Daily Digest: Drought squeezes duck hunters, turns spotlight on the future of California farms; Salton Sea activists want Mexican water fix; and more …

In California water news today, Drought squeezes duck hunters – that could be bad news for fowl; Drought turns spotlight on the future of California farms; Eel River flows still too low in peak spawning period; Projects near Muir Woods aim to improve fish habitat and public safety; Modesto Irrigation District to seek more water income for higher-tech meters; Santa Clarita:  Where’s the water coming from for development?; Salton Sea activists want Mexican water fix

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In the news today …

Drought squeezes duck hunters – that could be bad news for fowl:  “At 5 a.m. on a recent Tuesday in Northern California’s rice country, headlamps and pickup lights illuminated a flurry of movement off a turnout along a rural Butte County highway.  … Greg Galli, the owner of River Valley Outfitters, directed the flow, readying his clients for a windy morning of duck and goose hunting. Galli would lead the men into rice fields that have been flooded post-harvest, in part to serve as resting ground for the mass migration of birds making their annual winter trek south along the Pacific Flyway. Galli, who leases hunting blinds from Sacramento Valley farmers, has had a busy fall. … ” Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Drought squeezes duck hunters – that could be bad news for fowl

Drought turns spotlight on the future of California farms:  “Half of all fruits, vegetables and nuts grown in the United States come from California. Despite four years of extreme drought, the state’s agriculture industry is thriving for some farmers. Ben Bergman with member station KPCC reports.”  Listen to the radio show or read the transcript from All Things Considered here:  Drought turns spotlight on the future of California farms

Eel River flows still too low in peak spawning period:  “This month’s rainfall and cooler temperatures have helped lessen the strain on salmon migrating on the Eel River, but not near enough to ease the concerns of local researchers.  And they have their reasons.  Since Chinook salmon began entering the drought-stricken river this year, they were met with near-historic low flows preventing their upriver migration to spawning areas, a currently unexplained blindness and “zombie-like” behavior, poachers, and cars running over what spawning grounds they can find. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Eel River flows still too low in peak spawning period

Projects near Muir Woods aim to improve fish habitat and public safety:  “A plan to re-align the Redwood Creek Trail and extend the Dias Ridge Trail with stated goals of improving fish habitat and public safety are now open for public comment.  The plan — which features separate projects — is being put forward by California State Parks and the National Park Service. One project calls for about a mile of the Redwood Creek Trail near Muir Woods to be moved away from creek tributaries in Frank Valley to a slope above the current pathway.  That result would be a route that requires less maintenance while better protecting the riparian ecosystem, including coho salmon, steelhead trout and red-legged frogs, officials said. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  Projects near Muir Woods aim to improve fish habitat and public safety

Modesto Irrigation District to seek more water income for higher-tech meters: Whether Modesto-area farmers are willing to cover the cost of fancy water delivery meters – about $4.5 million – will be seen next year in a vote of Modesto Irrigation District growers.  Particulars, including how much farmers might expect to see water bills rise, are unknown. They are bracing for a separate rate hike, probably in January.  State laws enacted before and during the drought require higher-tech measuring. MID this year tested several models at various spots on its canals, and the district is developing a strategy to make sure the district doesn’t get in trouble with California water enforcers. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  Modesto Irrigation District to seek more water income for higher-tech meters

Santa Clarita:  Where’s the water coming from for development?  “Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean asked the question on many Santa Clarita Valley residents’ minds during a City Council meeting June 9.  “We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries,” the mayor said. “We’re in a drought, and many years ago there were many (development) projects approved that are just now starting to get filled.  “So the question is, if we’re in a drought — although the building is being done — how are (new developments) getting water? When they were approved, was water set aside for these projects? Or are these developers now having to find new water?” McLean asked. … ”  Read more from the Santa Clarita Signal here:  Where’s the water coming from for development?

Salton Sea activists want Mexican water fix: A small group of activists and concerned local residents gathered Saturday to raise money and awareness for their push to restore the dying Salton Sea.  Members of the Salton Sea Artists Association, EcoMedia Compass and the West Shore Chamber of Commerce sold art and food at a Salton City home. They hope small outreach events can slowly build up interest in returning the 360-square-mile lake to its former glory.  “A lot of people don’t know about the lake, so our mission is to spread the word about the area,” said Giovanni Arechavaleta, the campaign director for EcoMedia Compass. “I think our big problem is a lack of education.” … ”  Read more from the Desert Sun here:  Salton Sea activists want Mexican water fix

Precipitation watch …

A weak system could bring a few light showers over the Coastal Range and sprinkles elsewhere today. The next winter storm is forecast to arrive Thursday, Dec. 3.

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

Posted on Maven’s Notebook over the long holiday weekend …

Note:  All articles posted since Thursday are accessible from today’s front page.
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About the Daily Digest: The Daily Digest is a collection of selected news articles, commentaries and editorials appearing in the mainstream press. Items are generally selected to follow the focus of the Notebook blog. The Daily Digest is published every weekday with a weekend edition posting on Sundays.

hard_working_on_computer_anim_150_clr_7364Maven’s Notebook
The diary of a confessed obsessive-compulsive California water news junkie

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