News Worth Noting: Stanislaus River trout population plummets despite reservoir releases intended to help fish; New guidance issued for analyzing climate change in NEPA documents

Stanislaus River trout population plummets despite reservoir releases intended to help fish

fishbio logoFrom FishBio:

The once healthy population of rainbow trout living in the Stanislaus River declined precipitously during the California drought, according to survey results released today by the fisheries consulting firm FISHBIO. (http://fishbio.com/2015-stan-trout-survey)

The summer 2015 population estimate of about 5,000 fish in the river represents a 75 percent decline from the average population estimate of the last six years. This troubling trend comes on the heels of very warm water temperatures in 2014 that persisted into 2015. Worse is likely in store for the fish, the scientists note, because trout numbers tend to decline one year after a hot summer, and river temperatures were warmer in 2015 than in 2014. As the FISHBIO team prepares to snorkel in the Stanislaus River to conduct its annual trout count, they anticipate finding even fewer fish this year. …

Rainbow trout are the resident, river-dwelling form of the fish Oncorhynchus mykiss. This species also has a migratory form known as steelhead, and in the Central Valley this form is considered “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act. Steelhead often migrate from the river to the ocean at one or two years of age, meaning that all the young trout observed in the Stanislaus River downstream of Goodwin Dam have the potential to become steelhead. … ”

Continue reading here:  Stanislaus River trout population plummets despite reservoir releases intended to help fish

New Guidance Issued for Analyzing Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act Documents

From Best Best & Krieger:

BB&K logo“The White House’s Council on Environmental Quality has issued new guidance directing federal agencies to evaluate greenhouse gas emissions and climate change when preparing documents for proposed agency actions under the National Environmental Policy Act. Although CEQ’s guidance document is, as the name indicates, just guidance, it will likely result in changes to the way NEPA documents are drafted and provide ammunition to project opponents if the guidance is not followed.

A key point made in the new guidance document is that federal agencies should quantify GHG emissions when possible, regardless of a proposed action’s size. This emphasis appears to have stemmed from concern that GHG emissions might be overlooked on the basis that climate change occurs on a global scale and a single action makes only a small contribution to global conditions. CEQ’s guidance makes clear that agencies should not limit themselves to calculating a proposed action’s emissions as a percentage of sector, nationwide or global emissions in deciding whether or to what extent to consider climate change impacts under NEPA. … ”

Continue reading at BB&K here:  New Guidance Issued for Analyzing Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act Documents

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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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