Today’s Sacramento Bee notes a complaint filed that takes the Bureau of Reclamation to task for not releasing enough cold water to allow salmon optimal spawning conditions.
While support of the salmon is one of our guiding principles, the most important value we attach to water management is to provide for people, including providing for the food farmers grow for people; so reducing river flows to store more water in Folsom because of the drought, is a good strategy, though, unfortunately, the salmon will suffer for it.
This is why we have hatcheries, who can truck salmon past the low river flows during drought to allow more water to be stored in the dams.
The solution here, and to create a win-win, more water for salmon and people, is to build Auburn Dam.
An excerpt from the Bee article.
The federal government’s operation of Folsom and Nimbus dams is harming fall-run Chinook salmon and steelhead in the American River, several environmental and fishing groups allege in a complaint filed this week with the state.
The groups are urging the State Water Resources Control Board to amend the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s permits to require colder and faster river flows from the two dams. The board has authority over water rights issued to the Bureau of Reclamation, as well as responsibility for protecting public trust resources, including fisheries and water quality. The board first issued operating permits for the dams in 1958.
“We’ve got to have a guaranteed higher flow, and there have to be modifications to Folsom Dam that will allow them to tap the coldest (water) pool in the reservoir,” said Stephen Green, president of Save the American River Association. “When temperatures are high and flows are low, we know that fish are being killed, and it’s not just this year. It’s been going on for decades.”
Retrieved April 9, 2014 from http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/08/6307325/complaint-alleges-american-river.html