Petaluma, CA - Big reductions in water releases from the federal government's Shasta and Keswick dams on the Sacramento River are poised to wipe out a major part of the Chinook salmon run, according to a statement from the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA).
"The federal Bureau of Reclamation, which controls Shasta dam, is the responsible party," the group stated. "A state water data website says water releases are forecast to decline by 14.5 percent between November 21 and November 29. The loss of this water could kill up to a third of the wild fall run salmon eggs, according to one knowledgeable source."
The Sacramento River is now full of spawning salmon and the eggs of salmon that spawned in the last few months. In order to hatch, these eggs must continue to remain submerged in water under 57 degrees. Reducing water releases to the Sacramento River from Lake Shasta "will expose many salmon eggs to air which will kill them," according to the GGSA.
"The salmon being killed are naturally-reproducing wild salmon, not hatchery salmon," the GGSA said. "Restoration of wild fish are of special concern to the Golden Gate Salmon Association and other salmon advocates including state and federal fish agencies."
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