[env-trinity] Chico ER: Put water to local use first

Clark Tuthill cltuts at att.net
Sat Aug 17 09:50:14 PDT 2013

Inconvenient truths abound. let's go back to the winter of 2011-2012.
Drought throughout  the west, and California certainly.  Only in Trinity
county did we have a "normal " rainy season? Numbers were  "managed" to show
a "normal" year.  Restoration and BOR released to much water out of Trinity
Lake. One wonders about the validity of their claims from one season to
another.  Another issue, one that has not been part of any of the current
conversation, is the  current condition of the mouth of the Klamath River.
It is closed down.  Is the water needed to open the river to let the fish in
or cool the water temperature?  Which is it?  Perhaps if the mouth were left
to natures whims, the fish would move in at a slower rate and the river
would not be overwhelmed by these large numbers of returning salmon.  Mr.
Robinsons comments about the flows during pre-dam days are correct.
Inconvenient but true. In late August-September one would see 200cfs or less
going by our home in Poker Bar.  The Trinity flows are based on snow runoff
and by late summer, the snow  is gone from the back country.  Prior to the
construction of Trinity Dam, the waters on the entire Trinity river drainage
had warmed and flows dropped dramatically by this time. The fish still made
it.  And in greater numbers. Let's look at another inconvenient truth. The
west side on the San Joaquin Valley is, by nature, a wasteland. Prior to
getting CVP water in the 1960's, the best crop in  that area were tumble
weeds.  That is a fact because I had to be careful of them when  driving
Hwy. 41 between the coast and Fresno. Oh yes, Jack Rabbits did pretty well
out there also.  So, you folks are making a pretty damn good living from our
North State water. Quit your bitching.  The bottom line here is the water.
It is an important resource to all of us. The 2000 ROD gave a lot of water
back to the Trinity River system. And, rightfully so.  BOR and the TRRP
(restoration) had best do a better job of "honest" management or they could
lose what has been gained after such a long battle.  You folks to the south:
there is only so much water up here. If you want to farm a wasteland,
consider reviving the desalinization plant projects. There is a construction
remnant left from years past on the central coast. 


From: env-trinity-bounces+cltuts=att.net at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
[mailto:env-trinity-bounces+cltuts=att.net at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us] On
Behalf Of Paul Catanese
Sent: Saturday, August 17, 2013 7:06 AM
To: Robinson, Eric
Cc: env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
Subject: Re: [env-trinity] Chico ER: Put water to local use first


Eric should be commended for telling an inconvenient truth. No one want
salmon to die other than Mother Nature occasionally.  Be careful what you
ask for when dams are removed. In addition what impact does this water have
other species other than chinook salmon such as steelhead and coho? Would we
not be artificially changing the timing of their return? 

I would imagine that having less nets in the water or none at all for one
year would save a lot of salmon. I live on this river and guide it and have
a vested interest in more water but how can one argue for a natural free
flowing river then ask for a wall of water in August. Seems unnatural to me.


With all the money going to restoration and tribes and the building of
canneries  one has to scratch his head about the science behind this
proposal for augmented flows and perhaps call it politics instead. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 16, 2013, at 10:20 PM, "Robinson, Eric" <erobinson at kmtg.com> wrote:

The CVP's Trinity River Division already releases more water into the
Trinity River and lower Klamath River during late summer and fall than would
be there in a state of nature.  Without the water storage developed by the
the CVP's Trinity River Division, Trinity River and lower Klamath River
flows would be lower than they are now.  The CVP's Trinity River Division
already is making conditions better for fall-run Chinook salmon in the lower
Klamath River.  


Remember, the Trinity River Restoration Program Record of Decision (TRROD)
adopted in the year 2000 established a fishery flow release schedule under
which 453,000 acre-feet of water is earmarked for fall-run Chinook salmon
restoration and maintenance in 2013 (a "dry" year under the TRROD fishery
flow release schedule).  The Restoration Program has discretion in how to
use each year's TRROD water.  They make their decision how to use that water
in early spring each year.  The large fall-run Chinook salmon return and
dry/low-flow hydrologic conditions were known to the Restoration Program
when they set the 2013 flow release schedule.  Despite that, the Program
elected not to use any of the 453,000 acre-feet for a late summer/fall pulse
flow to address the disease risk issue now being cited as requiring a pulse


That is not "legal mumbo jumble . . . ."  Those are the inconvenient facts
that are ignored by those spinning fictional narratives decrying the federal
court's rulings restraining the excess CVP storage release.



From: env-trinity-bounces at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
[mailto:env-trinity-bounces at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us] On Behalf Of Patrick
Sent: Friday, August 16, 2013 11:17 AM
To: Ara Azhderian; Tom Stokely; env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
Subject: Re: [env-trinity] Chico ER: Put water to local use first

Wow, what a bunch of legal mumbo jumble BS. Bottom line: we were willing to
share our resources with the citizens of California, but for whatever
reason, slight of hand, or any other legal tactic, the water resources of
the Klamath-Trinity watersheds are completely over-allocated, and any
out-of-basin 'water rights' need to be adjudicated and brought into a
reality based sustainable position. Farming in a desert, how unsustainable
is that. Ah, there is that word, sustainable. No worries, the United Nations
is moving in next week. Bottom line though: we want our water back.





From: Ara Azhderian <mailto:ara.azhderian at sldmwa.org>  

Sent: Friday, August 16, 2013 8:53 AM

To: Tom Stokely <mailto:tstokely at att.net>  ;
env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us 

Subject: Re: [env-trinity] Chico ER: Put water to local use first


Thanks Tom,


Here's another perspective to consider from the Chico Enterprise-Record
editorial comments section:


The judge's decision has nothing to do with north state or south state water
"desires." There are quantities set aside for both under federal law. What
is in question is whether or not the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation can take
more water than the law provides. Reclamation had more than 400,000
acre-feet of water, enough to farm about 160,000 acres or to meet the daily
needs of 800,000 Californians, to use for fishery protection this year.
Rather than properly plan to legally provide supplemental flows to minimize
the effect of diseases that exist on the Klamath River on an expected near
historic number of salmon returning to spawn, they choose instead to try and
take this water from other legal uses including protection of endangered
species, management of waterfowl, clean power generation, recreation,
industry, daily human needs, and, yes, farming. Regarding the question of
what the judge's ruling means for the future, northern California residents
should take comfort from a decision to not allow an illegal infringement
upon water rights to occur.

Mike Wade
California Farm Water Coalition


env-trinity-bounces+ara.azhderian=sldmwa.org at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
[mailto:env-trinity-bounces+ara.azhderian=sldmwa.org at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca
.us] On Behalf Of Tom Stokely
Sent: Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:55 PM
To: env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
Subject: [env-trinity] Chico ER: Put water to local use first


Editorial: Put water to local use first



Chico Enterprise-Record

Posted:   08/15/2013 12:41:01 AM PDT

Our view: A judge shouldn't allow this year's salmon to be sacrificed for
next year's crops in the distant San Joaquin Valley.

In a shocking decision that should make all Northern Californians wary of
those in the south state who covet our water, north state water needs are
taking a backseat to south state desires.

Let's hope this is just temporary insanity. The federal court, even though
it's based in the San Joaquin Valley, should be able to figure out that this
year's salmon, not next year's crops, are a more pressing concern.

For now, San Joaquin Valley farming interests have won out. The massive
Westlands Water District and a couple of others filed a lawsuit challenging
the federal government's release of water from Trinity Lake to help salmon
downstream of where the Trinity River runs into the Klamath River.

A decade ago, tens of thousands of salmon died in the lower Klamath during a
drought. Low flows and warm water contributed to the killing. The federal
government hoped that releases of cold water from Trinity Lake would help
matters this year.

But the San Joaquin Valley water district thinks the water many hundreds of
miles away belongs to its farmers, not to the North Coast residents and
their salmon. Much Trinity Lake water - too much in our opinion - is already
piped down to the San Joaquin by our state's convoluted plumbing system.
It's sent through a mountain into Whiskeytown Lake, into Clear Creek, then
the Sacramento River, which allows Westlands to suck more water out of the

That whole Rube Goldberg contraption works just fine until there's a dry
year, then everybody starts fighting and the Westlands farmers forget the
water really isn't theirs to begin with.

They sued to stop the releases, which were supposed to begin Tuesday. A U.S.
District Court judge from Fresno agreed to halt them, at least until Friday.
Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill said holding off for a few days would allow the
court to "consider a reply and perform a more measured analysis of the

Maybe three days without colder water won't kill any adult salmon. We'll
see. But we're surprised the judge would take that risk.

Let's hope the "measured analysis" includes the fact that the salmon runs
were in poor shape just a few years ago, and anglers were restricted from
fishing until the salmon stocks recovered. We see no reason San Joaquin
Valley growers shouldn't have to make similar sacrifices during a drought.
There's never been a guaranteed water supply to them, nor should there be.
They decided to plant in an arid area augmented by imported water.

The farmers aren't worried about water in the next couple of months, like
the salmon are. Harvest is upon us. They don't need more now. Rather,
they're concerned that lowering the lake this summer could make it harder to
fill this coming winter. But this year's salmon should take precedence over
next year's cotton and grapes, because it might indeed be a wet winter.
Don't sacrifice the salmon on account of unpredictable Mother Nature.

Beyond that, though, it makes us wonder what would happen if Gov. Jerry
Brown built the twin tunnels he is advocating. In a dry year, would
everybody south of the delta believe they owned the water that comes from
the north? Would they tell us we need to sacrifice a few fish in our rivers
so they could have more water? Or that we should fallow our crops so they
can grow theirs? Yeah, probably - and that's why we don't like the idea.

# # #





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