Tag Archives: dan bacher

California water wars: Its fish vs big agriculture once again

Citing nine years of research and extensive public outreach, the Board announced the increased water flows were designed to “prevent an ecological crisis, including the total collapse of fisheries,” according to a statement from the Board. “The San Francisco Bay-Delta is an ecosystem in crisis. The Board’s challenge is to balance multiple valuable uses of water—for fish and wildlife, agriculture, urban, recreation, and other uses,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. “Californians want a healthy environment, healthy agriculture, and healthy communities, not one at the expense of the others. That requires the water wars to yield to collective efforts to help fish and wildlife through voluntary action, which the proposed plan seeks to reward.” >click to read<10:39

Record Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Returns Reported on Mokelumne River

For many years after Camanche Dam was built, the Mokelumne River, a major tributary of the San Joaquin River and the Delta, hosted small runs of Chinook salmon. The historic runs of steelhead after the construction of the dam averaged only 100 fish and no steelhead returned to spawn many years. But both steelhead and salmon runs have rebounded in recent years, due to a number of factors. In welcome good news for Central Valley salmon populations, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) report record fall spawning returns of Chinook salmon and steelhead to the Mokelumne River, a tributary of the San Joaquin River.,, The hatchery has received 13,799 adult salmon to date—compared to 4,129 at this point last year—and is expected to break the record return of 18,000 in 2011. click here to read the story 20:33

Low Numbers of Sacramento and Klamath River Salmon Point to Poor Season

Recreational and commercial fishermen attending the annual salmon fishery information meeting in Santa Rosa on March 1 received grim news from state and federal biologists – they will see reduced salmon fishing opportunities in both the ocean and the Sacramento and Klamath River systems, due to low returns of spawning fish to the rivers last fall. The pre-season numbers unveiled by Dr. Michael O’Farrell of the National Marine Fisheries Service estimate only 230,700 Sacramento River fall run Chinook adults and 54,200 Klamath River fall run adults will be in the ocean this year. Biologists noted that both forecasts are lower than those of recent years, with the forecast for Klamath fall run being among the lowest on record. Salmon originating from these river systems typically comprise the majority of salmon caught in the state’s ocean and inland fisheries. Ocean regulatory management for salmon fisheries on the ocean from Cape Falcon in Oregon to the Mexico-US Border is heavily based on these runs. continue reading the article by Dan Bacher here 11:22

Another Broken MLPA Initiative Promise – Commission to Vote on Postponing Marine Protected Area Reviews

The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, one of the most controversial environmental processes in California history, is known for its many broken promises and “inconvenient truths.” On April 13, the California Fish and Game Commission at its meeting in Santa Rosa will consider a plan that postpones scientific assessments that would evaluate whether “marine protected areas” (MPAs) have effectively restored fish populations.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDF) plan proposes to postpone regional scientific reviews of the effectiveness of “marine protected areas” from once every five years, as originally promised, to once every 10 years.  Read the rest here 09:16

Dan Bacher – Sacramento Salmon Ocean Abundance Forecast Is Half Of Last Year’s

800_bodega_bay_sceneryThe federal government last week released its data on the projections for the upcoming ocean and river salmon seasons in California and Southern Oregon — and it’s not looking good.  Commercial and recreational anglers are bracing for further fishing restrictions this season, based on relatively low abundance estimates for Sacramento River and Klamath River fall-run Chinook salmon, the two drivers of the West Coast fishery. The estimate of Sacramento River salmon that can be found in the ocean in 2016 is less than half of last year’s forecast of 652,000 fish. The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), a quasi-governmental body that crafts the seasons and regulations for salmon, groundfish and other fisheries,,, Read the rest here 11:01

Dan Bacher – Crab and salmon fisheries threatened by a ‘historic crisis’

Legislators, members of commercial fishing families, fishing group representatives and Brown administration officials testified about the dire situation that the salmon and crab fishery is in during the 43rd Annual Zeke Grader Fisheries Forum of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture held at the State Capitol in Sacramento on February 11. “This forum works, but the fishermen are not,” said Senator Mike McGuire, Chair of the Committee, in his opening comments. “The salmon and crab fisheries are threatened by a historic crisis. We’re facing a fishery disaster that will impact many families.” “We’ve gone from abundance to scarcity. The crab fishing fleet is sitting at the docks right now,” said McGuire Read the article here 12:16

Dan Bacher: 2010 article warned: MLPA Initiative will do nothing to stop a big oil spill

 I wrote the following article in 2010 warning of the consequences of not protecting the ocean from oil spills, oil drilling, pollution and all human impacts other than fishing and gathering in the “marine protected areas” created under the. This article warned of the consequences of allowing a Big Oil lobbyist and other corporate operatives to oversee “marine protection” in California. Read the rest here  19:59 (photo)

Ocean Salmon Season Will Open April 4 by Dan Bacher

The recreational salmon fishing season is slated to begin in the Fort Bragg, San Francisco and Monterey South regions of the California coast on Saturday, April 4, 2015. In spite of the record drought, the outlook for this year’s season is promising, due to an abundance of both Sacramento and Klamath River Chinook salmon. On March 12, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) adopted three public review options for the 2015 recreational and commercial salmon seasons off the West Coast. Read the rest here 10:01

Ocean Fishermen Say Proposition 1 Would Destroy Salmon Fishery

If you think that the November election doesn’t have anything to do with salmon and other ocean fishing, please think again. The results of this year’s vote on Proposition 1, Governor Jerry Brown’s water bond that bails out corporate agribusiness interests, has EVERYTHING to do with the future of ocean (and freshwater) fishing! Read the rest here 10:00

In Depth, Dan Bacher – Former Marine Life Protection Act science co-chair sentenced to 10 months

A federal judge in San Francisco on May 20 sentenced Ron LeValley of Mad River Biologists, the former co-chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Science Advisory Team for the North Coast, to serve 10 months in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to embezzle over $852,000 in federal funds from the Yurok Tribe. The “marine protected areas” created under the MLPA Initiative fail to protect the ocean from oil spills and drilling, water pollution, military testing, seismic testing, wave and wind energy projects, corporate aquaculture and all other uses of the ocean other than fishing and gathering.  Read more here 15:44

Fishing Groups Ask for Emergency Steps to Save Salmon – Brown and Obama administrations exacerbated impact of drought.

Four fishery conservation groups have asked state and federal fishery and water officials to convene an urgent meeting to save California Central Valley Chinook salmon runs from the drought.  Poor water management of rivers and reservoirs by the Brown and Obama administrations has also exacerbated the impact of the drought. Read [email protected] 20:04

Judge temporarily blocks increased Trinity River flows by Dan Bacher

A federal judge today granted the Westlands Water District and the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority a temporary restraining order (TRO) to block increased Trinity River flows through August 16. The Bureau of Reclamation was going to begin releasing the water from Trinity Reservoir starting today to avert a massive fish kill on the lower Klamath like the one that took place in September 2002, when over 78,000 fish perished due to an outbreak of disease in low, warm water conditions. [email protected]

California State admits traditional management more effective than marine reserves – Dan Bacher

State officials and representatives of some corporate “environmental” NGOs have constantly touted the so-called “marine protected areas” created under the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative as a “science-based” method for bolstering fish and shellfish populations in California. [email protected]

Sacramento River salmon spawning threatened by massive water exports – Dan Bacher

State and federal water officials are apparently now in a rush to deliver water to corporate agribusiness, oil companies and Southern California water agencies, in spite of it being a drought year, as revealed by the latest river release and water export data provided by the Department of Water Resources. [email protected]

Remembering the Klamath River fish kill of 2002 – Dan Bacher

To refresh people’s memories, below is my article about the Klamath River adult salmon, published in September 2002. We cannot allow another big fish kill to take place this year under the Obama administration like the one that occurred under the Bush administration in 2002! [email protected]

Bay-Delta salmon population just one fifth of mandated goal by Dan Bacher

indybay.org -“More than a decade past the law’s deadline, the salmon fishery continues to struggle due, in large part, to excessive pumping of fresh water from the Bay-Delta that deprives salmon of the cold, flowing rivers and healthy habitat they need to thrive,” according to a joint release from GGSA and NRDC.  “After two closed salmon fishing seasons in 2008 and 2009, and a token season in 2010, fishermen are fishing again, but we remain far below the abundant runs required by law,” said Zeke Grader, executive director of Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association and GGSA board member. “Stronger Delta pumping restrictions are paying off but we have to finish the job and get these salmon runs rebuilt.” continued

B.C. Indian Chiefs: Wild salmon is the first and foremost priority by Dan Bacher

“It is completely unacceptable and First Nations cannot continue to stand idly by as the wild salmon runs die off,” said Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs continue reading

Bay Delta Conservation Plan will fail to restore the estuary by Dan Bacher

Tuesday, March 20 was a busy day for Restore the Delta (RTD), a coalition opposed to the Brown administration’s rush to construct massive peripheral tunnels to divert millions of acre-feet of water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to corporate agribusiness, oil companies and Southern California developers.  continue reading

A record 300,000 salmon returned to Klamath River in 2012, by Dan Baucher –

indybay.org The Klamath River saw a record fall Chinook salmon run of 302,108 adults, while the Sacramento River hosted a run of 283,871 adult salmon in the fall of 2012. The preliminary estimates of adult and jack (two-year-old) spawning escapements (returns) to the two systems were recently released by the posting of the “Review of 2012 Ocean Salmon Fisheries on the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) website. Read more

Delta Pumping Restrictions: It’s About Salmon – by Dan Bacher

The Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA), responding to a Brown administration announcement that water supplies from South Delta pumping facilities have been cut significantly to protect Delta smelt, reminded the public and government officials that pumping restrictions are just as much about salmon as they are about Delta smelt.  As salmon go, so goes the water, the health of the Delta and salmon jobs up and down the state, according to GGSA. “While the immediate reason water diversions are reduced in the delta is due to delta smelt being killed at the diversion pumps, the juvenile salmon are also out migrating through the delta now and are being killed by the pumps,” said GGSA president Victor Gonella.  Read more here

Will California Department of Fish and Wildlife live up to its name? by Dan Bacher

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) became the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) on January 1, 2013, but many Californians are wondering whether the controversial agency that presided over precipitous declines of chinook salmon, steelhead, Delta smelt and other species will live up to its title and mission any better than it did under its previous name. Read More

Yurok Tribe Dispute with State over Coastal Access Entangled in Alleged Embezzlement – “fake marine protected areas” (wow)

Dan Bacher, an environmental writer, calls the South Coast region “fake marine protected areas” that shield the ocean from fishing but fail to protect it from “oil spills and drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture, wind and wave energy projects.”

The MLPA blue-ribbon task force that developed the marine plans was originally chaired by Susan Golding, ex-two-term San Diego mayor and former CEO of the Golding Group. She has sat on the boards of 1st Pacific Bank, Avinir Pharmaceuticals and Titan Industries. Others on the panel include Bill Anderson, president and CEO at the nation’s largest owner and operator of waterfront marinas, and Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association, who has repeatedly called for weaker environmental regulations and new oil drilling off the California coast.

The MLPA also takes its share of flack from the sport fishermen and the political right. California Fish and Game Commissioner Daniel Richards, when he was commission president, said, “These radical, left-wing environmentalists want to put up massive reserves to keep people from fishing. It’s all being funded, this takeover of California’s marine resources, by the Packard Foundation, backed by a billionaire with nefarious intentions. They are anti-fishing, anti-hunting, anti-people.”

Early in 2012, the Yurok Tribe discovered it had another reason to be suspicious of MLPA motives. Arrest warrants were issued for three men, including the co-chair of the MLPA Task Force Science Advisory Team, who were suspected of conspiring to embezzle $870,000 from the tribe. Read More

LA Times Greenwashes Marine Life Protection Act Initiative – by Dan Bacher

The LA Times falsely portrays the new closed zones as “undersea parks” when they are anything but. These so-called “marine protected areas” do not protect the ocean from oil spills and drilling, military testing, corporate aquaculture, wind and wave energy projects and all other impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering.  Read More

Protesters rally against fracking as oil industry claims it is ‘safe’ by Dan Bacher

“Last week, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced new lease-sales for Bureau of Land Management lands in California for ‘fracking’ development. Offshore areas are showing up on maps: reservoirs of underwater natural gas deposits, that lie under the ocean off Santa Barbara and Southern California,” he said………….”It’s clear that government and petroleum officials want to ‘frack’ in the very same areas Reheis-Boyd was appointed to oversee as a ‘guardian’ of marine habitat protection for the MLPA “Initiative,” said Gurney………It is beyond shameful that state officials such as Natural Resources Secretary John Laird and MLPA Initiative advocates embraced the oil lobbyist’s questionable role in creating alleged “marine protected areas” on not only the South Coast, but on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.     Read More

Federal law requiring a million salmon is ignored by Dan Bacher

On one historic day in 1992, I marched through the State Capitol Building and adjoining Senate Offices with hundreds of recreational fishermen, commercial fishermen and environmentalists working for the passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA). Arrayed in yellow and green commercial fishing slickers and colorful recreational fishing group shirts and jackets, we carried big banners and signs calling for the passage of the CVPIA and restoration of salmon populations.  We marched by the offices of Senator John Seymour, one of the key opponents of the CVPIA, and the crowd spontaneously erupted in raucus shouts of “No More Seymour, “No More Seymour!” http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/11/22/18726225.php