Salmon Issues

#1 Stop The Tunnel Project

The Delta Tunnel project is the latest version of a massive water infrastructure project that would divert water from the Sacramento River at Hood and Courtland and put it in a 45 mile tunnel 36 feet across to be exported to State Water contractors, primarily the Metropolitan Water District for delivery to Southern California. The State and the Governor support the project. The salmon industry and its thousands of supporters strongly oppose the project. The Delta is already heavily contaminated and needs more water flows, not less, to keep the juvenile salmon alive. This project compounds the problems of our native salmon and should be dropped. The project would seriously damage salmon populations because:

  1. In low water years, the Sacramento River will flow backwards, disorienting the migrating juveniles.
  2. The western flows in the Delta will be reduced and will not help the juvenile salmon migrate west.
  3. The slow moving Delta flows will become hotter and lethal to both adults and juveniles (over 70 degrees)
  4. Removing water would result in contaminated agricultural runoff water that supports highly toxic algae blooms in the Delta which can be fatal to both animals and people.
  5. The slow moving Delta flows will result in higher entrainment at the pumps.

#2 Remove the Barrier and Open Putah Creek to Salmon Spawning

Putah Creek has good conditions for salmon spawning including good flows of cold water and abundant spawning gravel. This site has an advantage over the small streams in the upper valley in that the water from Lake Berryessa stays cold year around. But, most of the adult spawners that reach the Dos Rios barrier are blocked and die. The barrier needs to be bypassed and the Big Notch in the Yolo Bypass needs to furnish clean water to the creek and healthy populations will result. This project needs support.

#3 Stop the Voluntary Agreements

The Voluntary Agreements are another disaster for the salmon. The plan was developed by a back-room group of water contractors. The original concept was that the contractors would fund habitat projects and take more water in return. No meaningful projects have emerged and the contractors are still trying to extract more water. The project should be scrapped. The main problems facing the salmon are water related. Without increased water, better flows and temperature controls, on the ground habitat projects are useless.
Salmon Fisherman