Mortality of juvenile salmon and other native fish is known to be extremely high in the vicinity of the Tracy Fish pumps and at the federal pumps in the south Delta. Small fish get pulled into these facilities and larger predators prey on them. Numerous actions have been attempted over many years to alleviate the predation mortality problem. This project proposes a much more aggressive program to remove and relocate predatory fish. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation plans to test an electronic device to remove and relocate predators in and around the pumps. Another option is to bubble CO2 gas in the area causing the predators to float to the surface where they can be retrieved and relocated.
In surrounding areas outside the pumps, an aggressive hook and line removal is proposed for sport fishermen. An incentive for this should be considered. If this does not work well enough, a commercial fishing contract should be considered. The months of January through May should be targeted because those months generally represent when the largest numbers of listed and non-listed salmon are present. The benefits to salmon survival from this project are likely to be very high if the estimated current loss of 25 percent or more can be substantially reduced. This project along with completion of the net pen salvage project (D.17) should show dramatic results.