Blog round-up: The 2015 drought so far, steelhead numbers alarmingly low, fake fish and Delta smelt arguments, waiting for a hole in the dam and more …

water on wood Laurle Hulsey

The 2015 drought so far …  Jay Lund wraps it up:  “The California Department of Water Resources does a great job assembling data that can give insights on water conditions during the ongoing drought. They update the information daily (which can be addictive for some of us) on the California Data Exchange Center website.  Here are highlights of water conditions as of January 4:  A drought as bad as last year seems unlikely, but remains a possibility, especially for the Tulare Basin in the southern Central Valley. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  The 2015 drought so far

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Steelhead Numbers Alarmingly Low at Nimbus Fish Hatchery:The upper section of the American River that has been closed to fishing since October 31 will reopen to steelhead fishing on January 1, 2015, but the outlook for the fishing is not promising, based on a very low fish count to date at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery.  This stretch of river is from the U.S. Geological Survey gauging station cable crossing about 300 yards downstream from the Nimbus Hatchery fish rack site to the SMUD power line crossing at the southwest boundary of Ancil Hoffman Park.  Only 10 adult steelhead were reported at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery as of today, December 29, an alarmingly low number for this time of year. … ”  Read more from Dan Bacher at the Fish Sniffer here:  Steelhead Numbers Alarmingly Low at Nimbus Fish Hatchery

Don’t use fake fish in Delta smelt arguments:  It was the best April Fool’s joke ever.  The California Water Blog’s April Fool’s post purporting the finding of giant Delta smelt in Southern California reservoirs had many people thinking it true.  I fielded many emails on that day in 2013, which, by the way, remained one of the highest trafficked days on the Notebook until just a few months ago.  Even today, the post is still fooling people.  Here’s Mark Grossi with the story:  “Scientists have not discovered a 9-pound version of an endangered Northern California fish called the delta smelt in Southern California lakes.  And the scientific study about this fictitious fish was just as unreal. It was part of an annual April Fool’s Day joke posted on a blog in 2013 by a group of scientists at the University of California at Davis.  I’m trying to snuff a budding San Joaquin Valley myth or rumor that, curiously enough, I unwittingly helped to spread. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here: Don’t use this fake fish in delta smelt arguments

Waiting for a hole in the dam:  “I have always looked forward to strolling along the lake at Navy Beach before the start of canoe tour season. The greening of this arid shore, the return of our iconic avian migrants, and the anticipation of sharing this wondrous place with visitors from around the world give me a feeling of joy.  My most recent inspection of the launch site has left me with an entirely different feeling: I get a pain in my lower back just looking at it! You see, before our visitors can float above bubbling springs with attendant plumes of brine shrimp, and canoe guides can poetically interpret their surroundings, we have to get the people into the boat and get it afloat. … ”  Read more from the Mono-Logue here:  Waiting for a hole in the dam

Lake Mead heading for second biggest drop in modern era:  “With just a few days left, it looks like Lake Mead will end 2014 down 19 feet, which would be the second biggest one-year drop of the “modern era” (the years since completion of Glen Canyon Dam upstream damped down the river’s ups and downs). ... ”  Read more from the Inkstain Blog here:  Lake Mead heading for second biggest drop in modern era

Infographic: The problem with water … is people! Michael Campana writes:  “I just found this infographic on the WaterSISWEB site. It is from P.J. Dore & Company, Ltd.  The numbers look okay to me; I did not vet them thoroughly. I would quibble with the number of people lacking access to safe water. The dispute usually comes down to the difference  between ‘improved’ (the number given) and ‘safe’ (maybe double the number given). An improved water source does not mean it is safe to drink.  … ”  Read more from the Water Wired blog here:  Infographic: The problem with water … is people!

What the CRomnibus says about water policy in Congress:Earlier this month, Congress passed and the President signed a huge, wide-ranging bill to fund the federal government for the rest of Fiscal Year 2015. At a little over $1 trillion, the so-called CRomnibus spends a ton of money, and at more than 1600 pages, it uses a ton of words. Daunting as they are, spending bills like this one are important not only for the money they spend, but also for substantive “riders,” which have become relatively more important as Congress has found it increasingly hard to pass any meaningful legislation. Against my better judgment, I went looking for the part of the CRomnibus that funds the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers, knowing that it would contain some potentially interesting (for me at least) water policy provisions.   … ”  Read more from the Western River Law blog here: What the CRomnibus says about water policy in Congress

Photo credit: Photo of water on wood by Laurle Hulsey.

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About the Blog Round-up: The Blog Round-up is a weekly journey through the wild and varied tapestry of blog commentary, incorporating the good, the bad, the ugly, and sometimes just plain bizarre viewpoints existing on the internet.  Viewpoints expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily my own; inclusion of items here does not imply my endorsement of their positions. Items are chosen to express a wide range of viewpoints, and are added at the editor’s discretion. While posts with obvious factual errors are excluded, please note that no attempt is made on my part to verify or fact check the information bloggers present, so caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.

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