BLOG ROUND-UP: California’s resources agencies and the delta smelt’s slide toward extinction; Another threat to winter-run salmon in 2021 – Fall Sacramento River bypass overflows; Reasoning with regulators, benefitting from bureaucrats; and more …

California’s resources agencies and the delta smelt’s slide toward extinction

Dennis D. Murphy writes, “Even that fraction of the public that is the least interested in California’s environmental health likely has heard of the delta smelt — the imperiled fish of the upper San Francisco Estuary. The diminutive fish that’s launched way more than its share of controversy. The fish that appears to be inching closer to extinction by the month.  To be sure, the delta smelt’s numbers are in decline. And the apparent causes are many. The most abundant fishes in the Delta are non-native species that both compete with and prey upon the delta smelt. Contaminants known and unknown poison its waters. Summer-time water temperatures, increasing in real time with climate change, now stress the fish across much of its geographic range. Above all is more than a century of destruction of delta smelt habitat –characterized as reclamation of those landscape areas for the purpose of farming and establishment of now historic communities — and unabated damage to the little that remains. … ”  Read more from the Delta Currents blog here:  California’s resources agencies and the delta smelt’s slide toward extinction

Another threat to winter-run salmon in 2021 – Fall Sacramento River bypass overflows

Tom Cannon writes, “Record late-October Valley rainfall brought Sacramento River flows high enough to overflow into the Tisdale Bypass. Such early-fall overflows are highly unusual. The sudden surge filled nearly 30 square miles of the Sutter Bypass before exiting to the south, back to the Sacramento River. Bypass channels rose 6-10 feet during the storm, with the help of tributary inflows (CDEC gage data not shown), flooding much of the agricultural fields, levee borrow pits, duck club ponds, and natural wetlands and ponds of the Sutter Bypass.  Riding the wave of river flow were juvenile winter-run salmon moving down the Sacramento River. Many spilled over the weir into the Bypass and into flooded habitats. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Another threat to winter-run salmon in 2021 – Fall Sacramento River bypass overflows

SEE ALSO: More on the Delta Threat to Winter-Run Salmon – Fall 2021, from the California Fisheries blog

How dry will 2022 be?

Jay Lund writes, “Last year, Northern California had very little precipitation in October and November, and we wondered if California was entering into a multi-year drought. Today, we know – last year became the 3rd driest year on record for northern California, in terms of precipitation.  This year, Northern California had one of its wettest Octobers (in one two-day storm!), followed by a dry November. This year’s October + November precipitation has been about 16 inches so far. This is eight times what it was last year at this time and twice historical average precipitation for these months. So should we anticipate a dry or a wet year overall for water year 2022 (October 2021- September 2022)? … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here: How dry will 2022 be?

Reasoning with regulators, benefitting from bureaucrats

Shawn Pike writes, “I worked 30 years as a bureaucrat. That gave me first-hand immersion in working with members of the public, especially water right holders who divert water from various streams in Northern California. When it comes to property rights, owners are intensely interested in getting problems solved, fast and hopefully permanently. As a property owner I will get the help of whoever I can and whoever it takes to solve my problem. On the flip side, when I worked for state government, I sure know what worked to get me to work on someone’s problem!  Whenever you divert water, you deal with people. Your neighbors are very interested in what you divert. They want you to use only your water right and hopefully less…and they want every possible law applied against whoever takes more than their legal share. … ”  Continue reading at Water Wrights here: Reasoning with regulators, benefitting from bureaucrats

Tales from the water wars — on persistence

Deirdre Des Jardins writes, “In 2011, I wrote the report, Mendota: Evidence that soil and groundwater salinization is the predominant cause of land fallowing. Eventually Westlands Water District officials admitted that there was over 100,000 acres of land in the District that had been retired from irrigated production. (Westlands’ 2017 Water Management Plan shows that 176,000 acres had been retired from irrigated production.)  In 2014, there were over 200,000 acres of land fallowed in Westlands, due to the drought. I was driving back from a visit to San Diego in my black Ford Ranger pickup. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Research blog here: Tales from the water wars — on persistence

SEE ALSO: Tales from the Water Wars — On Bravery, from the California Water Research blog

What cattle can teach us in 2021

Jackie Taylor writes, “You may be like me, wondering where our country is headed with a new leadership change and a worldwide pandemic. Maybe you were excited for the appointment of the new Commander In Chief or disappointed that a re-election did not occur. Maybe you are voting in the California Recall election or you may think it is a waste of time. Despite all of the mixed feelings in this country and the state of California, there is something that occurred to me on a drive lately: Americans could learn a thing or two from beef cattle.  I know it sounds out there… cattle teaching us things. We are at the top of the food chain, aren’t we? … ”  Continue reading at Water Wrights here: What cattle can teach us in 2021

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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