He recently showed his ignorance of the matter and said California has to stop putting fish over farmers by flushing the Delta water out to sea.
“When the forefathers built this state, including the governor’s own father, they weren’t idiots at the time. Suddenly we’ve all become idiots” he said. “Remember what this water is being dumped for. It’s being dumped for what I call phantom salmon because there are no fish and the fish aren’t coming back; they’ve been gone 100 years.”
Um, okay…so last time I checked, salmon are still here….despite Nunes and friends’ best efforts. And clearly he doesn’t care about the thousands of families and businesses that rely upon those “phantom salmon.”
For the record, salmon support a $1.5 billion dollar industry in California!!!!
According to KCBS, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a water bill on Wednesday that loosens environmental restrictions to pump more water from the Delta to the San Joaquin Valley.
Luckily, the measure is likely to go no further because of a White House veto threat and opposition from the state’s Democratic Senators.
You can read the whole story HERE
From the Stockton Record…
First off, Mr. Wade, you do your constituents a disservice with your views that paint farmers in an unflattering way. In fact, I find them offensive.
My family farmed the Central Valley for 4 generations. Working the orchards, I learned much of what I know now about stewardship of the land, conservation of resources and respect for wildlife. Farmers have a better appreciation for these things than most and I’m quite certain your views aren’t shared by many.
Don’t make this a fish vs. farms issue — it’s not. Farms need water and so do fish. It’s a matter of setting shortsightedness and greed aside and finding a balance that suits everyone.
Secondly, you are way off the mark about anglers. Anglers (and hunters) are some of the greatest and most dedicated conservationists in the nation…and it goes way beyond wanting more fish to catch.
Organizations like those you mentioned fight for better water quality, cleaner rivers and habitat restoration — which benefit everyone…not just fishermen.
It’s a long-term objective that will affect future generations, not just an instant gratification type of deal as you suggest.
Today, the California State Fish & Game Commission voted unanimously to accept the following emergency measures to protect salmon & steelhead from drought-induced low flows:
North Coast Rivers
The low flow closures will be extended until April 30 on the following rivers:
• The main stem Eel River from the paved junction of Fulmor Road with the Eel River to the South Fork Eel River.
• The South Fork of the Eel River downstream from Rattlesnake Creek and the Middle Fork Eel River downstream from the Bar Creek.
• The main stem Van Duzen River from its junction with the Eel River to the end of Golden Gate Drive near Bridgeville.
• The main stem Mad River from the Hammond Trail Railroad Trestle to Cowan Creek.
• The main stem of the Mattole River from the mouth to Honeydew Creek.
• The main stem of Redwood Creek from the mouth to its confluence with Bond Creek.
• The main stem Smith River from the mouth of Rowdy Creek to the mouth of Patrick Creek (tributary of the Middle Fork Smith River); the South Fork Smith River from the mouth upstream approximately 1,000 feet to the County Road (George Tyron) bridge and Craig’s Creek to its confluence with Jones Creek; and the North Fork Smith River from the mouth to its confluence with Stony Creek.
Closure to all fishing from Nimbus Dam to the SMUD power line crossing at the southwest boundary of Ancil Hoffman Park until April 30.
Russian River: Closure of main stem below the confluence of the East Branch of the Russian River until April 30.
Central Coast Rivers (above San Francisco Bay): Extension of the low flow restrictions through April 30.
Small Coastal Streams:
Close all portions of any coastal stream west of any Highway 1 bridge until April 30.
For the record, though passed through the commission, the new regs have to pass through the Office of Administrative Law before they go into effect.
To protect Californians’ health and safety from more severe water shortages in the months ahead, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today took actions to conserve the state’s precious resources. As a result, everyone — farmers, fish, and people in our cities and towns — will get less water. DWR’s actions are in direct response to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s drought State of Emergency. In the declaration, the Governor directed DWR and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to act to modify requirements that hinder conservation of currently stored water and allow flexibility within the state’s water system to maintain operations and meet environmental needs.
“The harsh weather leaves us little choice,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. “If we are to have any hope of coping with continued dry weather and balancing multiple needs, we must act now to preserve what water remains in our reservoirs.”
Except for a small amount of carryover water from 2013, customers of the State Water Project (SWP) will get no deliveries in 2014 if current dry conditions persist and deliveries to agricultural districts with long-standing water rights in the Sacramento Valley may be cut 50 percent — the maximum permitted by contract — depending upon future snow survey results. It is important to note that almost all areas served by the SWP have other sources of water, such as groundwater, local reservoirs, and other supplies.
“It is our duty to give State Water Project customers a realistic understanding of how much water they will receive from the Project,” said Director Cowin. “Simply put, there’s not enough water in the system right now for customers to expect any water this season from the project.”
DWR also has asked the SWRCB to adjust water permit terms that control State Water Project and federal Central Valley Project operations in order to preserve dwindling supplies in upstream reservoirs for farms, fisheries, and cities and towns as the drought continues.
While additional winter storms may provide a limited boost to reservoir storage and water deliveries, it would need to rain and snow heavily every other day from now until May to get us back to average annual rain and snowfall. Even then, California still would be in a drought, because normally wet December and January have been critically dry – and follow a record dry 2013 and a dry 2012.
This historic announcement reflects the severity of California’s drought. After two previous dry years, 2014 is shaping up as the driest in state history. Storage in key reservoirs now is lower than at this time in 1977, one of the two previous driest water years on record. Yesterday’s Sierra snow survey found the snowpack’s statewide water content at only 12 percent of average for this time of year.
Lake Oroville in Butte County, the principal SWP reservoir, is at 36 percent of its 3.5 million acre-foot capacity (55 percent of its historical average for the date). Shasta Lake north of Redding, California’s and the federal Central Valley Project’s (CVP) largest reservoir, is at 36 percent of its 4.5 million acre-foot capacity (54 percent of average for the date). San Luis Reservoir, a critical south-of-Delta reservoir for both the SWP and CVP, is at a mere 30 percent of its 2 million acre-foot capacity (39 percent of average for the date).
Key facts on water deliveries and impacts:
· Never before in the 54-year history of the State Water Project has DWR announced a zero allocation to all 29 public water agencies that buy from the SWP. These deliveries help supply water to 25 million Californians and roughly 750,000 acres of irrigated farmland.
· Deliveries to senior water rights holders in the Sacramento Valley — all agricultural irrigation districts – were last cut in 1992.
· The only previous State Water Project zero percent allocation was in 1991 for agriculture, but cities that year received 30 percent of requested allocations.
· “Carryover” water stored by local agencies and water transferred from willing sellers to buyers in critically short areas still will be delivered, as will emergency supplies for drinking, sanitation, and fire protection.
Things aren’t looking good for many fish species — and the State’s vulnerable coho salmon populations are now in dire straits too.
With no water in their natal streams, endangered coho could go extinct over much of their range if they do not spawn this year, according to biologists.
“It may already be too late,” said Stafford Lehr, chief of fisheries for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “The Central Coast coho could be gone south of the Golden Gate.”
Man, this sucks! Read the whole depressing story at SF GATE
The planned release follows releases of almost 750,000 baby salmon over the last five weeks — ignoring warnings from salmon advocates the fish are unlikely to survive.
Federal officials overseeing the controversial releases admit conditions are very bad for salmon but insist on releasing the fish at the hatchery anyway.
On January 6th the Golden Gate Salmon Association warned the agency that because of extreme drought conditions, release of the fish at the hatchery would likely kill many of the hatchery fish and wild baby salmon trapped in the upper Sacramento River.
GGSA asked that the fish be moved to safe waters for release. The request was turned down by the Fish and Wildlife Service even though recent studies show salmon released from Coleman hatchery in similar low water conditions had very low survival.
John McManus, executive director of GGSA said, “The Fish and Wildlife Service says they won’t move the fish to safe release sites because they fear the fish will fail to imprint and find their way home two years from now. But there aren’t likely to be any fish two years from now under the hatchery’s current practices.”
While driving up I-5 last week, I saw a couple big flocks of pelicans over the Sacramento River.
Normally we only see these birds in the Valley in the spring when the shad run is on. Obviously, the fish eaters have already locked into the salmon in the low water and are probably gulping them by the thousands.
In his address, Brown urged residents to cut water use by 20 percent, which is a good idea…though shouldn’t we have been doing that for the past couple months already? Seems like he waited a long time to declare the emergency.
Unfortunately, I feel Brown is using the drought to try to push his horrific tunnels idea.
Check out this quote he had from KQED:
“I think the drought emphasizes that we do live in an era of limits and that we need solutions that are elegant.”
Agreed…however two gigantic tunnels shipping massive amounts of our water south doesn’t qualify as an “elegant solution” in my book…