NEWS WORTH NOTING: DWR Honored for Climate Leadership; Drought, poor ocean conditions impact salmon forecast for 2018; Weekly Water and Climate Update: Recent storms increase Pacific Northwest snowpack

DWR Honored for Climate Leadership

Department Is Recognized for Meeting, Exceeding GHG Emission Goal

For the third time in four years, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) has won the Climate Leadership Award for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The award was presented today by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry (TCR), in partnership with Headline Sponsor, Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Awards, which take place during the annual Climate Leadership Conference in Denver, CO, showcase and recognize voluntary action to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) and address climate change.

“DWR is committed to lowering our greenhouse gas emissions because, from a global perspective, it’s the right thing to do. Our efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change are crucial to securing the long-term reliability of California’s precious water resources,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “We are honored to have received this Climate Leadership Award and are committed to continuing our efforts.”

DWR’s goal was to achieve a 50-percent reduction below 1990 GHG emission levels by 2020, but the Department actually met this goal by 2015, five years earlier than anticipated. DWR reduces GHG emissions primarily by replacing carbon-intensive electrical generation throughout its operations, including the State Water Project (SWP), with lower- and non-emitting generation such as natural gas, solar, wind, and hydro power.

For details, see the Climate Leadership Conference’s press release.

California’s Drought, Poor Ocean Conditions Impact Salmon Forecast for 2018

From the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Commercial and sport anglers received mixed news today regarding the status of Sacramento River fall Chinook and Klamath River fall Chinook – California’s two largest Chinook salmon populations. While adult returns of both stocks were well below minimum escapement goals in 2017, and projected abundance for both stocks is modest compared to historic averages, state and federal fishery scientists reported an increase in the number of jacks (two-year-old Chinook) that returned to spawn in 2017. Higher jack returns, as seen in 2017, can indicate the potential for increased abundance of adult (three years old or older) Chinook for 2018 fisheries.

Forecasts presented at today’s annual Salmon Information Meeting suggest there are 229,400 Sacramento River fall Chinook adults in the ocean this year, along with 359,200 Klamath River fall Chinook adults. While the Sacramento River fall Chinook forecast is comparable to last year, there are greater numbers of Klamath River fall Chinook projected to be in the ocean in 2018. Fall Chinook from these runs typically comprise the majority of salmon taken in California’s ocean and inland fisheries.

The effects of the recent drought are still impacting California’s salmon populations. Outbound juvenile Chinook suffered unusually high mortality because of low flows and high water temperatures in both the Sacramento and Klamath watersheds in 2014 and 2015. Unsuitable river conditions, coupled with persistently poor ocean conditions during the same period, resulted in very low numbers of adult Chinook returning to spawn in both the Klamath and Sacramento River basins in 2017.

Over the next two months, the Pacific Fishery Management Council will use the 2018 fall Chinook ocean abundance forecasts, in addition to information on the status of endangered Sacramento River winter Chinook, to set ocean sport and commercial fishing season dates, commercial quotas and size and bag limits.

At the same time, fishery managers with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will be working to develop a suite of recommendations for the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) to consider on 2018 fishing seasons, size limits and bag limits for Chinook salmon river fishing in the Klamath/Trinity and Sacramento River basins. For more information, please visit the FGC Sport Fishing Regulations website.

For more information on the process for setting the California ocean salmon season or for general information about ocean salmon fishing, please visit the Ocean Salmon Project website. For the latest ocean salmon season regulations, please call the CDFW ocean salmon hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the National Marine Fisheries Service salmon fishing hotline at (800) 662-9825.

For the latest inland salmon season regulations in the Klamath/Trinity basin, call (800) 564-6479, and in the Central Valley, please visit the CDFW Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations website.

Weekly Water and Climate Update: Recent storms increase Pacific Northwest snowpack

From the NRCS/USDA:

The Natural Resources Conservation Service produces this weekly report using data and products from the National Water and Climate Center and other agencies. The report focuses on seasonal snowpack, precipitation, temperature, and drought conditions in the U.S.

Three to four feet of snow fell in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest this week, boosting the already healthy snowpack in the north and adding to the low snowpack in the southern part of the range. The percent of normal increase for the week ranged from near normal to well over 500% of normal at SNOTEL sites, and cold temperatures increased snow accumulation at the lower elevations and valleys. The Water Year 2018 snowpack jumped nearly 20% in the region, with increases also seen in the northern Rockies of Idaho and Montana. Photo courtesy: Jolyne Lea, NRCS/NWCC.

Click here to read the report.

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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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