State Water Board Staff Recommends More Water for Salmon: GGSA response

For Immediate Release: September 15, 2016

Contact: Michael Coats (707) 935-6203 or michael@coatspr.com

 

State Water Board Staff Recommends More Water for Salmon: GGSA response

 

Statement from Golden Gate Salmon Association executive director John McManus regarding State Water Board San Joaquin action Thursday, September 15:

“After decades of California getting it wrong and driving California’s salmon and fishing families into the dust by diverting the water needed by salmon, today the state water board staff took a historic step to right a wrong.  Let’s hope the water board approves the staff’s recommendations or stronger standards, the Golden Gate Salmon Association sure hopes so.

“Let’s be clear.  Leaving a little bit more water in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries is absolutely benefiting humans since that water will translate into more salmon fishing and salmon for people to eat.  No one should be surprised that salmon and salmon fishing families are being harmed when 80 percent of the San Joaquin River is diverted and never makes it to where nature intended it to go.  The excessive water diversions have killed California’s salmon.  California was a natural paradise until we killed much of it by unwise development and the extreme water diversions on the San Joaquin River and its tributaries are prime evidence.

Dam construction drove San Joaquin River spring run salmon into extinction with no thought at all to the thousands of Californians who rely on salmon to survive.  Now we have a chance to at least save some of the salmon that still survive in the San Joaquin and its tributaries by leaving a little bit of water for them.  Most Californians support leaving enough water in our rivers to keep salmon alive.  Now it’s up to state water board to enforce the will of the majority over the deep pockets of a very few who would dam and divert all of our salmon rivers until salmon are gone forever.”

The Golden Gate Salmon Association (www.goldengatesalmonassociation.org) is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fisherman, businesses, restaurants, a native tribe, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities that rely on salmon. GGSA’s mission is to protect and restore California’s largest salmon producing habitat comprised of the Central Valley river’s that feed the Bay-Delta ecosystem and the communities that rely on salmon as a long-term, sustainable, commercial, recreational and cultural resource.

Currently, California’s salmon industry is valued at $1.4 billion in economic activity annually and about half that much in economic activity and jobs again in Oregon. The industry employs tens of thousands of people from Santa Barbara to northern Oregon. This is a huge economic bloc made up of commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen (fresh and salt water), fish processors, marinas, coastal communities, equipment manufacturers, the hotel and food industry, tribes, and the salmon fishing industry at large.

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