Enviros Say Time Running Out To Save Endangered Salmon In Sacramento R.

"As the extreme drought causes various agencies to squabble over dwindling water supplies, conservationists say the state is still not doing enough to prevent an endangered run of salmon from dying in the Sacramento River.

At issue is how the federal Bureau of Reclamation manages water flows from Shasta Lake into the Sacramento River, which is both the spawning grounds for chinook salmon and the main water source for Central Valley farms. If the bureau releases too much water to irrigation districts, the river level could drop low enough and warm enough to kill off 50% of the eggs of endangered winter-run chinook salmon, the ones that migrate from the Pacific in winter and spawn from April to August.

Those conditions could also harm the fall-run chinook that are part of the commercial fishery, which migrate in fall but spawn soon after the winter-run. But if more water is kept in the reservoir, more cold water can be released over the summer and fall when fish spawn."

Tara Duggan reports for the San Francisco Chronicle May 30, 2021.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 05/31/2021