A plea to help preserve the striper fishery, huge gains for Mokelumne salmon, the invasive weed spongeplant and Diane Feinstein's sweet deal.
"We have not inherited the earth from our Fathers; we are borrowing it from our children."---------Native American saying
December's Newsletter Conservation page discussed the outcome of the lawsuit between the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta (CSD) and the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). DFG decided not to pursue an active defense but rather settle out of court. Basically they have given CSD what they want. CSD wants to rid the Delta of all stripers so they can more actively continue pursuing their water grab in the Delta. As reported last month, the interveners refused to sign the agreement. At the first public hearing over 350 people were in attendance and adamantly voiced their disagreement with DFG's action. The next meeting was to be held in San Diego, but because of the outrage expressed by those present, the next meeting will be held in Sacramento on Feb. 3rd. More on this later.
The interveners have asked those of us affected by DFG's action to write letters to DFG's Commissioners expressing our disagreement with the terms of DFG's settlement terms. This group includes area business people, farmers, fisherman and those in the fishing industry.
During December's Delta Fly Fishers Board of Directors Meeting, Herman Spalinger, acting president, read a draft of the letter he had composed to be sent to the DFG commissioners on behalf of the Delta Fly Fishers. The letter was discussed, and after some slight changes were made, it was voted on and passed unanimously. Enclosed is the letter that is being sent to the Fish & Game Commission on behalf of our club:
The Department of Fish and Game's ill thought recommendation for a change in regulations for striped Bass
On January, more material will be available so our club can become involved in this issue.
On a more positive note: Since the Mokelumne River closed to fishing on the 31st of October for the salmon run, I have spoken to Eric at the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery several times to see how the run was going. As of the 20th of this month, Eric said the run is pretty much complete. It has been a good year with the following results:
• Salmon count 15,849 fish
• Steelhead 248 fish
• Salmon eggs harvested 7.76 million eggs harvested
• Steelhead eggs harvested over 330,000 eggs harvested
In 2009, just 69 fish returned. Last year, over 5,700 fish were harvested. This year’s run of 15,849 fish has the people at Mokelumne River Hatchery pleased. East Bay MUD started restoring the gravel spawning beds and maintaining good river flows during the salmon rums several years ago. The results are evident. A number of years ago Woodbridge Irrigation District decided to repair the dam that fills Lodi Lake during the salmon run. This forced the fish to spawn on the mud river bed below the dam and the whole run was lost. Given good habitat and adequate water flow the results are evident.
In thinking of this year’s salmon run, another thought came to mind. Given CSD's alleged salmon losses due to striped bass predation, how do they justify this year’s salmon numbers? If the stripers are wiping out the salmon, how is it that this year there are 15,780 more salmon in the Mokelumne River than there were in 2009? According to CSD's case there should be less. The point being that if there is adequate water and proper water management, the fish will survive and thrive.