Posts Tagged: salmon

Back in the real world, saving one dam salmon at a time

King salmon

While Washington, D.C. was solving another self-created crisis, real American solutions were emerging in the other Washington.   As William Yardley writes in the New York Times, massive dams that have prevented salmon from migrating upstream on the Elwha River are to be physically removed, allowing salmon to move naturally to their spawning grounds.  Experts predict that “392,000 fish will fill 70 miles of habitat now blocked by the dams, matching the predam peak. Chinook here once grew as big as 100 pounds, and experts say they should reach that size again.”  (more…)

For California water supply, $150 million spent to not solve the problem

California salmon run

Four years and $150 million into a major study of plans to re-engineer elements of California’s main source of water, a National Science Foundation review found the multi-billion-dollar proposal confused, poorly defined and inadequately researched.  That’s the gist of a piece by Gosia Wozniacka of The Associated Press picked up by the Riverside Press Enterprise.

Power brokers managing California’s fresh water supplies have long sought more access to the state’s two major rivers — the Sacramento and the San Joaquin. But taking too much water from the rivers creates all sorts of problems: (more…)

California salmon situation finally spawning good news

Chinook salmon

California’s vanishing salmon are suddenly bouncing back. After four years of declining populations that have worried scientists, bankrupted fisherman and launched desperate conservation measures, a near record year is predicted for Chinook or King salmon, prompting regulators to prepare plans for opening the Pacific for the first real commercial and recreational salmon fishing season since 2007.

The federal Pacific Fishery Management Council released three conceptual options for the coming season yesterday, reports Peter Fimrite of the San Francisco Chronicle. All three options allow for much more fishing than last year, predicated on estimates derived from the number of two-year-old salmon, known as ‘jacks,’ that returned to spawn a year ago. (more…)

Saving salmon apparently can’t be rushed

A scant 19 years after the plan was first proposed by California regulators, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced it has approved a comprehensive approach to restoring water quality and fish habitat in the storied, but now officially “impaired,” Klamath River. (more…)

“If the FDA can’t track chicken eggs, you think they’re going to be able to track fish eggs?”

Genetically modified salmon, designed to grow faster with the injection of growth hormone genes from another species, is likely to win approval for human consumption from the federal Food and Drug Administration this coming weekend, reports Susanne Rust of CaliforniaWatch.

The panel will also determine what, if any consumer labeling will be required for the creature. If the non-debate over adding radiation to ground beef is any indication, consumers will be left in the dark. (more…)

Clearing the way for salmon

Another obstacle for removing several century-old dams on the Klamath River, a waterway once teeming with now endangered salmon, has been removed by a second federal study, the Associated Press reports. As a result, the U.S. Department of Interior announced it will conduct a third examination of the sediment that has built up behind the dams to determine the consequences of dam removal. The main concern is that mercury and other toxic compounds left over from historic gold mining, plywood manufacturing, and farming would contaminate areas downstream. (more…)

California courts slow to shape fisheries’ future

Columbia River fish ladder

The National Marine Fisheries Service was ordered to go back to the drawing board by a federal judge in California, the latest inconclusive skirmish over fish habitat in an important tributary to the Sacramento River, Denny Walsh of the Sacramento Bee reported Monday.

The battle is over the fate of two dams on Northern California’s Yuba River, which were constructed to prevent remnants of mountains blasted away by hydraulic mining during the gold rush from fouling waterways downstream.  According to the agency, populations of endangered salmon, steelhead and sturgeon are all stable in the river, facts certified in a required ‘biological opinion.’ However, environmental groups convinced the judge that the agency’s opinion was rife with contradictions and flaws that the agency was well aware of. (more…)

No fish story: genetically-modified salmon

Federal regulators are on the verge of approving the world’s first ‘Frankenfish’ — genetically modified Atlantic salmon engineered to grow from fingerling to filet in half the time.  According to Les Blumenthal of McClatchy Newspapers, “if the Food and Drug Administration approves it, the salmon would be the first transgenic animal headed for the dinner table.” (more…)

No water left for the ocean in California

Farming interests triumphed over environmentalists and federal officials in round 6742 of the California water wars as a federal judge eased pumping restrictions Tuesday in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, sending more river water to farms and leaving less for endangered fish. At least for the next three weeks. (more…)

Hopes for water solution dissolving in California

A federal judge will take another week to issue his decision on the latest court battle over California’s water. The surprise delay came after Judge Oliver Wanger trashed a National Marine Fisheries Service biological opinion that several species, including once-teeming and now-endangered Chinook salmon, must be protected by a sharp reduction in water diversions. (more…)