The Stanislaus County Insider

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 canít grow crops without water, but our water situation isnít just about crops, itís about our drinking water and how much we will pay for it.  Itís 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 arenít 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 theyíre 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 Serviceís  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 ďpredation plays a large role in the survival rates of out-migrating salmon.Ē 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. For more on salmon restoration check out  Save the Stan website.
Thereís no question man has played a roll in the salmon/trout demise. On the Stanislaus River alone there multiple dams. On the San Joaquin there are 8 dams and underground tunnels, along with 8 powerhouses. Salmon are getting caught in a maze of canals and dying in strange places, such as the edge of the Sacramento rice fields. To insinuate that the problem with salmon die offís can be solved by releasing 40% more water, is insulting. The only thing it will do is create a state of emergency in our area.
For more information on the impact of the states water grab and how you can help, visit

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, you can do it