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Flushing Stanislaus not effective for fish

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POSTED May 10, 2014 1:27 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

The Modesto Bee has had numerous articles and opinions regarding the high flow of water on the Stanislaus River. Farmers and local residents have been reporting the waste of precious water. 

I happen to be a farmer and also an avid fisherman. The Endangered Species Act requires a flush of water to push salmon fingerlings to the ocean. Everyone is now witnessing a flush of 8,000 cubic feet per second of water for a whole month now. Salmon fingerlings should have been easily flushed down in a week with this torrent of water! 

Salmon restoration has already begun on the San Joaquin River, which is dry in certain areas. Baby salmon are raised in pens at Friant Dam. Later, they are transported to pens at the junction of the Merced River to acclimate. Finally, they are moved to pens in San Francisco Bay. This scenario to save salmon is happening on the Sacramento River system as well. The success rate of returning mature salmon to those rivers is greatly improved. The net return of mature salmon by flushing the Stanislaus River for a month is to out of 1,000 fish! Anyone involved in a business, excluding the Federal Government, whose return is 2 out of 1,000 would deem it totally unacceptable! The formula that works is the holding pen idea. 

Over $100 million is received by the State Treasury from fishing license fees. Gov. Jerry Brown is presently diverting carbon taxes fund to fund the train to nowhere. I only hope fishing license fees are spent for what they were earmarked for. 

 

Robert Van Groningen

Manteca

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