Thursday, May 12, 2011

California Irrigators Oppose Commercial Salmon Opening

Last week a group of irrigators in California's Central Valley filed suit against federal fish managers for their plan to open the waters off the California coast for the first full commercial salmon season in several years. The farmers argue that the federal government violated the endangered species act in allowing the fishery, and are concerned if salmon continue to decline in the central valley that irrigation withdrawls will be sacrificed to protect fish. After years of fishery closures, the California fishing industry is on life support and the law suit could be a major set back for the industry. The Central Valley BiOp has highlighted the need to reduce irrigation withdrawls in the delta to protect salmon and endangered smelt and regardless of the impact of this lawsuit on the commercial salmon industry irrigation and habitat loss remain the two greatest threats to Central Valley salmonids. More information in the San Francisco Chronicle:

and an editorial on the lawsuit from the Daily Astorian:

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