Salmon Issues - Continued

#6 Reduce Delta Pumping

The National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) is responsible for ensuring that marine species do not go extinct. In 1998, they listed two Central Valley salmon species under The Endangered Species Act (winter-run and spring-run). They then placed limits on the amount of water the Delta state and federal pumps could export. In 2008, they further reduced these limits because entrainment at the pumps was still too high. In 2017, they were preparing another round of limits when the Trump Administration illegally fired them and raised the pumping limits by 600,000 acre feet. The salmon interests filed a lawsuit against that but it has been side tracked. We are asking the Newsom administration for help.
Dam with low water level

#7 Increase Shasta Cold Water Releases

The Shasta Dam was completed in 1950. Its structure cut off several miles of salmon spawning area. The Bureau of Reclamation which operates the dam, is required to mitigate for those losses. The National Marine Fishery Service and the State Water Control Board set the dam operating criteria to avoid salmon extinctions. That criteria requires that the dam hold cold water releases (56 degrees or less) for the salmon spawning in the fall of the year. That has not been done in recent years. The cold water has been released in spring and summer for agriculture. The drought has compounded this problem. As a result, an estimated 100% of the winter-run salmon that are listed under The Endangered Species Act (ESA) have died in the remaining hot water and an estimated 50% of the fall-run have also died. These are extinctions waiting to happen. The current practice has to stop. The governor and the Water Board have wrongly allowed it to continue.

#8 Our Target - Ocean Abundance of 700,000 salmon

With the failed survival of the inland juvenile salmon, the ocean populations have fallen to historically low numbers such that the commercial and recreational ocean salmon fishermen can no longer make a living and support their families. Low ocean populations also reduce the adult returns to the rivers and hatcheries and negatively impact the survival of the local businesses and the river guides. We propose to steadily increase ocean populations to a return of 700,000 ocean adults by changing the inland losses. This should be the minimum target of salmon management. Some of the past declining ocean and return population figures are:
1995: 1,368,471 Returns
2005: 841,158
2010: 150,459
2015: 267,485