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Agencies Do Nothing As Scott and Shasta Rivers Go Dry

Below is from Siskiyou County Supervisor Marcia Armstrong, posted 8/27/09. Scroll down for article.
This is BS. It is a drought year. The Governor has declared a state of emergency because water content of snowpack statewide was 66% of normal. Our summer flows are "stored" the previous winter as snowpack. When there is no snow pack, then there is little for summer flows. (We have no dams, lakes or reservoirs for storage.) These people try and use drought years to do a hit piece on Scott Valley ag whenever they can. Obviously, no one is diverting out of the main Scott River for irrigation. On the tributaries where there is some water, the Scott Valley Water Trust has leased water use rights to facilitate flows in critical areas where coho and steelhead may be over-summering. (Chinook left the system in the spring. They do not stick around over the summer.) Here is an article on the trust. http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/news/x2145968279/Program-pays-voluntary-water-diverters-on-Scott-Valley-streams?popular=true  Coho and steelhead young go up these small west side tributaries from the Scott River to spend the summer. They are not in the Scott River in the summer. The water is too hot when summer sun reaches ambient temperatures of more than 100 degrees F.

Precipitation in Fort Jones http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/snowsurvey_p/PRECIPOUT.BSN October 2008 .81 precip 1.50 avg % of average 54% Nov. 1.98 2.90 68% of averageDec. 1.62 4.16 39% of averageJan 2009 .86 4.25 20% of averageFeb.. 3.20 2.80 114% of averageMarch 1.30 2.09 62% of averageApril .23 1.08 21% of average mean daily flow Scott River (no dams with ag)
01/21/2009 196 cfs
02/21/2009 170
03/21/2009 610
04/21/2009 793
05/21/2009 798
06/21/2009 203
07/21/2009 13
08/20/2009 2

Compared with 2008 Scott River
01/21/2009 320 cfs
02/21/2009 562
03/21/2009 791
04/21/2009 717
05/21/2009 1980
06/21/2009 359
07/21/2009 101
08/20/2009 20 compared monthly flows on the Salmon River - no dams no ag - same plummeting flows http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/selectQuery?station_id=SMS&sensor_num=20&dur_code=E&start_date=04%2F21%2F2009+00%3A00&end_date=08%2F21%2F2009+19%3A29&geom =  

04/21/2009 3750
05/21/2009 2550
06/21/2009 743
07/21/2009 252
08/21/2009 98


Agencies Do Nothing As Scott and Shasta Rivers Go Dry

by Dan Bacher August 20, 2009 Indybay

The Scott and Shasta Rivers, major salmon spawning tributaries of the Klamath River, are being sucked dry by irrigators as the Schwarzenegger and Obama administrations do absolutely nothing! Here are all of the details from Erica Terrence, Klamath Riverkeeper.

Photo by Crystal Bowman, Quartz Valley Indian Tribe.

640_hwy3scottriver_1863_u... original image ( 1600x1200)

Klamath Riverkeeper Press Release | For Immediate Release

Contact: Erica Terence, Klamath Riverkeeper, office: (530) 627-3311, cell: (530) 340-5415, erica [at] klamathriver.org

August 20, 2009

Two Northern California Salmon Rivers Go Dry As Spawning Season Begins

Agencies Do Nothing as Irrigators Suck Shasta and Scott Rivers Dry, Stranding Endangered Fish

Fort Jones, CA— In the absence of action by responsible agencies, Klamath River advocates including Klamath Riverkeeper are mobilizing legal and grassroots responses to a water flow crisis of species-exterminating proportionsin the Scott and Shasta tributaries to the Klamath.

Flows in the Scott River bottomed out at an all time record low of less than one cubic foot per second (cfs) this week, according to a United States Geological Survey (USGS) flow gage at Fort Jones-- far below the average of 69 cfs for this time of year. Large areas of the river have gone completely dry, stranding endangered coho salmon as well as Chinook and steelhead in shallow, disconnected pools of water.

The adjacent Shasta River isn't faring much better, with flows as low as 6 cubic feet per second, down from its average of 30 cfs for this time of year. Both streams are critical fish habitat within the Klamath River watershed and are dewatered by excessive irrigation withdrawals in the Scott and Shasta Valleys of far Northern California.

"This is a very critical situation that requires immediate action and so far none of the responsible government agencies—or water users are stepping forward with any plan of action, "said Klamath Riverkeeper Erica Terence. The non-profit river advocacy organization is mobilizing a legal and public outreach campaign to bring attention to this historic flow emergency and push for action that puts water back in the river as soon as possible.

Terence said agencies with the power to put more water back in the river, or at least investigate the water shortage, include the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the California Water Quality Control Board, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's fisheries department (NOAA fisheries) and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG). She urged citizens to raise their voices with each of these offices to demand enough water for fish in the Scott and Shasta.

The Scott and Shata River's record low water levels threaten to wipe out struggling coho and Chinook salmon runs that are crucial to recovering and sustaining the overall Klamath River fishery. The Pacific Fishery Management Council has closed or severely curtailed the Klamaths commercial and sport salmon fishing industries for three of the past four years due to low fish populations.

The rivers flow crisis has also attracted the attention of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermans Associations (PCFFA, the largest trade association of commercial fishermen on the West Coast. "As fishing dependent communities, we are very concerned about the dewatering of the Scott and Shasta Rivers this year. This puts years of local landowners' restoration efforts, costing millions of dollars, at risk. Fish swim in water, not dry riverbeds," Glenn Spain of PCFFA said.

"The Shasta River was once the most productive salmon river for its size in California and the Scott River used to have thriving coho, Chinook, and steelhead runs," Terence said.

If we want to truly ˜Save our Scott and Shasta Rivers, we can't sit by while these rivers literally are sucked dry by irrigators. We need water in the river right now. Fall run salmon are already on their way up the Klamath and need to be able to swim up the Scott and Shasta Rivers to spawn.


For photos, e-mail Klamath Riverkeeper Erica Terence.

More Information, including USGS gage links, can be found on our website at http://www.klamathriver.org

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