Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Water is the lifeblood of our valley. Proper water management is the key to survival for fish, farmers and city dwellers.
A month long huge spring flush of water down the Stanislaus River was entirely wasted by the Feds and the Bureau of Reclamation! This outdated method of Spring Flush for Salmon Fingerling survival resulted in the loss of the cold water pool in the above reservoirs. A Modesto Bee article also stated that returning adult salmon (12,000 in 2015) will die from high water temperatures before spawning.
In normal water years nature only provides a 1% return of adult salmon. A dismal 1% return of salmon makes no sense when there is a proven method that ensures a 7% or higher survival rate. The proven method was also done this spring on the Mokelumne River. Some 400,000 four inch Salmon Fingerlings with metal tags were trucked from the river hatchery to holding pens in the ocean. This method eliminates all predators in the river system such as Striped and large-mouth Bass.
As of now there is only a trickle of water flowing down the Stanislaus River compared to the huge torrent flowing this spring. The ideal management policy by the Feds should be a sustained even flow to prevent salinity in the Delta. Salmon and Steelhead survival on the Stanislaus River will never get better until a fish hatchery is built. A new fish hatchery is a very small price to pay. Everyone will benefit with a better fishery and water management system.
Bob Van Groningen