In response to the precipitous decline of native fisheries, the State of California is looking at solutions to restore some of the freshwater flows that the Delta and fish need. This process is commonly referred to as updating the Bay-Delta Plan. The current focus is on the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River, including the Yuba River. The Yuba to the Bay-Delta connection is critical for Yuba salmon because they depend on both ecosystems to survive.
The State Water Resources Control Board needs to consider the incorporation of Tribal water rights, Tribal Beneficial Uses, and Tribal Ecological Knowledge in the Bay-Delta Plan. The Draft Staff Report should be revised to establish and ensure the protection of Tribal Beneficial Uses, set standards for harmful algae blooms, and address the problem that insufficient freshwater flows are a main factor in destroying native fish habitat and causing these algae blooms. The Plan must guarantee the water’s journey through the Delta to the Golden Gate.
At this year’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival, we will be asking our membership and festival attendees to sign a letter to Governor Newsom and the State Water Board.
We want to make sure, as part of the process to update the Bay-Delta Plan, that enough water flows through the Delta and to the Golden Gate Bridge to protect salmon and other native species.
Through SYRCL’s participation in the River Management Team (RMT), our staff receives monthly updates on the number of Chinook and steelhead utilizing the fish ladders at Daguerre Point Dam. This information is collected using VAKI River Watcher camera systems installed in the ladders, which snaps a photo every time a fish swims past it. The numbers from this last fall-run of Chinook salmon are in, and we are cautiously optimistic.