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  #1  
Old 07-20-2008, 03:31 PM
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Default Delta's Stripers under attack

California Delta’s Striped Bass Under Attack by Kern County Water Agencies Posing as Environmentalists--Intervention Planned in Federal Water Case

By Jerry Neuburger
California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
With less than a week to go before Judge Wanger's federal district court convenes, CSPA attorney, Mike Jackson, is prepared to intervene in the case of the Coalition for Sustainable Delta et al vs. The California Department of Fish and Game and the California Fish and Game Commission.
Jackson has over 20 years court experience in fisheries and environmental law, acting as CSPA's attorney in numerous state and federal issues. Jackson, in defending DFG and the Commission, will be representing the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, the California Striped Bass Association and the Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers.
Opposing him are a group of Kern County water agencies posing as environmentalists under the title of The Coalition for a Sustainable Delta. These agencies are consumers of vast amounts of water pumped south through both the state and federal conveyances. A healthy striped bass fishery is a major obstacle in their ever increasing need for delta water since that fishery and the recreational anglers fishing for them represent a sizable lobby more interested in a healthy delta than desert farming of marginal lands using taxpayer heavily subsidized water for cash crops by corporate agri-business.
The Coalition alleges that the Delta Striped Bass is a voracious predator and is one of the prime causes of the collapse of the endangered Delta Smelt and Sacramento Valley Chinook Salmon. They make this claim even though there is no credible evidence that such predation takes place and in fact, the striped bass fishery, the Delta Smelt fishery and the Chinook Salmon fishery have all collapsed at a parallel rate. This rate has drastically accelerated in the last five years. During this same time, exports of water south have increased as much as thirty percent when compared to previous records.
When Bill Jennings, Executive Director of CSPA, heard of the suit he exclaimed, "Striped bass have coexisted with salmon and smelt in the Delta estuary for more than a hundred years. The dramatic almost 30% increase in the amount of water exported in recent years is the one clear culprit that has led to population crashes of numerous species; including salmon, steelhead, striped bass, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, splittail, threadfin shad, among others!"
The suit is seen by most as another means of delay and of obfuscating the real issues surrounding the collapse of all the delta fisheries, the lack of sufficient water for the continued health of the delta. Some believe the powerful water agencies are attempting to extend the debate until the collapse of the fisheries is complete and the once vocal angler and environmental groups fade away. With no one to defend the delta, even more water will be justified as a necessary export for the increasingly voracious demands of southland corporate agri-business.
The issue of the striped bass's predation has been researched and all data indicates that the species does not target either Delta Smelt or Chinook Salmon smolts as a part of its diet. In a recent study, "Diet composition in San Francisco Estuary striped bass: does trophic adaptability have its limits?",
by Matthew L. Nobriga & Frederick Feyrer, completed in May of 2008, the researchers document the contents of striper stomachs that were examined over in several studies that took place in a period of over 40 years. In these studies the examiners found that a striped bass's diet consists of less than a half of one percent of Chinook salmon and an even slightly smaller amount of Delta Smelt. While the estuary has changed drastically in those years and the striper's diet has changed with it, threadfin shad and juvenile stripers have consistently shown themselves to be the main finny prey of the Delta Striper.
While motives for the suit are obvious, CSPA, CSBA and the NCCFFF are not taking the outcome of the suit for granted. At stake is the very existence of the Delta Striped Bass. If the Coalition for the Sustainable Delta were to win this suit, it is expected that all DFG management of the Delta Striped Bass fishery would cease. That includes size and bag limits and method of take. Anglers could even be ordered per DFG regs to kill any striped bass caught regardless of size. For a fishery in trouble such as the Delta Striped Bass, this lack of regulation would be the death knell.
Although CSPA has meager funds for supporting the costs of the intervention, the issue is so important that the CSPA Board of Directors felt they had no choice but to join the suit. In order to properly defend the striper's right to exist and its place as one of California's premier game fish. CSPA is requesting that all concerned anglers help contribute to the defense fund coffers in this battle.
Jerry Neuberger is the webmaster for the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), a longstanding nonprofit organization working for the conservation of California’s fisheries and their aquatic habitat.
July 2008
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  #2  
Old 07-22-2008, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: Delta's Stripers under attack

I HOPE NOTT,N HAPPENS TO THE STRIPER.

i dont wanna get into details, but the deltas do feed the south lands.

DO THIS MEAN , ITS OVER FOR THE STRIPERS , HERE IN THE WEST COAST???

OR ??????? MAN, IM GETTING PIST.
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:17 AM
gregorjim gregorjim is offline
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Default Re: Delta's Stripers under attack

Dodoman.. All the stripers you're getting down south is from the delta pumps ...Once they're gone , your fish will diminish also...These stripers need the delta to spawn & produce as they have for many years.This was once the great nursery for these great fish ,who reproduced from a few hundred transported from the East coast a hundred plus years ago... At one time there were about 7-9 million stripers , which even extended up to Oregon etc.. But due to the water wars down south & their failure to take a little...instead take more each year, has resulted in the complete colapse of the stripers, salmon , steelhead ,& numerous baitfish that all fish require for existance... Everyone needs to join groups as the CSPA which at this moment is fighting for this once great fishery in court....They contact all members when letters are needed & donation for attorneys to represent your side in court...Which by the way is the only way to win this war....Join now ...be acountabile.....write lettters when asked.. Attend meetings when possible..Otherwise sit back & give in to the water mongers,,,,And don't complain.....Jim
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Old 07-27-2008, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: Delta's Stripers under attack

By the way...Capt Obvious....Excellent & informative post..Thanks , Jim
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Delta's Stripers under attack

that just really chaps my hide.
hope they figure somthing out.
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Delta's Stripers under attack

TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER? - Homes fill the curves of the Los Angeles
Aqueduct off Barrel Springs Road east of Sierra Highway on July 1 in Palmdale.
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link
Water needs pit north vs. south

Valley faces 80% reduction by next year

This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press
Sunday, July 27, 2008.

By LINDA LEE
Valley Press Staff Writer
When Realtors were marketing California City in the 1960s, they were not allowed to use the word "desert."

"We were the Antelope Valley," Public Works Director Michael Bevins said.
"We also have this wonderful lake, this beautiful golf course, and people would come and just be totally amazed with it." Trouble is, the marketing strategy was not based in reality.
"It was a fraud in the years of '65 and '70 and it's not changed at all."
Bevins wants to stop referring to the area as the Antelope Valley: "This is the desert; water doesn't exist here."
While Bevins' version may seem extreme, the reality for California is that two-thirds of its water originates in Northern California, while 80% of the demand is in the southern two-thirds of the state.
Farmers compete for water with residents, businesses and industry, while environmentalists keep new storage and distribution systems in check to protect sensitive environments.
Next year, local water experts are predicting that the half of the Valley water supply coming through the California Aqueduct will be reduced by 80%.
Kern County Supervisor Don Maben is so worried about how the cuts will affect the economy, he called a water summit nine days ago to discuss strategies with local city and water officials. Palmdale Water District has called its own water briefing for this week.
"You remember what happened in 1990? The housing market collapsed, the savings and loans failed … the economy here in the Valley, in the high desert in general, suffered greatly from those results, and, as Yogi Berra said, it's déj**** vu all over again: We have a state budget that's in the tank, the housing market is gone, financial institutions are failing," Maben said.
In addition, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proclaimed a statewide drought. Court-ordered restrictions on pumping water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta into the California Aqueduct are reducing the amount of water that is coming to the Valley.
Water from the California Aqueduct has allowed California, the eighth-largest economy in the world, to flourish into the most populous state in the country. It is also the nation's leading supplier of food.
State and federal water projects supply water to 25 million Californians and 7 million acres of farmland. The Colorado River basin, which is in its eighth year of drought, supplies up to one-third of Southern California's water supply.
In 1960, voters approved financing for construction of the State Water Project, which includes 22 dams and reservoirs, and a Delta pumping plant.
The State Water Project, which is controlled by the state Department of Water Resources, began to deliver water from Northern California through the California Aqueduct in the 1970s.
Twenty-seven water agencies contract for state water supplies, including the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency, Palmdale Water District and Littlerock Creek Irrigation District, which all serve customers in the Antelope Valley.
In addition to water from the aqueduct, the Antelope Valley gets water pumped from wells.
Most of the well water originates in the mountains around the Antelope Valley. Runoff from the snowpack flows down Littlerock Creek, Big Rock Creek and other creeks and washes to percolate into the underground basin.
It is from that groundwater basin that public and private water agencies pump water for homes, businesses, agriculture and other uses.
Residents in rural areas not served by a water district or private water company pump water from individual wells.
In addition to pumping groundwater, Palmdale Water District and Littlerock Creek Irrigation District also have access to water from Littlerock Reservoir, which may be one of the few reservoirs in the state to be full this year.
Although water agencies contract with the state for a specific amount of imported water annually, the amount they are allowed to take from the California Aqueduct varies each year according to the density of the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Northern California.
Snowmelt flows into the northern portion of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast, which is then pumped out and sent to Southern California.
Man-made levees along the Delta protect it from saltwater intrusion, which keeps the water more drinkable and also protects surrounding farmland. But the levees, built during the Gold Rush days, are in danger of failing.
"Do you know what would happen if we lose a levee?" Lancaster Vice Mayor Ron Smith asked. "The inundation of salt water would destroy our water supply completely."
"We rely on imported water from the State Water Project and as we've seen, the amount of water we can get from the aqueduct can go up and down at the stroke of a judge's pen, let alone the rainfall and snowfall," Lancaster City Councilman Ed Sileo said.
"This is not a city of Lancaster problem, it's not a Los Angeles County problem, it's not even a state of California problem. It's the southwestern United States and now we're seeing other parts of the country are suffering drought," Sileo said.
Global warming, the aging levees and increasing environmental challenges surrounding the fragile Delta ecosystem are affecting the state's water reliability.
After California's driest spring on record, Lake Shasta, the state's largest reservoir, is at 48% capacity; Lake Oroville, the second-largest reservoir, is at 40% capacity, the lowest amount in more than 30 years.
"The likely allotments for state and federal water are going to be very, very low next year because storage will be at historic low levels," said Timothy Quinn, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies.
"Next year, the water agencies that have got water stored south of the Delta are going to have to watch how much they use it, because they don't know for sure when this is going to end," Quinn said.
California Aqueduct
The State Water Project begins at Oroville Dam on the Feather River and sends water 444 miles through the state to Lake Perris near Riverside.
In the Tehachapi Mountains near Gorman, water is pumped 2,000 feet over the mountains, continuing its journey through 10 miles of tunnels and siphons that cross the mountain range into Southern California.
The aqueduct divides into east and west branches east of Gorman, and the Antelope Valley is served by the east branch.
The State Water Project, operated by the state Department of Water Resources, is a major source of water for Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and other parts of Southern California. It also provides water to farms in the San Joaquin Valley.
Other California communities are delivered water through the North Bay Aqueduct, Coastal Aqueduct and South Bay Aqueduct. Much of Southern California gets water from the Colorado Aqueduct, which crosses the state's southern deserts from the Colorado River.
Competition is expected to increase among water users for any additional water supplies.
"There's a lot of folks in Northern California that want to see the water even more severely cut to Southern California," said Russ Fuller, general manager of the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency.
AVEK, a water wholesaler, purifies and sells water to more than 20 municipal users as well as Edwards Air Force Base and U.S. Borax. It also supplies water directly to about 20 farmers.
With boundaries extending more than 2,400 miles, AVEK is the third-largest contractor of the State Water Project, behind the Metropolitan Water District and the Kern County Water Agency.
AVEK treats aqueduct water at plants in Acton, Rosamond, Quartz Hill and southeast of the Valley between Littlerock and Pearblossom. The treatment plants are capable of providing water to a combined 401,000 consumers.
The agency has more than 100 miles of pipelines. It has four 8 million-gallon water storage reservoirs near Mojave, and one 3 million-gallon reservoir at Vincent Hill Summit near Acton.
Fuller is expecting water agencies to be cut back next year to 10% of the water they are allowed to receive from the aqueduct, compared to a typical figure of 60% to 70%.
AVEK is shopping for more water, but given all the other competitors that are looking for that water as well, Fuller said he doesn't expect much success.
"It's going to be very, very expensive, but you know when you don't have water, price is always relative," Fuller said.
A 10% allocation for AVEK is 14,500 acre-feet, enough water for about that many families in Antelope Valley for one year.
"If we're able to buy enough supplemental water, maybe to double that figure, or maybe even better than double, we'll feel pretty good for next year, but that's still a drastic cut from what people are used to," Fuller said.
Los Angeles County Waterworks District 40, which supplies water to most of Lancaster and west Palmdale, is one of AVEK's biggest buyers, but also pumps water from wells.
The district has relied on water from AVEK for the past 10 years, when it's available, conserving its groundwater supplies.
"We use water conservation aggressively, then when the time comes to rely on groundwater supply, we reverse this process," said Adam Ariki, assistant division chief for Los Angeles County Waterworks.
The Waterworks District has over the last several years supplied its customers about 60,000 acre-feet a year, of which two-thirds comes from AVEK, Lancaster Public Works Director Randy Williams said.
"If we experience a cutback in AVEK supplies to 10% of their contract value, Waterworks District will get 8,000, maybe 8,500 acre-feet," enough to serve about 8,500 homes, Williams said.
"That's a far cry from the 40,000 acre-feet they normally get. ... They're not going to be restricted only to the 8,500 acre-feet, but they are going to be restricted to about 50% of what they had been serving for the past number of years," he said.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich has asked the governor's staff to treat the water crisis as an emergency similar to the 1994 Northridge earthquake that wrecked freeways around Southern California.
A Metrolink system was up and running within four months in the Antelope Valley and collapsed freeways were rebuilt within 10 months.
"We rebuilt those in record time and I don't think anybody suffered from that," said Norm Hickling, field deputy to Antonovich.
Antonovich has asked the governor's office to review environmental requirements "so we can build these structures in a much more expedited and more cost-effective manner instead of waiting years and years and spending hundreds of millions of dollars to try to put these conveyance systems in place," Hickling said.
Quinn, the executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies, said water officials across the state realize "we have not had a crisis this severe in any of our careers, nothing since the big systems were built back in the middle of the 20th century."
"Our water management tools have been compromised by the inadequate system to deal with fishery issues. Some parts of California will have ample supplies, but it will be more difficult than it used to be to go up and acquire some of that to move it across the Delta where people are short," he said.
In the meantime, Quinn said, Californians will need to conserve more than they realize. "The only way to balance demand and supply is to knock those demand numbers down."
Across the state, communities will implement much stronger conservation measures, and many are likely to adopt mandatory rationing, he said.
But as a long-term solution to ensuring reliable water supplies, Quinn said it will be important to put a bond before California voters to pay for new water facilities. One of those solutions may involve building a new canal, usually called the peripheral canal, around the Delta to move water from Northern California to the Southland, he said.
"In the end, we only escape the high level of conflict we're dealing with today by fixing the system that's broken," he said.
"Our infrastructure pits our economy and the environment against one another and it demands to be fixed."
Across socio-demographic and geographic lines, polls indicate 80% of Californians believe there is a serious water crisis, he said. When asked if the bonds should be put on hold because the economy is bad and the state is in too much debt, 60% responded "no," recognizing that it's a crisis that requires immediate action, Quinn said.
"Even Republicans are saying that they would strongly vote for a water bond," he said.
Quinn said he expects discussion of a peripheral canal to be controversial; it was rejected by voters in 1982.
"But in 1982, when the people voted on a peripheral canal, that was a canal about moving lots more water south into Southern California swimming pools. This time around virtually everyone recognizes that an investment in a canal is an investment in environmental sustainability," he said.
Claude Seal, assistant manager of the Rosamond Community Services District, cited three major elements to resolving the water supply problem: "Finding the water volume that you need and being willing to pay the price for it; being able to transport the water from Northern California to your usage area, and the storage of that water for usage in the future."
"Water is available if you're willing to pay upwards of $500 to $1,000 per acre-foot to buy the water and that's just for this year," Seal said.
"In all probability you're looking at multiple thousands of dollars in the not-to-distant future for water when it's available," Seal said. "Even though the State Water Contractors are trying to put something of a control on the purchase price of water quantities, you still have too many independent entities out there who say, 'I'll bid higher for that water.' " [email protected]
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:12 AM
gregorjim gregorjim is offline
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Default Last hope for Delta & fishery ?

Well folks time is running out for the Delta & fishery...Mike McKenzie of (CSPA) california Sportfishing Protection Alliance spoke before the senate yesterday regarding the #SB1806 bill which would help tremendessly with the water issues..Also make the So Cal water exporters responsible for the damage done to the delta & fishery..There was also attorneys representing the So Cal growers ...We should hear soon as to the decision by the senate comm. Keep your fingers crossed...BIG TIME...The CSPA has done the big fight for us ..It's the only way to win these battles...In Court....Jim
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Delta's Stripers under attack

Latest news
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Here is the press release about the bill from the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance.

California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
1360 Neilson Street / Berkeley / CA 94702 / 510.526.4049 / calsport.org
“Conserving California’s Fisheries & Their Habitat”

CSPA Media Release - For Release August 10, 2008

For Information contact:
John Beuttler: 510-526-4049
Jim Crenshaw: 530-661-0997
Bill Jennings: 209-464-5067

State Senate Decision Could Begin the Restoration of Delta Salmon and Other Fisheries!

Sometime in the next week to ten days, AB 1806, the Delta restoration and mitigation bill, will encounter its last hurdle when it is heard on the floor of the State Senate. The bill has already cleared the Assembly, and if passed by the Senate, will go to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
Sponsored by Chair of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, Lois Wolk, the bill arose out of the hearing held on the massive Prospect Island Fish Kill near Rio Vista in December 2007 that needlessly destroyed tens of thousands fish.
Anglers testifying at the hearing requested improved oversight of such projects including requiring “fish rescue plans” to prevent future fish kills. In addition, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance President Jim Crenshaw testified that federal Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), who had conducted the project, had not stepped up to mitigate for the horrendous fish kill! He noted a great deal of fish killed by the operations of the State and Federal water projects were blatantly not mitigated and have significantly damaged the salmon, striped bass, Delta smelt, and other fish populations of the Bay-Delta estuary.
As Assemblywoman Wolk stated, “Numerous fish populations in the Delta are crashing or in precipitous decline. Millions of salmon and other species continue to die annually as a result of both the direct and indirect impacts of the state and federal water project pumps, despite the numerous efforts over the years to restore habitat for fish. This legislation requires the state and federal projects that pump water out of the Delta to mitigate for these losses, which have huge negative impacts on our state's fisheries, and the commercial and sport fishing industries that contribute billions of dollars to our economy.”
In testimony before the Assembly and Senate, CSPA’s Conservation Director John Beuttler, noted, “CSPA has repeatedly urged our government to correct the impacts caused by the water projects over the past fifty years. The direct and indirect impacts caused by the project operations have only been partially mitigated, at best, and this is one of the principal causes for the declines of our Central Valley fisheries.
There is no way to begin to effectively recover and restore our once world class fisheries, including some two-thirds of all the state’s salmon, unless this fundamental problem is fixed. Many millions of fish are lost each year. Add this up over the some sixty years that the projects have been on line, and you have a major reason for the fishery disaster. We now are forced to resolve these impacts, or see our fisheries continue their head long collapse into extinction!”
While Central Valley salmon populations are in a state of collapse, four Delta pelagic (open water) fish species - delta smelt, longfin smelt, striped bass and threadfin shad - have declined to their lowest recorded population levels. These fish would also benefit from the passage of AB 1806.
In addition to the fish rescue plans, the bill requires something that is long overdue requiring the water districts that benefit from the massive export of water from the Delta to finally pay the full costs of mitigating their impact.
AB 1806 would require an evaluation of current level of mitigation performed by both projects. The bill establishes the State Water Resources Control Board to work with state and federal fishery agencies to evaluate the current mitigation in light of all the project impacts, acknowledge all appropriate mitigation, and to establish additional mitigation requirements to offset all of the project’s fishery impacts.
According to Beuttler, “Such a transparent, public process is critical to ensure appropriate mitigation obligations instead of the past deals behind closed doors between agencies that failed to properly protect the public’s fisheries.”
Beuttler also noted, “CSPA and the other fishing and environmental groups working to pass this legislation are urging all anglers and concerned citizens to contact their State Senator and request support for passing this bill. Hundreds of letter from our grassroots have helped persuade the Legislature to pass this critical legislation to begin the process of restoring our fisheries. If anglers and the public want to see this bill pass, it is absolutely critical that they tell the people who represent them in the State Senate now!”
The legislation is supported by the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, the Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers, the California Striped Bass Association, the Recreational Fishing Alliance, the Allied Fishing Groups, and the American Sportfishing Assoc., the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Assoc., many regional fishing organizations, the Planning and Conservation League, the National Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups.
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: Delta's Stripers under attack

Fishery Groups Take Aim at 'Ridiculous' Lawsuit Filed by Central Valley Water Users
by Dan Bacher
Wednesday Aug 27th, 2008 8:44 AM
Indy Bay.org link
Fishery Groups today took aim at a lawsuit re-filed by Central Valley Water users, saying that the lawsuit blaming striped bass for the decline of Central Valley chinook salmon and delta smelt is "ridiculous" and "desperate." The water exporters, operating under the ironically named "Coalition for a Sustainable Delta," are trying to shift blame from themselves to the striped bass for the collapse of salmon and delta smelt when it is in fact massive exports of fresh water from the California Delta that have resulted in the dramatic fish declines.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 27, 2008

Contacts:
Bill Jennings, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance: 209-938-9053
Gary Adams, California Striped Bass Association: 925-686-4064
Doug Lovell, Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers: 510-520-3146


Fishery Groups Take Aim at Lawsuit Filed by Central Valley Water Users: Lawsuit Blaming Striped Bass Called ‘Ridiculous’ and ‘Desperate’


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Aug 27, 2008 -- A coalition of Central Valley water agencies that import water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta re-filed a lawsuit that attempts to blame the beleaguered striped bass for the collapse of delta smelt and Central Valley Chinook salmon -- signaling their resolve to confuse the public and blame others for the decline of the Delta fisheries.

Calling themselves the “Coalition for a Sustainable Delta,” the water groups first filed a lawsuit in January 2008 claiming that efforts by the California Fish and Game Commission and California Department Fish and Game to support the striped bass accelerated the demise of endangered salmon and smelt. U.S. District Court Judge Oliver W. Wanger dismissed the complaint on July 24, 2008 because the Coalition lacked standing to bring the lawsuit. The coalition amended and re-filed their complaint on August 22, 2008.

“This lawsuit is a poorly disguised attempt to deflect attention away from the primary cause of the decline of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta estuary,” said Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), one of three fishery groups who have intervened on behalf of the State. “The truth is that the massive increase in the diversion of water in recent years has accelerated the crash of the Delta fisheries. Although many factors such as pollution, urban development, and invasive species affect the Delta, excessive water diversion is the leading cause of the decline in the fisheries.”

Experts also disagree with the Coalition’s premise for the lawsuit. “Delta smelt, salmon and striped bass have successfully co-existed in this ecosystem for more than a century. There is no evidence that recent population declines of either delta smelt or Chinook salmon resulted from predation by striped bass, whose numbers have also collapsed,” says Dr. Tina Swanson, a nationally recognized expert on the delta smelt who is affiliated with The Bay Institute. “In contrast, there is strong scientific evidence that dams, water diversions, pollution and the collapse of the planktonic food web in the upper estuary are harming all the fishes that rely on the Bay-Delta.”

“Delta smelt and Chinook salmon have shown continuous, long term declines since the 1960s and 1970s when the state and federal water projects began exporting water—and striped bass have shown the same decline,” reinforced Doug Lovell, PE, an environmental engineer and a director with the Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers. “There has been no evidence of a classic predator-prey relationship. No reputable scientist has pinned the crash of smelt and salmon on the striped bass.”

“Although they claim to care about the ecological health of the delta, the so-called ‘Coalition for a Sustainable Delta’ is most interested in maintaining their historic allotment of taxpayer subsidized water exports. Their efforts to blame striped bass are ridiculous and a desperate move,” says Gary Adams, vice president of the California Striped Bass Association. “We hope they will focus their attention on the real issues affecting the health of the Delta. Compared to the alleged striped bass predation issue, there are hundreds of more important issues affecting salmon and smelt in this once-great estuary,” he continued.

The coalition’s revised claim to standing in this lawsuit will most certainly be challenged in court, but even if they are able to successfully establish standing, the merits of the case will still need to be argued, including the coalition’s novel application of the Federal Endangered Species Act.

“I’m certain the Endangered Species Act was never designed to decimate an important recreational asset like the West Coast striped bass fishery and remove its status as a sport fish,” asserts Dan Blanton, a nationally recognized author, photographer, and fisherman who has plied the waters of the Bay and Delta for more than 30 years. “Yet, that’s exactly what will happen if the irrigators prevail in this lawsuit,” continues Blanton.

The Central Valley water agencies admit the lawsuit is in response to Judge Wanger’s recent decisions to protect smelt and salmon by limiting water exports from the Delta. But blaming striped bass for the woes of Chinook salmon and delta smelt will not increase their irrigation allotment; it will only hurt the middle and lower income Californians who fish for striped bass, along with the local industries that support these recreational fishermen.

“I hate to think of all the tackle shop owners, marinas, and fishing guides that will be unnecessarily harmed if the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta wins this suit,” states Blanton.

“Blaming striped bass for the decline of endangered Bay-Delta fisheries is yet another devious plot of the water grabbers who comprise the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta. It is obvious the Coalition considers the striped bass to be a roadblock for claiming more northern water,” sums up Keith Fraser, owner of Loch Lomond Live Bait and Tackle and a fixture in the history of San Francisco Bay fishing. “They should put their efforts toward addressing the real problems that have adversely affected delta smelt and Chinook salmon. If the Coalition is successful in their greedy attack, it will signal the end of a great fishery for many individuals and families, and for many young and old anglers who love the thrill of catching a striped bass.”


U.S. District Court Judge Oliver W. Wanger has granted the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, the California Striped Bass Association, and the Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly fishers the status of defendant interveners, supporting the State of California in this lawsuit.

About the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance: CSPA is a public benefit conservation and research organization established in 1983 for the purpose of conserving, restoring and enhancing the state’s water quality and fishery resources and their aquatic ecosystems and associated riparian habitats. CSPA actively promotes the protection of water quality and fisheries throughout California.

About the California Striped Bass Association: CSBA is a non-profit organization working to preserve, conserve and enhance striped bass while promoting recreational sport fishing, environmental awareness and good fellowship. Founded in 1974 with a Chapter in Stockton, California, CSBA is one of the largest and most active fishing clubs in California’s Central Valley, and one of the oldest fresh-water fishing clubs in the state.

About the Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers: NCCFFF is the California affiliate of the Federation of Fly Fishers, a 43-year old international non-profit organization dedicated to the betterment of the sport of fly fishing through conservation, restoration and education. In California, these efforts focus on advocating for wise stewardship of our rivers, streams, lakes and other water resources and the fisheries that occupy them.
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