The following press release is courtesy of the Golden Gate Salmon Association:
San Francisco – Today the Trump administration released a new proposal aimed at increasing water diversions from the Bay-Delta ecosystem at the expense of salmon and the tens of thousands of fishing industry jobs that depend on them https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=64503 . In spite of years of declining salmon runs and industry losses, the administration is saying the water diversion system that moves billions of gallons of Central Valley water from where nature intended it to the western San Joaquin Valley doesn’t damage salmon. Today’s announcement, called a biological assessment, is a step towards abandoning federal rules governing the damaging effects of the giant state and federal water diverting pumps in the Delta, which were adopted in 2008 and 2009.
“This is a blatant water grab that threatens thousands of fishing jobs and families in California,” said GGSA secretary Dick Pool who also owns Pro Troll tackle company. “For the administration to claim that the giant federal water project, which includes the massive diversion pumps in the Delta, can run at full bore and not harm salmon runs is simply not credible.”
“The Trump administration won’t be able to get away with killing off our salmon runs if the state refuses to cooperate. We call on the Newsom administration to just say no to this attack on California’s salmon fishing families,” said GGSA director Noah Oppenheim who is also executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, a group representing commercial fishermen.
“We’ve seen what happens when water users are given free rein to divert Bay-Delta water. It was the norm prior to 2008 and it killed so many baby salmon attempting to get to the ocean that all ocean salmon fishing had to be shut for the first time in history in 2008 and 2009,” said GGSA director Mike Aughney who also publishes USAfishing.com.
The Golden Gate Salmon Association (www.goldengatesalmonassociation.org) is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fisherman, businesses, restaurants, a native tribe, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities that rely on salmon. GGSA’s mission is to restore California’s largest salmon runs in the Central Valley rivers because they provide the bulk of salmon caught off our coast and inland rivers. We serve the sport and commercial anglers that rely on salmon as a long-term, sustainable resource. Salmon recovery is our passion.
Currently, California’s salmon industry is valued at $1.4 billion in annual economic activity and $700 million in economic activity and jobs Oregon in a normal season. The industry employs tens of thousands of people from Santa Barbara to northern Oregon. This is a huge economic bloc made up of commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen (fresh and salt water), fish processors, marinas, coastal communities, equipment manufacturers, tackle shops and marine stores, the hotel and food industry, tribes, and the salmon fishing industry at large.