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The Stanislaus County Insider
Happy New Year.
The Stanislaus River is a 65-mile long waterway that flows from the Stanislaus National Forest in the Sierra Nevada, through New Melones
Lake. Downstream from New Melones Dam, the Stanislaus flows through two more dams, Tulloch and Goodwin. Downstream from Goodwin, the
Stanislaus River flows past Oakdale, Riverbank and Ripon, emptying into the San Joaquin River.
The Stanislaus River provides
irrigation water to about 55,000 acres in Escalon, Ripon and Manteca. The Oakdale Irrigation District provides agricultural water
to about 62,000 acres in Stanislaus County and San Joaquin County. Agriculture in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties is worth more
than $6 billion a year. Farming has been a tradition in Stanislaus County for over 150 years, growing over 200 commodities. The
value of agricultural commodities produced last year in Stanislaus County was $3.8 billion. Over 20,000 acres were fallowed
in 2015 due to a lack of water. You can’t grow crops without water, but our water situation isn’t just about crops, it’s about
our drinking water and how much we will pay for it. It’s also about how much money we pay for electricity. Can you afford
to pay more? Do you want to pay more?
The State Water Board is using false information in an attempt to take our water. They claim the salmon population is decreasing
at an alarming rate and the 40% (300,000 acre feet) unimpaired water flow they are requiring from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced
rivers would solve the problem. Not true. If the goal is to save salmon and trout, why aren’t they addressing the fact that an
underwater camera in the Stanislaus River near Riverbank proves the salmon population has more then doubled during the drought? How
can they claim salmon populations are down when they’re actually thriving?
What is really going on here?
The Bay Delta plan,
aka the Twin Tunnels Project is a 15 to 65 billion dollar water grab that seems to have little to do with salmon populations and habitat
and more to do with money and power
. The amount of water the state is trying to take from us, is equal to the amount of water needed
to replace the water the twin tunnels project would send to southern Ca.
A critical component to ensuring the survival of salmon and trout populations is to address the issue of predators. Predators are
one of the biggest concerns.
The National Marine Fisheries Service’s Draft Recovery Plan for salmon and steelhead found
predation to be one of the most important stressors. A study by the California Department of Water Resources found that “predation
plays a large role in the survival rates of out-migrating salmon.” An estimated 95% of young salmon and steelhead are eaten by predators
before they ever reach the Delta. Non-native bass and other predators lurk in the deep pools between Riverbank and the confluence
of the Stanislaus and San Joaquin rivers, preying upon young fish. The South San Joaquin and Oakdale irrigation districts support
efforts to eliminate all predatory fish in the Stanislaus. That includes raising the limit on how many striped bass can be caught-from the Save the Stan website.
For more information on the impact of the states water grab and how you can help, visit...worthyourfight.com
The next meeting is : Jan. 3, 2017, 1001 I St., Second Floor, Sacramento. 9 a.m. This is the final public hearing that the State
Water Resources Control Board will hold on its plan to dramatically increase flows in the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers.
A final decision is expected later in 2017.
UPDATE: The state water board has extended until March 17 the period for the public to comment on its plan to unfairly take billions
of gallons from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers. If you haven't already sent a letter, there's an easy way at SavetheStan.org.