Here we are in what’s shaping up to be another really, really, bad drought year. We lost almost all of the winter run salmon last year because of the hot water in the river that killed the eggs. We took a huge hit to the spring run salmon and the fall run salmon (that we fish for) that still spawn in the wild. We’ve been suffering an overall decline in salmon for almost ten years.
Please help push Governor Newsom and his State Water Resources Control Board to prevent another massive Sacramento River fish kill in 2022. The state has unique authority to balance water use, so there’s some left for salmon. We need them to exercise that authority now.
If we lose our wild runs, we can limp along with a fishery based on hatchery fish but it’s not a good long-term strategy. We have really good seasons when we get good contributions from both hatchery and natural spawned stocks. If we end up wiping out our natural fish, things are likely to change and not for the better. We could see major new restrictions aimed at the fall run that supply the fishery. We could see the hatcheries move to what’s called mass marking where every fish is fin-clipped instead of the current 25 percent. If that happens, we’d likely be forced into what’s called a “mark select” fishery where we could only keep clipped fish. This has proven very problematic in parts of Oregon and Washington, which suffer under such restrictions. Believe me, you won’t like it if this is forced on us.
Dividing what little water we get during drought is hard on everyone, no doubt about it.
But we ought to fight long and hard before we allow salmon, a key part of California’s natural heritage, to disappear on our watch.
This year is a perfect example of what we’re up against. We can use some of the water behind the big Central Valley dams to keep our salmon runs alive, and then let that water flow downstream for other uses.
Or we can continue business as usual and see our salmon die in the fall. If everyone shares the responsibility to adapt to the drought, we can hopefully save our salmon this fall.
Newsom’s State Water Resources Control Board is authorized to make adjustments to how water is used to serve the greater good. This is warranted now, like no time before. The governor and water board failed to help salmon last year. Now they need to hear from all of us telling them not to allow another massive fish kill in 2022.
We ask you to add your voice. Let the governor and State Water Board know it’s important that the water be used to preserve one of California’s most treasured and unique natural resources that can’t be replaced if lost. Sacramento River salmon runs are the most important runs south of the Columbia River for California and even coastal Oregon. If the state doesn’t step up and do the right thing, we could lose them and never get them back.
Click here to add your voice telling Governor Newsom and his State Water Resources Control Board to protect this year’s water supply for salmon, the environment, and salmon fishing families, so we can live to fight another day.
Please join this campaign by clicking the button below and filling out the form to send the letter, and then ask your friends and associates to do the same.