There's an old saw in journalism: "If your mother says she loves you, check it out."

It's especially sage advice these days. The constant stream of misinformation about California's drought is like a bad game of Whack-A-Mole. Just as one falsehood is struck down, another one pops up: California is flushing 4.8 billion gallons of water down the Stanislaus River to save six fish.

I first heard this from a Central Valley radio host who called to interview me about my column last week about water numbers being distorted. In no time, the inflammatory claim evolved into presumed fact as media outlets picked it up, even presenting online poll questions such as: "Should we use 4 billion gallons of water to save six fish?" Well, when you put it that way.

Shrill online comments soon followed: "Government bureaucrats flushing hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of fresh water into the ocean to help six (yes 6) fish swim to the sea." Actually, 4.8 billion gallons is 15,000 acre-feet.

Read the full story at Sacramento Bee>>

Want to read more about California salmon? Click here...

A collection of stories from guest authors.

Join the Conversation