Monday, May 31, 2010

Federal Judge Overturns Protections for Sacramento Chinook

A federal judge in Fresno this week ruled in favor of irrigators in overturning a NOAA issued biological opinion on water use in the Sacramento delta. The ruling is a major set back for fish advocates who have been fighting to protect water use restrictions and the endangered chinook which they benefit. The Sacramento was historically one of the most productive chinook rivers in the world, however development and degradation of the delta and San Francisco Bay have helped lead to massive declines in the once prolific populations. Still, in a normal year the Sacramento supports substantial sport and commercial fisheries for chinook and is an important contributor to commercial chinook catches up and down the west coast. The last three years the river has seen record low returns of salmon over the last three years raising serious questions about the validity of the Judge's findings and his motives in reaching his verdict. More information in the Sacramento Bee.

More information in the Indy Bay News

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