“Chinook salmon spawning has been going on since September on San Joaquin Valley rivers. It’s a stirring sight for people who love nature, but important as well to farmers and other water users who could face cutbacks if the fish numbers stay low.”
From The Fresno Bee, in a commentary by Cannon Michael:
“A number of recent articles and blog posts have highlighted salmon being released into the San Joaquin River. From the pictures and glowing prose, one would imagine that the restoration of the river is on its way and proceeding as planned.
“About 350 people gathered at Lost Lake for Saturday’s SalmonFest and witnessed the release of three adult Chinook salmon into the San Joaquin River — another big moment in the multiyear, $1 billion river restoration project.
“Weighing roughly 30 to 40 pounds each, the brightly colored fish are the latest participants in a drive to reintroduce the species into an ecosystem it had not known for 70 years.”
“State agencies this week paid $9.3 million to buy a 466-acre dairy and farm in Stanislaus County near the confluence of the Tuolumne and San Joaquin rivers.
“The so-called Hidden Valley Ranch is about 10 miles southwest of Modesto. It will be taken out of agricultural production and used to provide floodplain habitat along with the adjacent 1,603-acre Dos Rios Ranch, which was acquired last year for the same purpose.”
From the Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog, in a post by Mark Grossi:
“A few days before Christmas 1988, more than a dozen environmental and fishing groups sued federal leaders over the San Joaquin River, Friant Dam and the renewal of 40-year water contracts, mostly for farmers.
“Nearly 25 years later, stories say the lawsuit was all about the U.S.
“A year ago federal officials trucked 116 spawning salmon to the upper San Joaquin River in Central California and invited media to watch them swim free for the first time since a dam cut off the river’s flow a half century ago.
“The effort to see if gravel riverbeds still could sustain eggs cost $237,000. A few months later, the offspring died.”
From the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW):
“The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released a draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for a conservation fish hatchery to assist with the restoration of salmon runs in the San Joaquin River.
“The Bureau of Reclamation today [Sept. 30] released the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact to fund operations and maintenance of the Interim San Joaquin Salmon Conservation and Research Facility by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“The Interim Facility is a pilot-scale hatchery facility adjacent to the San Joaquin River Fish Hatchery, about one mile downstream of Friant Dam in the town of Friant in Fresno County. The U.S.
“From working to restore headwaters through our Meadow Restoration program, to learning about issues in the Central Valley and the Bay Delta, and everything in between, I’ve come to realize that the rivers truly do connect us.”