June 2023 Newsletter

Join Us in Sacramento on July 5th: Day of Action for Water and Salmon

Salmon fishing families are struggling to make mortgage payments and keep businesses afloat. Layoffs have occurred, retail sales and harbor revenues are down, and frustrated fishermen and women are searching for help and demanding solutions.

This shutdown is the result of disastrous mismanagement of our rivers from State and federal policies. It’s not complicated. Years of decisions to divert more water from salmon rivers for industrial agriculture led to river conditions that killed most salmon eggs and juveniles 3 years ago. That’s why there’s a shortage of adult salmon today. The Newsom Administration must do better.

Now is the time to take action! Join Golden State Salmon Association, commercial and recreational fishermen and women, tribal groups, and conservation organizations on July 5, 2023 at the State Capitol in Sacramento as we come together for a common goal…saving salmon. Learn more

Delta Tunnel Cut from State Budget Deal – A Clear Defeat for the Governor

(Photo: Aerial view of Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta on Mar. 8, 2019. Photo by Ken James, California Department of Water Resources)

Per a recent LA Times column by George Skelton, “On delta tunnel, Newsom should heed Dirty Harry’s sound advice,” Barry Nelson, Golden State Salmon Association consultant said:

“The whole system has crashed for salmon,” says Barry Nelson, a consultant for the Golden State Salmon Association. “That’s partly because of giant south delta fish-chomping pumps and government regulations that often deprive baby salmon of strong enough water flows as they try to migrate out to sea. The tunnel would allow the [state] to dramatically increase pumping from the Sacramento River system and further decrease the salmon population.”

As of the morning of June 27, 2023, it appears GSSA, salmon and the Delta were given a win. The Delta Tunnels Project, massive underground water export tunnels designed to be 40 feet in diameter, constructed 150 feet underneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and run approximately 30 miles from south of Sacramento to north of Tracy, was cut from the budget deal.

In May, Governor Newsom proposed a package of bills attached to his budget that would have cut corners for the approval process of the proposed Delta Tunnels. That package would have bypassed the normal legislative process and dramatically curtailed opportunities for public comment. Many legislators objected strenuously to both the process and the Tunnel Project. The final budget deal represents a clear defeat for the Governor’s tunnels.

GSSA and supporters have taken action and expressed to State senators and assemblymembers their opposition to the Delta Tunnels Project and concerns that the environmental analysis has been significantly flawed. 

Those concerns were heightened by the continuing delay of the State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) update of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan. Before the State considers a new Delta Tunnels Project or other major water storage and diversion projects that will significantly worsen environmental conditions in the Delta and on salmon runs, the SWRCB must first establish updated flow and water quality standards that will restore the salmon fishery, prevent extinction, and protect and restore native fish and wildlife and the health of the Bay-Delta watershed.

Thanks to all our supporters who have taken action to help us achieve this win for salmon!

Tell Gov. Newsom and the State Water Board to protect CA water for salmon, jobs, communities and the environment

California’s water management system is severely broken. Excessive water diversions from California’s rivers and the Delta have created hostile water conditions that could have been prevented. Millions of people, jobs, and cultures are now plagued with polluted waterways, significant toxic algae outbreaks, and an ecosystem with lethally hot water that kills our natural resources like salmon. This is a critical public health and environmental threat. In recent years, there has been a growing practice of excluding tribal, environmental justice, fishing, conservation and other stakeholders from key decision-making processes – disenfranchising communities and negatively impacting livelihoods and people across California, its natural resources and wildlife.

As representatives of fishing, conservation, tribal, and environmental justice communities, we call on the Newsom Administration and the State Water Resources Control Board to set California on a path to a sustainable water future. Now is the time to avert a further crisis in California’s rivers and Delta and immediately implement strong, science-based environmental safeguards to save people, cultures, jobs and salmon. Sign Today!

Kids Are All Smiles as They Witness 200,000 Fall-Run Chinook Smolts Released Near Richmond Marina

On June 24, 2023, Golden State Salmon Association, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Feather River Hatchery, Mokelumne River Hatchery, Richmond Police Activities League, City of Richmond, Terminal One Development LLC, and Salty Lady Sportfishing partnered to give kids an exciting boat trip on the San Francisco Bay and salmon release experience.

200,000 fall-run chinook salmon smolts from the Feather River Hatchery began their incredible ocean journey with cheers from inner-city kids. GSSA and CDFW hatchery staff taught the Richmond Police Activities League (an afterschool program) kids about salmon, hatcheries, and the importance of this species to people and the environment. Providing kids with a tangible, experiential educational opportunity could be the spark that creates future fishermen and women, outdoor enthusiasts, conservationists or policymakers who understand why we need to restore and save our salmon resource.

CDFW’s salmon hatchery program is critical to California’s fall-run Chinook salmon fishery – supporting more than 33,000 jobs, families, a wide array of businesses, communities and cultures and a $2 billion economy in California and into Oregon. The salmon fishing industry and salmon production is in serious trouble. In recent years, two thirds of the commercial fleet have been lost along with thousands of jobs. The economic impacts have been similar for the charter fleet, recreational fishermen, hundreds of fishing businesses and the California coastal communities.

More than 400 Supporters “Stand Up for Salmon” at GSSA’s Annual Santa Rosa Event

On behalf of the entire GSSA team, we want to again thank everyone who attended, supported, donated to, and volunteered for our Santa Rosa Dinner on June 2. We were thrilled to have more than 400 people “Step Up For Salmon” and support our critical efforts – fighting to preserve California’s most important salmon populations for all of us and the tens of thousands of our neighbors who rely on this keystone species.

GSSA knows that our work, together with all of you, spanning hydrology, hatcheries and habitat will deliver much needed positive impacts for the fishery and all the connected industries and communities. Thank you!

Turn your unwanted car or boat into a tax-deductible donation to restore California salmon for their economic, recreational, commercial, environmental, cultural and health values.

To arrange a pickup nationwide, or learn more, call 866-392-4483 toll free and spend a few minutes with Donate for Charity customer service representative – it’s as simple as that. You can also donate online. Click here to fill out the vehicle donation form and start your donation to GSSA today!