Oct 18, 2012
PNP comment: These chinook have swam up the Sacramento River and into Battle Creek to spawn and die, which is natural aspect of things. But Sacramento River is receiving a huge return of fall chinook this year, just like on the Klamath River. — Editor Liz Bowen
Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:53 p.m
At this time of year the salmon in Battle Creek are packed in fin to fin, trying to get up the fish ladders into Coleman National Fish Hatchery.
Come Saturday, hatchery visitors will be huddled shoulder to shoulder along the railings overlooking the creek as they try to get glimpses of the fish.
Scott Hamelberg, fish hatchery project leader, said he expects as many as 5,000 people to show up for this year’s 22nd annual Return of the Salmon Festival. Even with such a turnout, the fish will vastly outnumber the people, he said.
So far this season, about 45,000 fall-run Chinook salmon have arrived at the hatchery to spawn and they are expecting at least another 45,000 fish, he said. This year’s salmon run is expected be the biggest in more than half a decade, he said.
Oct 7, 2012
October 5, 2012
When I spoke at the Open Forum session of the California Fish and Game Commission meeting in Sacramento last Wednesday, October 3rd, and requested the Commission do the following:
1) Stop maxillary clipping (maiming) 75,000+ coho juveniles each year before they are released from Iron Gate Hatchery, and the same for Lewiston Hatchery for coho reared in the Trinity River, and instead mark them with a coded-wire tag.
2) Stop killing any returning spawner coho salmon not needed for egg or sperm take at Iron Gate and Lewiston hatcheries and return them to their respective rivers to spawn naturally. Do the same for all salmonids on the American and Feather rivers.
3) Stop continuing to feed Chinook salmon at Iron Gate and Lewiston hatcheries to nearly a year of age prior to release since they prey on smaller escaping coho juveniles.
4) Replace the blocking video weir on the Scott River with a benign sonar weir so that all returning spawning coho salmon can reach fine existing slow-water spawning habitat upstream of the weir including habitats in Quartz Valley.
5) Reinstall the sonar weir on the Smith River and use the weir to set periods of no fishing to allow all salmonids to spawn after flood scour events where most redds are lost periodically. Fish and Game just ceased this contracted monitoring station for very fishy reasons–they don’t want the information to come to light.
6) Install a sonar weir in the lower Klamath River to monitor escapement of all salmonids from the ocean year-round.
7) Install a sonar weir in the lower gorge reach of the Trinity River above Weitchpec to monitor all upstream salmonids entering the Trinity River.
8) Install a sonar weir in the mainstem Klamath River just above Weitchpec to monitor all salmonids migrating up the Klamath River above the mouth of the Trinity River.
9) Reinstitute night-time monitoring of all gill net harvest by Yurok and Hoopa Tribes.
If the agricultural community is being held in a “prisoners’ dilemma situation” (in sensu of Common Pool Resource [CPR] Economics terminology) by ocean-commercial, ocean and in-river sport-fishing, and ocean and in-river tribal harvest of salmonids, it is high time that meaningful monitoring of fish numbers commence with monitoring team contractors made up from the agricultural and harvest interests for each team. That is, 24-hour teams with at least one agriculture representative and one fisher interest representative. NOAA/NMFS can supply the funding from their coho recovery funds, not from California Department of Fish and Game since they demonstrated their contempt for the agricultural community in its highest form in listing the grey wolf as a candidate species for CESA listing in one year even before a female has entered California to join OR-7 and following the oppositing views of the Commission’s legal counsel (all this is on the audio/video record).
The jocular response by the Vice Chairman of the Fish and Game Commission in stating that the KBRA and dams removal on the Klamath River would supplant the need for all of the above demonstrated where the Commission and the California Department of Fish and Game’s motives are and those stances are incongruent with the agricultural community.
John W. Menke, Ph.D.
Oct 3, 2012
The first chinook salmon to return to the Russian River to spawn during the fall run is shown here in this Sept. 5 photo taken at the Sonoma County Water Agency’s fish ladder in Forestville.
COURTESY OF SONOMA COUNTY WATER AGENCY
By BOB NORBERG
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 12:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 12:46 p.m.
The first chinook salmon of the fall run have begun making their way up the Russian River to spawn, with biologists hoping to see a continued year-to-year increase that started three years ago.
BY THE NUMBERS
Source: Sonoma County Water Agency
“The Sacramento and Klamath rivers are seeing fantastic returns of fish. We are hearing it up and down the California coast,” said Dave Manning, a Sonoma County Water Agency principal environmental specialist. “We should see at least an average number of fish, around 3,000 fish, and hopefully more.”
The first chinook was photographed Sept. 5 swimming through the water agency’s fish ladder at Forestville, where the agency has a rubber dam to form a pool for its water-pumping operations.
Forty-seven more have been photographed since then. The peak of the run is between mid October and mid November, when the bulk of the fish will enter the river, Manning said.
“It is an indication that fall is here and a reminder we are managing this river system and habitat to meet the needs of fish,” Manning said. “It is a good feeling to see them return every year.”
The Water Agency has been tracking chinook salmon, which are a threatened species, with underwater cameras at the fish ladder since 2000.
The highest number counted was 2003, when 6,103 were photographed.
The low point was 2008, when 1,125 were counted, but the number has increased every year since then, with 3,119 counted last year.
Chinook usually enter the Russian River after a two-year stay in the ocean, where they feed primarily on krill.
Low returns are usually the result of poor ocean conditions.
(PNP comment: Wow, I love that last comment. Finally — the TRUTH! — Editor Liz Bowen)
Sep 10, 2012
Trinity River concerns raised as plan moves forward
September 9, 2012
The role the Trinity River plays in a controversial state and federal plan to transport water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to Southern California will be discussed at Tuesday’s meeting of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors.
After six proclamations and recognition items, the board will take up the new Bay Delta Conservation Plan at 10 a.m. Gov. Jerry Brown and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the plan in July. The plan aims to provide a more reliable water supply to Southern California, while also implementing a 50-year Delta restoration program to protect fish and wildlife.
The plan proposes two parallel tunnels, each 33 feet in diameter, to draw water from the Sacramento River and divert it around the Delta, according to a Humboldt County staff report. The water would be diverted about 37 miles to facilities near Tracy for delivery to Southern California.
Humboldt County Senior Environmental Analyst Jill Duffy, a former county supervisor, is making a presentation to the board Tuesday about the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. She said there are concerns about the possibility for increased diversions from the Trinity River as the plan moves forward.
The Trinity River is the Klamath River’s largest tributary. The county, along with various Native American tribes and environmental groups, has been trying to increase and maintain the Klamath’s flows for decades. Commercial, tribal and recreational fishermen have said keeping the Klamath healthy and robust is essential to their trade, as the river typically hosts large runs of salmon each fall.
Duffy said the plan doesn’t address Humboldt County’s needs. It doesn’t specifically recognize the June 19, 1959, contract signed by the county and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that mandates the government release sufficient water from the Trinity River so that not less than 50,000 acre-feet is available each year for downstream users like Humboldt County. In addition, Duffy said, the plan doesn’t address the Trinity River Division Act — passed by Congress on Aug. 12, 1955 — in which Humboldt County is named a party of interest.
She said the 1959 water allocation contract is unresolved, as the county hasn’t always received the 50,000 acre-feet of water it was promised — thus it hasn’t been included in the Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s modeling assumptions. The county has asked multiple times that Salazar and the Bureau of Reclamation make that water available, according to the county report.
Duffy said the supervisors need to take a stance on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.
”It’s an important opportunity for Humboldt County to assert its rights,” Duffy said.
The supervisors are being asked by county staff to take a stance on the plan and its water rights by way of a resolution that will be sent to Brown, Salazar, Congressman Mike Thompson, Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, Sen. Noreen Evans, the Hoopa Valley Tribe and Yurok Tribe.
For the complete Board of Supervisors meeting agenda and supporting documents, go online to www.co.humboldt.ca.us/board/agenda/questys/.
IF YOU GO:
What: Board of Supervisors meeting
Where: Supervisors’ Chamber, first floor, Humboldt County Courthouse, 825 Fifth St.
When: 9 a.m. Tuesday
NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted
material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit
research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
This information and much more that you need to know about the ESA,
the Klamath River Basin, and private property rights can be found at The
Klamath Bucket Brigade’s web site – http://klamathbucketbrigade.org/index.html –
please visit today.
Aug 21, 2012
Posted: Monday, August 20, 2012 11:00 AM
SAN FRANCISCO — Two water districts in the San Joaquin Valley are voicing concerns over a proposal here to drain the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park, which provides water for an estimated 2.5 million San Francisco Bay area customers.
San Francisco voters will consider in November a measure to study removing or breaching the city-owned Tuolumne River dam at Hetch Hetchy and restoring the valley to its natural state. If it is approved, another ballot measure in four years would spell out details of the project.
However, the Turlock and Modesto irrigation districts, which together provide irrigation for several hundred square miles of farmland, say their Don Pedro Reservoir can’t take on any more water if Hetch Hetchy’s dam comes out.
Further, the two districts chide San Francisco officials for trying to link the 30-year-old Don Pedro dam’s relicensing to Hetch Hetchy’s fate, and they say it’s the wrong time to take away any dams.
“We don’t feel this is the time to reduce water storage capacity in our water-short state,” MID spokeswoman Melissa Williams said, “or reduce the amount of clean, affordable energy in California.”
Restore Hetch Hetchy, the group behind the ballot measure, argues the reservoir is only one of nine that comprise the San Francisco Public Utility Commission’s water system and stores less than one-quarter of the system’s water.
The city has a water bank in the Don Pedro Reservoir and has the nearby Cherry Reservoir, to which more water can be diverted from the Tuolumne River upstream from Don Pedro.
Spreck Rosekrans, Restore Hetch Hetchy’s director of policy, said no impact would be felt by farms that rely on water from the river.
“By diverting the Tuolumne River below Yosemite National Park and by diverting storage supplies from Cherry Reservoir during the dry portion of the year, 95 percent of the water that currently flows from the Tuolumne River to the Bay area would still be available,” Rosekrans said.
“The remaining 5 percent needs to be replaced by adding additional storage to the system, conserving water, recycling water or other means,” he said.
The hydrology debate is one of many generated by the ballot initiative, Measure F, which ironically has the support of Republican lawmakers and environmentalists but is opposed by city officials and the city’s two most powerful Democrats, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
Adding to the irony is that many Democratic leaders have pushed for dam removal in other parts of the country, including the Klamath Basin, although Feinstein and Pelosi have been relatively silent on that issue.
City officials argue there are no real alternatives to Hetch Hetchy. The gravity-fed system serves 7 percent of California’s population, with turbines from its dams generating power for city buildings, streetlights and traffic signals, the airport and the transit system, they argue.
Studies by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the California Department of Water Resources and others show restoring the valley is technically feasible.
However, the cost estimates range from $3 billion to $10 billion, and Measure F doesn’t spell out who would pay the bill.
Neither Feinstein’s nor Pelosi’s offices returned messages from the Capital Press seeking comment. Feinstein told The AP that replacing the water supply from Hetch Hetchy would be “unrealistic when California already lacks infrastructure to provide enough water for its economy or environment.”
Still, Rosekrans said the question of whether to return the Hetch Hetchy Valley to its natural state is “a conversation worth having,” and he believes San Francisco residents will be open to studying the idea.
“This has been a difficult issue for the elected officials who represent San Francisco, and they’ve been unwilling to engage in a conversation about restoring one of America’s flagship national parks,” he said. “So we’re taking the issue to the people of San Francisco. If the people lead, the leaders will follow.”
Aug 2, 2012
PNP comment: The fear mongers use the natural ebb and flow of salmon numbers against farmers and ranchers. When the numbers are down, it is the landowner’s fault. But when the population increases … — Editor Liz Bowen
Redding Record Searchlight
Posted August 1, 2012 at 10:36 p.m.
By 5 a.m. Wednesday, the parking lot at the Balls Ferry Fishing Access was nearly full of pickups with empty boat trailers.
Out on the Sacramento River, boats and anglers had gathered downstream around the Barge Hole at the mouth of Battle Creek. More than 50 boats lined up across the river as anglers jockeyed for position to take advantage of what is expected to be one of the best salmon fishing seasons in many years.
The Chinook salmon fishing season south of Red Bluff opened July 15; the season opened Wednesday for the area north of the Red Bluff Diversion Dam to the Deschutes Road bridge in Anderson.
“This year is insane. It’s been really good,” said Mark Mlcoch, a fishing guide who has fished farther south around Corning.
By 5:45 a.m., Mlcoch; his dad, Tom Mlcoch; and two friends, Greg Roach, of Willows, and Ken Mahoney, of Redding, all had their lines in the water.
By 6:10 a.m. Mahoney had netted a silvery 20-pound Chinook salmon, his first of the season.
“Once you catch one of these big fish it’s kind of hard to go back to catching trout,” Mark Mlcoch said.
The California Department of Fish and Gameis predicting 819,400 fish to migrate up the river from the ocean, DFG spokesman Harry Morse said.
This year’s run is expected to be about
12 percent larger than
last year’s 729,000 salmon, he said.
Worth reading the rest: