In 2017, the California State Water Resources Control Board will make a decision that will fundamentally affect rivers and streams that California anglers know and love. This decision could make or break California’s salmon fisheries and the multi-billion dollar commercial and recreational angling economy they support.
The water board’s decision pertains to streamflow and water quality objectives under Phase I of the Bay-Delta Plan. At issue is new proposed flow standards which would double, on average, the amount of water reserved for the environment in the lower San Joaquin River and its primary tributaries.
Even under the proposed new standards, two-thirds of the natural flow of the Merced, Tuolumne, and Stanislaus Rivers would still be diverted, mainly for agriculture.
Trout Unlimited has been working for the past ten years to help improve habitat and flow conditions for Central Valley salmon and steelhead through the long process of developing the Bay-Delta Plan. The proposed new flow standards reflect our science-based position that Central Valley salmon and steelhead need more cold, clean water at critical times of the year than they have been receiving from federal and state water managers.
Read more on the TU Blog.