California officials will re-ship millions of young salmon farmed in Central Pacific farms as forecast river conditions suggest the downstream waterways that fish use down will be historically low-lying, rising in heat. because:
The officials said the massive cargo operation was aimed at ensuring “the highest survival rate of young salmon during the perilous voyage to the Pacific Ocean”.
“Unloading young salmon into downstream areas has proven to be one of the best ways to survive the ocean during dry weather,” said Ason Eyson Jul Ulien, controller of the North Central Hunting Network.
California is currently in its second year of winter drought with little rainfall. According to the California Department of Water Resources, this is the fourth driest year in the state, especially in the northern two-thirds of the state.
Considering the risk of a state drought, the reservoir’s record low level prompted Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a regional drought emergency last week for the Russia River basin in the Sonoma-Mendochino state.
More than 16.8 million young salmon will be transported from four Central Valley shipyards to the coastal areas of San Pablo, San Francisco, Crescent and Monterey Bay.
About 146 trucks will be needed to transport the fish.
Federal officials will do the same from one fish farm, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
California’s iconic Chinese salmon need cold water to survive, but the dams have blocked their historic retreat to the cold upstream tributaries of the Sacramento River in Northern California.
Fishing industry և Farmers in the Central Valley are in constant struggle over the water of the same river to maintain their livelihood. Supporters of fish are lobbying for higher water levels, and farmers are lobbying against them so they can draw water to irrigate their crops.
Advocate of fishermen Golden State Salmon Assoc. President John von McManus told the Chronicle he appreciated the extra effort to save the autumn Chinook in a drought.
But he said the problem with salmon was that state federal water officials had allowed too much water to be drained from rivers and streams for agricultural irrigation.
“These river conditions are being exacerbated by the final decision to salmon,” he said.
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.