California, Inc. wetdream ... "extirpation" of the Delta smelt

Submitted: Apr 21, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 California Inc. wetdream

We haven't used the term much since the building boom when all "leaders" spoke with one voice, but we can guarantee there is singing and dancing for joy going on in the headquarters of Cal Inc., the directorate of federal, state and local elected officials, federal, state and local resource agencies, agribusiness,Valley water and irrigation districts,  the oil industry and finance, insurance and real estate.  Although they can blame it all on Mother Nature and Her drought, because it is in the DNA of government to forget, evade, avoid and deny the very existence of any accountability for what law directs it to do, the Delta smelt was done in by ruthless overpumping for agriculture and Bay Area and Southern California residents and the extremely expensive, complex, sophisticated and very professionally huckstered denial of the failure of Delta management. The failure happened because everyone with any accountability spent more public resources on avoiding, evading and denying responsibility than they did doing the jobs for which they are paid. Well paid.

We were particularly enthralled by the Punch and Judy Show between fat, loud-mouthed bums in Congress like Pombo and Cardoza yelling at agencies squealing and scattering at the sound of their thunderous footfalls. But as we learned to listen more closely to the squeals of agencies charged with enforcing environmental law and regulation, we found they were squealing with joy to be relieved of the burden of doing their jobs.

Result: California: 40,000,000

            Delta smelt: --->0

-blj

4-18-15

Stockton Record

News worsens for rare Delta fish

by: The Record

http://www.recordnet.com/article/20150418/NEWS/150419726/101094/A_NEWS

They spent four days searching 40 sites throughout the Delta.

And how many Delta smelt did state researchers find?

One.

The survey earlier this month is the bleakest showing yet for the smelt, an imperiled finger-long fish whose poor health reflects on conditions in the Delta as a whole as the drought drags on.

Typically, dozens of smelt are found during the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s April survey. Just three years ago, in fact, the researchers found 143 smelt.

Peter Moyle, a leading expert on California’s native fishes, said in an email this week that this year’s April results are “shocking but not unexpected.” Moyle previously has warned that California should prepare for the extinction of the species.

It’s not unusual for fewer smelt to be found later in the spring, possibly as adults die off after spawning, Moyle said.

But it’s simply “sad” to see that no smelt were found in 39 of the 40 locations sampled, Moyle said.

While the areas surveyed represent only a small fraction of the smelt’s total habitat, Moyle said the surveys target where fish are most likely to be as they gather and spawn.

“The main hope now for the smelt is that some of these remaining fish spawned successfully and the young will survive for a year despite unfavorable conditions,” he wrote.

Smelt have been declining for more than a decade, but the drought makes matters worse.

Less flow through the Delta means a saltier estuary; smelt need relatively fresh water for breeding purposes. When they don’t find that in the western Delta, they move farther east, into areas where they are more likely to fall prey to predatory fish or become exposed to pollution or diversion pumps.

Struggling to balance environmental needs against “substantial human suffering,” state officials bypassed some of the water-quality requirements for smelt and other species last year and again this year. Skirting those rules likely would harm fish, they found, but not to an unreasonable extent.

Environmentalists disagree. The latest survey results make it likely that the debate will continue.

 

 

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