Thursday January 26, 2017

The Manteca Bulletin –

For years, the Bureau of Reclamation has tried to comply with the Endangered Species Act when it comes to protecting Chinook salmon and steelhead on the Stanislaus River by releasing more and more water.

Legislation signed by President Obama in the waning days of his administration contains specific language requiring federal agencies to work with the South San Joaquin Irrigation District and Oakdale Irrigation District to address the best ways to protect Chinook salmon. Specifically it directs the Secretary of Commerce and the National Marine Fisheries Service to research the impact of non-native predators such as bass on Stanislaus River salmon and to develop a pilot program to address the problem.

The legislation authored by Congressman Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, working in concert with SSJID and OID, could ultimately increase the endangered salmon’s population and reduce water releases that have been ramped up with no back-up research in a bid to improve survival rates.

It is part of what SSJID General Manager Peter Rietkerk has called a “holistic approach” to protecting fish on the Stanislaus while addressing urban, agricultural and environmental water needs.

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