[acn-l] ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 3/30/01<~~ (fwd)

PETER.UNMACK at asu.edu
Mon, 02 Apr 2001 18:30:36 -0700 (MST)

From: FISH1IFR at aol.com
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 19:59:49 EDT
Subject: ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 3/30/01<~~
To: AFS at wyoming.com, ACN-L at pinetree.org, crab-l at ios.bc.ca,
fishhabitat at mail.orst.edu, salmon at riverdale.k12.or.us


VOL 3, NO. 13 30 MARCH 2001

WANGER'S DECISION: The decision by Fresno Federal District
Court Judge Oliver Wanger on the injunction filed to stop the return of
water to the Trinity River now appears to be a disappointment (see
Sublegals 3:12/02). Rains last weekend bumped the status of the Trinity
from 'critically dry' to 'dry'- a change that in normal implementation of
the Record of Decision (ROD) would mean an additional 113,000 acre
feet (af) from the pre-ROD flow of 340,000 af. However, Wanger ruled
that the Trinity would receive the amount of water allotted for a
critically dry year, only a 29,000 acre feet increase. Therefore, due to
litigation by the Westlands Water District 84,000 fewer acre feet of
Trinity water continues to be diverted into the Sacramento River and
pumped out of the Delta. According to a 23 March article in the San
Joaquin Record, these State Water Project (SWP) pumps have killed
upwards of 19,000 juvenile winter-run chinook salmon (see Sublegals
3:12/01) and continue to send water at full capacity to Southern
California. Presently, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS),
the agency responsible for salmon protection, has taken no action
against the operators of the pumps.

PRESSURE: Agencies proposing minimum lake levels for two species
of ESA-listed fish in Upper Klamath Lake and minimum flows through
Iron Gate Dam to help prevent the extinction of downriver coho salmon
are now under intense political pressure to throw out the science so that
federally subsidized water can be delivered to Klamath Irrigation Project
irrigators (Sublegals 3:12/04) in what is now the worst drought on
record for Klamath Falls. In past years major fish kills in both the
upper and lower parts of the basin have resulted from irrigation
withdrawals in what is already a badly over-appropriated system. The
situation is exacerbated by the fact that the Bureau of Reclamation
failed to take measures required to protect fish in the previous 1992
Biological Opinions, such as screening water diversions. Poor water
quality and reduced flows through the Klamath Project dams have
resulted in huge economic losses to the west coast commercial fishing
industry in ports from Florence, OR to Ft. Bragg, CA as well as triggered
closures both north and south of the Klamath Management Zone in
order to protect weakened Klamath River salmon runs. Water quality in
the Klamath River is now so bad that the entire river has now been listed
as "water quality limited," from its headwaters to the ocean, under the
Clean Water Act. PCFFA testified before the Water and Power
Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
on the huge impact of Klamath Project operations on coastal fisheries in
Washington, DC on 21 March (see the PCFFA Home Page at:
www.pcffa.org ).

On 14 March Senator Gordon Smith, joined by Representatives
Wally Herger and Greg Walden, wrote to Secretary of Interior Gale
Norton asking that the proposed BiOps be delayed or thrown out. On 26
March, Klamath Project irrigators organized protest rallies and packed
what was intended to be a small scale problem solving meeting in
Klamath Falls. On 29 March, Oregon Senator Gordon Smith wrote
directly to President George Bush asking his personal involvement,
claiming that "the farmers in the Upper Klamath Basin have been under
siege for the last eight years by the previous Administration, which had
a decided bias against irrigated agriculture. Added to the natural drought
is a regulatory drought that could leave them with no water for their
crops. " Smith's letter also claimed that "there are no biological
justifications or goals given for actions being required by the agencies"
and asked the President to "do everything you can to avoid a regulatory
drought in Klamath Falls that will destroy a way of life forever." Smith
also called on the President to refer a supplemental appropriations bill
for drought disaster relief for farmers to Congress in the near future, a
move that has been opposed by Republican leadership fearing that
introducing additional spending bills would undercut President Bush's
efforts for a very large tax reduction. As a result, it may in fact be
much harder for farmers to obtain drought relief from this
Administration than it was from the last one.

Regional agency decision-makers have been called to an emergency
meeting in Washington, DC with higher up Department of Interior and
Commerce officials on Sunday, 1 April, with involvement by the White
House also expected. The NMFS Draft Biological Opinion chronicles many
of the serious lower Klamath water quality problems directly attributable to
or exacerbated by the Klamath Irrigation Project and is available on the web
at: http://www.mp.usbr.gov/kbao/esa/draftcohobo.pdf

HYDROPOWER SPENDING: Two senate bills, SB 102 and SBX 12,
were introduced by Sen. Maurice Johanneson (R-Colusa) in the
California Legislature and will be voted on in the Senate Energy,
Utilities, and Communications Committee in the next few weeks. These
bills allocate $8 billion dollars of revenue bonds towards the
construction of new dams. The development of these new hydropower
facilities will do nothing to alleviate the state's current energy problems.
Additionally, the best, most effective dam sites have already been used
and the remaining locations are not ideally suited for dam construction.
To contact your senator about this bill, refer to their web page at
www.senate.gov or address correspondence to the Committee Chair,
Sen. Debra Bowen. For further information on action to oppose the bill,
contact Maureen Rose at Friends of the River, (916) 442-3155.

March, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission agreed to waive fish
passage requirements for five major hydropower dams on North
Umpqua River, in return for promises of other efforts to improve fish
habitat and mitigation for lost access. For more information on the
Commission's decision, see: http://www.dfw.state.or.us and go to the
main Habitat Division page.

Under Oregon law fish passage is required unless the Commission
provides a specific waiver based on a finding that the proposed
mitigation alternative would result in more benefits for fish than would
passage. The law, however, has been sporadically applied over the years
and a number of dams have been approved in Oregon in the past without
passage or mitigation. Worse, there are two fish passage statutes on the
books in Oregon which contradict each other. In response to a growing
problem as more and more dams come up for relicensing, the Oregon
Legislature last session convened a Fish Passage Legislative Task Force
which has now completed its report and has proposed a consensus bill to
reconcile contradictory fish passage statutes and to provide mechanisms
for retrofitting existing dams which are not in compliance, on an
organized basis. PCFFA's Northwest Regional Director Glen Spain sits
on this Task Force. The Task Force's consensus bill will be presented
as amendments to H.R. 2540 in a hearing scheduled for 9 April at 1300
HRS before the Stream Restoration and Species Recovery Committee of
the Oregon Legislature in Salem, OR. PCFFA supports the Task Force's
consensus amendments and the amended bill enjoys broad support. For
more information on the Task Force or the bill, contact Glen Spain,
PCFFA Northwest, (541)689-2000 or by email to: fish1ifr at aol.com.
For information on the bill and scheduled Committee hearing go to:

HEALTH RISKS: An unlicensed chemical used by fish farmers as a
fungicide and disinfectant on trout and salmon eggs could pose an
increased risk for mutation in rats and mice. The WorldCatch news
network reported that in a U.S study on malachite green, "severe effects
in the cells and organs of rats and mice" were described. While the
UK's Food Standards Agency has neglected to ban the chemical because
no direct ties to human health have yet been proven, the Minister of
Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food (MAFF) is expected to introduce
tougher regulations regarding the use of malachite green this year.
Aside from risks to the consumer, there is also concern about the long-
term health of fish-farm workers with extended exposure to the
chemical. For the full text of the article go to: www.worldcatch.com

While farmed fish are causing alarm, Researchers at the Pediatric
Academic Society meeting in Boston last week reported that dietary
supplementation with fish oil can alleviate chronic headaches in
adolescents, the World Catch news network reported. During treatment,
87% of the test patients reported a reduction in headache frequency. For
full text of the report go to www.worldcatch.com

The Fish Information and Services news network reported on 29 March
that the disease Columnaris may cause a die-off of adult spring and fall
Chinook in the Rogue River of western Oregon. The disease, which
typically attacks the gills and respiratory system of fish, is often
associated with warm water temperatures. With mortalities being
greatest downstream of Lost Creek Reservoir and Gold Ray Dam in the
Rogue Canyon, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
biologists, working with other state and federal agencies, will evaluate
strategies and develop a final plan for using water stored in Lost Creek
Reservoir in an attempt to reduce the risk of mortality to the salmon.
Low stream flow and the likelihood that the reservoir will not fill will
limit the agencies' ability to provide good migration conditions for the
migrating chinook. For the full text of the article go to:

MEETING: The California Fish & Game Commission will meet 5-6
(Thursday-Friday) April in Monterey, CA. At its Thursday session, the
Commission is scheduled to cover a variety of issues including:

*Receipt of Department Status Report on the Channel Islands
Marine Ecological Reserve Proposal.

*Receipt of Department Status Report and Recommendation on
Petition to list Coho Salmon north of San Francisco as an
Endangered Species candidate.

*Update on State Water Resources Control Board's Decision on
the Yuba River.

On Friday the Commission will take up, among other things, consideration
of adoption of proposed changes to:

* Klamath-Trinity River Salmon Regulations.

*Consideration of Adoption of Proposed Changes to Ocean
Salmon Sport Fishing Regulations.

*Consideration of Adoption of Proposed Changes to Establish a
Control Date for Limiting the Use of Traps and Other Gear
Types in the Nearshore Commercial Fishery.

The meetings will be held in the Big Sur Room of the Hilton, 1000
Aguajito Road in Monterey. For more information, go to:

OCEAN SALMON FISHERIES: The Pacific Fishery Management
Council (PFMC) and its advisory entities will meet 1-6 April in
Sacramento to address marine reserves, habitat management issues, and
management of fisheries for salmon, groundfish, coastal pelagic species
and Pacific halibut. The meeting will be held at the Red Lion Hotel,
1401 Arden Way, Sacramento, CA 95815; telephone: (916)922-8041.
For more information on the meetings, call the Council office at
(503)326-6352 or check their web page at: www.pcouncil.org

AND SCIENTISTS" SEMINAR: On Wednesday, 4 April, the
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Monterey Bay Aquarium,
and the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation will host a seminar by
David Dobbs, author of "The Great Gulf". Dobbs will be describing the
challenges of both Federal fisheries scientists and the Gulf of Maine's
groundfish fishermen as they attempt to resolve their differences. The
presentation is free to the public, although RSVPs are recommended,
and will be held in the Auditorium of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, 886
Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940. For more information and RSVPs
contact Aaron King, (831)647-4257.

March Oregon Governor Kitzhaber declared Klamath County in a
drought emergency by Executive Order 01-01, available on the web at:
http://www.governor.state.or.us/governor /press/ p010328b.htm. This
paves the way for state disaster relief funds and agency resources to be
brought to bear to relieve Klamath Irrigation Project farmers who will
likely be without water in this record drought year. Governor Kitzhaber
also wrote to Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman asking for a similar
federal disaster declaration which would open the way for federal relief
funds. PCFFA has strongly supported efforts to get Upper Klamath
Basin farmers monetary drought relief, including cash payments for the
purchase of water from willing sellers, a program that is currently
grossly underfunded. So far there has been little attention to this issue
by California Governor Gray Davis, although northern California's
Siskiyou and Modoc Counties are also suffering from drought, and many
farmers in Siskiyou County also have received Klamath Project water
which now does not exist.

PESTICIDES: A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in San
Francisco could restrict the herbicides and pesticides currently allowed
into waterways. In 1998, Headwaters Inc. and the Oregon Natural
Resources Council (ONRC) sued the Talent Irrigation District for
applying an aquatic herbicide without obtaining a National Pollutant
Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit from the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA). In 1996, upon application of the herbicide,
over 92,000 juvenile steelhead were found dead in a creek downstream
from a leaking canal waste gate. The district court ruled in favor of the
Irrigation District. However, on 12 March 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Judge Robert Boochever ruled that the canals are 'waterways' under the
jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act and therefore require the user to
acquire a NPDES permit. This ruling could have implications on the
pesticides used in emergency control of the glassy-winged sharpshooter
and other herbicides used by timberland owners.

THE 'ENERGY CRISIS': The US Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC), the federal agency which licenses hydropower
dams, is once again holding hearings on the west coast on ways "to
remove obstacles to increased electricity generation." In response to the
energy crisis, FERC recently issued a 14 March "Order Removing
Obstacles To Increased Electric Generation and Natural Gas Supply in
the Western US (Docket No. EL01-47-000)." This order specifically
invites current hydro license holders to suggest ways electrical
production could be "streamlined" and "made more efficient" through
changes in existing licenses. Potential obstacles or constraints identified
by FERC include minimum instream flows, ramp rates, reservoir
fluctuation controls and other critically important environmental
protections for fish and wildlife. License holders are pushing FERC to
modify current licenses on a fast track basis to eliminate many instream
protections. Only two hearings will be held: 9 April at the Airport
Holiday Inn, 8439 NE Columbia Blvd., Portland, OR and; 10 April at
the Vagabond Executive, 2030 Arden Way, Sacramento, CA. Both
meetings start at 0900 HRS. For further information please contact Lon
Crow of FERC, (202)219-2651 or go to their website at:
http://www.ferc.fed.us/news1/pressreleases/mkts.pdf. For additional
information also contact Brett Swift of the Hydropower Reform
Coalition at (503)295-0490 or bswift at amrivers.org.

OF THAMES ESTUARY: A 2 March article in Fishing News reports
that local English fishermen are concerned about plans to build a new
container terminal in the upper Thames estuary. Plans include a 3000
meter quay at the site of a former oil refinery with 24 hour access by
ships. Although developers promise 10,000 new jobs, local fishermen
believe that this project would be the end for the small fishing fleet out
of Holehaven. Local fisherman Paul Gilson believes that the estuary is
key spawning and nursery grounds for Dover sole. He said, "The sole
migrate upriver to spawn and often overwinter there. This is virgin
ground which is left alone - although we do lose fish to the power
stations - and the damage to the whole ecosystem would be enormous if this
project goes ahead. " An environmental impact statement and public
consultation must be completed prior to approval. If development goes
ahead, the estuary would be dredged to a minimum depth of 14.5 m. for
33 km. and would require continuous maintenance. For the full article
go to: www.fishingnews.com.

A predatory species of shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus, has infiltrated
Michigan waterways via ballast water in freight ships from the United
Kingdom. It has been found in the Great Lakes and even some of
Michigan's inland lakes. The one-inch shrimp is a native of the Ukraine,
and is thought to have been introduced via the British Isles on Great
Lakes shipping freighters. "This is another example of ballast water
discharges, like zebra mussels, which can impact water and marine life
here," said G. Tracy Mehan, director of the office of the Great Lakes of
the Michigan Department Environmental Quality. Mehan said Jamie
Dick, an ecology expert from the Queen's University in Belfast,
describes the freshwater shrimp as "natural born killers." They attack
small fish and feast on native species, some with shells, by biting and
shredding their victims. Mehan said it is not believed that the shrimp
pose a physical threat to humans. The pink and black shrimp apparently
rode across western Europe in ballast waters taken on by freighters.
They traveled 2,000 miles up the Danube into the Rhine and appeared
on the German-Dutch border in 1994. Two years ago, they were in
Holland and believed headed toward Britain, Dick said. They breed up
to 100 offspring. Michael Klepinger, exotic species program coordinator
for the Michigan Sea Grant College Program compared this to the
invasion of the zebra mussel, which showed up in the Great Lakes in
1988 about three years after they were discovered in Finland. Like zebra
mussels, the natural progression of killer shrimp would be to the inland
lakes, Mehan said. For more information you can reach Mike Martindale
at (248) 647-7226 or mmartindale at detnews.com.

REASON BEHIND ENERGY CRISIS: A 25 March article in the New
York Times reports that President Bush has chosen environmentalists as
his scapegoats for the impending energy shortages throughout the
country. To blame, according to the Bush administration, is the so
called "green tape" that has made the process of blocking energy
projects too easy, they say, resulting is an inadequate national fuel
supply. Vice President Dick Cheney, who is leading the
Administration's energy team, described the current situation as
unbalanced, "because it's so easy to stop projects." President Bush's
energy team is preparing an Energy Strategy addressing such issues as
weakening laws currently regulating coal-fired power plant emissions,
flow regimes required for fish protection, state control over drilling on
federal lands, nuclear power plant construction, and drilling in the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (see Sublegals 3:12/22). Reasons for
their anti-green predilection are both personal and political. Bush,
Cheney, and Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans all have histories
with the oil industry and were effected by the restrictions set into motion
by the Clean Air Act of 1970. Additionally, $10 million of the $14
million in recent contributions received by the Republican Party were
from the oil and gas industry. While the technological capability of the
United States has the potential to develop new methods to increase
energy efficiency, Bush's budget calls for cuts in spending for energy
efficiency and renewable energy programs by upwards of 30%. Further
suggestions from the Administration include linking efficiency funding
to royalties from Arctic drilling. For the full text of the 25 March New
York Times article go to: www.nytimes.com

CALIFORNIA: Mr. Naoyuki Tao, an expert in Japanese fisheries
cooperative management, will be visiting Southern California from 9
April to 13 April. Several events are planned for Mr. Tao's visit,
including a dinner and reception in Santa Barbara on 11 April at 19:00
HRS. His visit will be an opportunity for California fishermen
interested in community-based fishery management to learn from a
world authority. To reserve a seat for the dinner or for more information
on the other planned events around Mr. Tao's visit, contact Pete Halmay
at (619) 390-7121.

California Underwater Rocks Work Group of the Harbor Safety
Committee (HSC) and the Full Harbor Safety Committee will be
meeting 3 April in the San Francisco Bar Pilots Office, East End Pier 9,
San Francisco, CA and 12 April at the Port of Oakland, 530 Water St.,
2nd Floor, Oakland, CA. Agendas will be available 72 hours prior to
meetings. For more information contact HSC at (415)441-7988.

OFFICER for PCFFA and IFR: The Pacific Coast Federation of
Fishermen's Associations (PCFFA) and the Institute for Fisheries
Resources (IFR) are seeking a Development Officer to work from their San
Francisco office. This position will be split between the affiliated
organizations. One-half of the position will be devoted to PCFFA and
dedicated to developing and managing fundraising capabilities, including
membership. This Officer will work with the PCFFA Board of Directors and
Executive Director to develop and implement funding programs. The other
half of the position will be devoted to IFR and will entail developing and
managing grant solicitations and fundraising, to be performed in
consultation with its Board of Trustees and Executive Director. For more
information please see the PCFFA web site at: www.pcffa.org. To apply:
please send application including resume, cover letter, and references, due
30 April, 2001, to: PCFFA Attn: Development Position, P.O. Box 29370,
San Francisco, CA 94129.

NOTICE: SUBLEGALS has a new e-mail address. To contact us with
news items or comments please use: ifrfish at pacbell.net .

NEWS, COMMENTS, CORRECTIONS: Submit your news items,
comments or any corrections to Natasha Benjamin, Editor at:
ifrfish at pacbell.net or call the IFR office with the news and a source at
either: (415) 561-FISH (Southwest Office) or (541) 689-2000
(Northwest Office).

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