drought, so we were prepared. In this particular instance, without hatchery production, there would be very, very few naturally spawned winter-run salmon in 2017.”
California salmon have had a rough several years. Long a staple fishery, the number of fish caught plummeted because of a devil’s brew of issues including water allocation, drought and ocean conditions that reduced the amount of krill — similar to baby shrimp — that the salmon feed on.
The catch, which peaked at around 7 million pounds in 2003, dropped to a little more than 1 million in 2006 and for all intents and purposes vanished entirely from 2008 to 2010.
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Just because a businessman wants to farm in a desert or build water sucking homes and golf courses does not mean he has the right to drain dry the natural rivers and lakes of California leaving us a dry dust bowl.