From News Line, a daily compilation of farm water news distributed to CFWC members and others upon request. To receive News Line, click here.

A healthy fishing industry is just one of the benefits of strong endangered species protections

Coalition response…NRDC continues to beat the drum over impacts on endangered salmon and in doing so, often neglects other important information. The constant drum beat of blaming the pumps for the decline of Delta fisheries is misleading and does little to provide useful information that may actually help find a solution to the Delta’s woes.

As a start, 20 years of pumping restrictions have done nothing to improve conditions for fish. One would think that if a supposed solution isn’t achieving the desired results then logic would tell you to look for another solution. But that’s not in NRDC’s playbook.

In fact, the National Research Council reported in March of 2012, “Consideration of the large number of stressors and their effects and interactions leads to the conclusion that efforts to eliminate any one stressor are unlikely to reverse the declines in the listed species.”

That is as clear as it gets. You can’t focus on solely one thing to improve ecological conditions in the Delta but Kate Poole chooses to quote Dick Pool and blame the State and federal water projects that “divert too much water out of the Delta.”

When you superimpose the chart used in Kate’s blog on a Sacramento River Chinook escapement, ocean harvest and river harvest chart you see a remarkable similarity in the trend over the past 24 years of data— You also see that fishermen routinely take 50 to 90 percent of the fish in the system. I wonder how that affects fish populations. Couple that with recent data showing that 93 percent of the hatchery salmon released on the Tuolumne River never make it past the mouths of predatory bass in the Delta and one has to wonder whether the pumps are really the problem after all.

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