[acn-l] ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 4/6/01<~~ (fwd)

PETER.UNMACK at asu.edu
Mon, 09 Apr 2001 18:29:48 -0700 (MST)

From: FISH1IFR at aol.com
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2001 15:47:37 EDT
Subject: ~~>FISHLINK SUBLEGALS 4/6/01<~~
To: AFS at wyoming.com, ACN-L at pinetree.org, crab-l at ios.bc.ca,
FishingForum at onelist.com, fishhabitat at mail.orst.edu,
salmon at riverdale.k12.or.us


VOL 3, NO. 14 6 APRIL 2001

KLAMATH, FINAL BIOP ISSUED: In a scathing opinion delivered 3
April, San Francisco US District Court Judge Armstrong ruled that the
Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) failed to follow the law by repeatedly
failing to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on
the impact of the Klamath Irrigation Project on Klamath River ESA
listed coho. Noting that "this failure to reach a final conclusion easily
might be construed as a deliberate (and successful) effort to avoid
formal consultation and a possible 'jeopardy' finding...." the court then
issued a court order prohibiting any further delivery of water for
irrigation until certain instream minimum flows are provided in
accordance with the best available science, or until the Bureau can
complete consultation and develop a scientifically credible operations
plan in accordance with a NMFS Biological Opinion (BiOp) that
minimizes harm to downriver coho. In issuing the injunction, the Court
also noted: "While the Bureau finally did initiate formal consultation,
that consultation is not as yet complete and, given the Bureau's past
performance, there is no guarantee that it will be completed as promptly
as the Act and regulations require." PCFFA and IFR were the lead
plaintiffs in the suit, joined by the Klamath Forest Alliance, Northcoast
Environmental Center, Oregon Natural Resources Council and Golden
Gate Audubon Society. The full 32-page opinion can be obtained in
PDF format at: http://www.eswr.com/klam040301order.pdf

Both NMFS and the US Fish and Wildlife Service have proposed
draft BiOps with recommended measures to protect ESA listed fish in
the Klamath Basin, but both agencies have been under intense political
pressure, including from the White House itself, to find more water for
irrigation in what has become a record drought year (Sublegals 3.13/02,
3.12/04). In an effort to lift the injunction, final BiOps were released 6
April which provide for 70,000 acre-feet of irrigation water mostly at
the east side of the Project, but no water withdrawals from Upper
Klamath Lake, which has a projected inflow this year of less than 29
percent of normal. Water withdrawals of any sort this year come at the
expense of upper lake fish. The final NMFS BiOp also provides for
some reductions of instream flows below Iron Gate Dam from those
called for in the original NMFS draft, and which were termed minimums
necessary to prevent extinction, particularly reductions in April and May
when fry are most vulnerable. However, the instream flow values called
for in the final coho BiOp are still considerably more than originally
proposed by the Bureau and far greater than in most past years.
Oregon's Senator Gordon Smith, who originally asked the White House
to intervene, referred to the decision as a major victory compared to
prior proposals, which would have provided no irrigation water at all,
and Senators Smith and Wyden as well as most interests in the basin,
including PCFFA, support disaster relief for those farmers affected by
cutbacks. The US Department of Agriculture is also trying to expedite
drought and disaster assistance to the basin's farmers. The Final
Biological Opinions, as well as many other documents related to the
Bureau's Klamath Project ESA consultations, can be found at:
http://www.mp.usbr.gov/kbao/esa .

CALIFORNIA ESA: The California Fish and Game Commission voted
unanimously 5 April to accept coho salmon as a candidate for
endangered species status under the California Endangered Species Act
(CESA). The vote had been postponed since the Commission's 2 Feb
meeting at which they failed to have a quorum (see Sublegals, 3:05/11).
Coho will now remain a candidate species for one year prior to being
officially listed. The Commission declined to list coho on an emergency
basis, an action that would have activated immediate "no take" legal
protections. Instead, the current regulations regarding incidental take
will be in effect for 120 days and then reviewed by the Commission. In
a 6 April Associated Press (AP) article, Kathy Bailey of the Sierra Club
said, "It's disappointing there won't be an immediate change in how
operations are conducted. However, it looks like the Board is serious
about doing something." For a meeting summary go to the Commission
web page at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fg_comm/index.html

HIGH LEVEL OF OMEGA-3'S: The WorldCatch News Network
reported on 5 April that according to studies at the U.S Department of
Agriculture's (USDA) Nutrient Data Laboratory, the level of omega-3
fatty acid in wild California salmon is up to 29% greater than previously
found. This fatty acid is thought to reduce the risk of cardiac arrest by
lowering very high levels of triglycerides and inhibiting the formation of
blood clots. Additional benefits may include increased cognitive
functioning and a reduced risk of depression. Salmon season opens 1
May off the California coast. For the full text of the article go to:
www.worldcatch.com under 'Marketing News' or for more information
about omega-3 fatty acids go to the National Fisheries Institute's web
site at: www.nfi.org.

CUTS BACK ON SALMON SPILLS: Citing rainfall at only 57
percent of normal, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) declared
another 'power emergency' on 3 April, a declaration which allows it to
reduce the total flows in the Columbia river called for by the
Endangered Species Act for salmon, in order to instead generate more
power. This reduction of water spilled around the dams comes at a time
when the Spring juvenile salmon migration is beginning, raising the
likelihood of major fish kills this year so that BPA can avoid potential
financial difficulties by having to buy high priced power on the open
market later in the year. Critics of the policy note that neither BPA nor
the other agencies involved have tapped upper river water available
from willing sellers that could continue the spill program with no net
loss of power generation of system flexibility. See:

The agency plan is to barge as many salmon as possible around the
dams this year, instead of keeping them in the river. Halting the spill of
water over the Columbia River dams and instead barging all juvenile
salmon downriver would harm six stocks of endangered or threatened fish,
not greatly effect a seventh and may actually benefit an eighth, according
to a new analysis released 4 April by the Northwest Power Planning
Council. This study is being cited by industrial river users as evidence that
the spill program should be terminated, a conclusion disputed by Tribal,
fishing and conservation groups. See the 5 April Oregonian:
lc_52fish05.frame . Barging and trucking of fish in the Columbia is going
to be the method of choice this year for as many salmon as possible, says
the 31 March Oregonian, in spite of the fact that barging and trucking
salmon has not proved effective in halting declines in the past:

So far, the Bush Administration has shown little interest in adding more
money to federal west coast salmon restoration budgets, and the additional
$438 requested by Oregon's Governor Kitzhaber to, among other things,
implement the recently approved Columbia River salmon recovery plan is
apparently also not in Bush's budget. The Administration, interested in tax
cuts and keeping spending to a minium, apparently has not included any
additional amounts in its 2002 Budget, expected to be released 9 April.
However, failure to include implementation money for the recovery plan,
proposed as the alternative to breaching the four lower Snake River dams,
calls into question the Administration's commitment to that alternative. If
the plan cannot be funded, it will fail. For more information on the budget
issue see the 5 April issue of Oregonian at:

lawsuit filed 2 April against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
seeks tighter regulations on ballast water discharges from ships in U.S.
coastal waters and the Great Lakes. Currently, ships' ballast waters are
exempt from compliance with the Clean Water Act. The Center for Marine
Conservation (CMC), San Francisco Baykeeper, and Northwest
Environmental Advocates (NWEA), the suit's plaintiffs, are three of fifteen
organizations who filed an initial petition in January of 1999 urging the
EPA to revoke the exemption. Ballast water, used for balance by an empty
ship, is discharged when the ship picks up cargo. Species native to the
ship's port of origin are released with the water and have the potential to
colonize the new habitat. Ballast water is to blame for 53% to 88% of the
invasive species introduced into San Francisco Bay. Invasive species have
the potential to affect commercially valuable species through competition
for habitat, food, and other resources. Current problem species include the
Chinese mitten crab, the Asian clam, and the Green Crab. Invasives are the
number two threat to listed species following habitat destruction.

Between 1 Jan and 31 Dec 2000, cargo ships discharged over 7.8
million metric tons of ballast water into California ports. A ballast water
monitoring program was established in January of 2000 in California by
the Ballast Water Management for Control of Non-indigenous Species Act
(AB 703) of 1999, a statewide, multi-agency program under the leadership
of the California State Lands Committee (CSLC). The program hopes to
curb the current rates of invasion, approximately one new species every 14
weeks in San Francisco Bay, through on-board inspections, education, and
development of new ballast water treatment technologies. For more
information, contact Maurya Falkner, project manager, at
falknem at slc.ca.gov or visit the program's website at www.slc.ca.gov

COLUMBIA RIVER CHINOOK: On 1 April the Associated Press (AP)
reported "miraculous" recoveries from disasters of the early 20th century
by sockeye salmon runs in both the Upper Adams and Nadina Rivers of
British Columbia's Fraser River drainage. On the brink of extinction in the
early part of the 20th century, the Upper Adams River early summer
sockeye run numbers are up to nearly 70,000 from 1996's modern high of
25,000. Additionally, Nadina River sockeye spawners, devastated by the
Hell's Gate landslide caused by logging and railroad construction between
1911 and 1913, have more than quadrupled to 194,000 this year from
40,000 in 1996.

Further south, for the first time since closure in 1977 to protect
dwindling runs resulting from poor ocean conditions and construction of
the Snake River dams, the Associated Press (AP) reported on 4 April that
the lower Columbia River is once again open to Chinook fishing, with a
predicted record return of 365,000 spring-run fish, mostly from hatcheries.
Biologists attribute the recovery to massive spring runoffs in 1998 and
1999 concurrent with some of the most biologically productive oceans in
more than a decade. The record run is estimated to contain nearly 40,000
endangered Snake River wild Chinook, a number double that of any
recorded since completion of the Snake River dam complex in 1975. Said
Steve King, salmon fishery manager for the Oregon Department of Fish &
Wildlife, about this year's abundant run, "The stars just all came together."
However, any spawning gains from this year may be lost unless this year's
juvenile salmon can survive the trip downstream (Sublegals 3:14/04).

LIFTED: WorldCatch News Network reported on 2 April that U.S. District
Judge David Ezra partially lifted the ban on longline fishing established in
July of 2000 (see Sublegals 2:02/16). The terms of the order allow
Hawaiian longline vessels targeting tuna to operate in 1.9 million square
miles of the Pacific Ocean except during April and May, while prohibiting
Hawaiian longline vessels targeting swordfish year-round in all waters
from the equator to the north pole. The new rules reflect the preferred
alternative in the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the
fishery presented to the judge last week by the National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS). The rules are intended to reduce the unintentional
bycatch of loggerhead turtles by the Hawaiian fleet by nearly 100 percent,
with other significant reductions to the incidental take of leatherback, olive
ridley, and green turtles. Many in the industry, while pleased with
reduction in the ban length, are concerned that the activity of foreign fleets
will have increasingly detrimental effects. "Ironically, marine turtle
populations may be negatively impacted by this decision, as the U.S.
demand for swordfish must now be met by foreign fleets that are known to
take up to 30 times more turtles per ton of fish than the Hawaii fleet", said
Kitty Simonds, Executive Director of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery
Management Council. For the full text of the article go to:
www.worldcatch.com .

SALMON: The Willamette Week reported last week on a growing concern
in Oregon over Senate Bill 99, a bill that would mandate adding fluoride
to Oregon's supplies of drinking water. The concern lies in the effects that
the fluorides would have on salmon populations. While innocuous to
humans, studies have found that even small amounts of fluoride act as an
anaesthetic to fish, particularly salmon and rainbow trout. Northwest water
is particularly susceptible to increased toxicity of fluoride due to its
quality. A 1983 study, designed to investigate reasons behind high
mortality at the John Day Dam on the Columbia River, found that fluorides
emitted from an aluminum smelter upstream were rendering the salmon too
lethargic to climb fish ladders. There is a high potential for this chemical
to enter streams and rivers if SB 99 is passed, due to the fact that sewage
treatment plants neglect to remove the chemical. To contact the Oregon
legislature go to: http://www.leg.state.or.us .

WORLD FISHERIES DAY: While many recognize World Fisheries Day
as a time to celebrate one of humankind's most ancient endeavors,
WorldCatch News reports on 30 March that Pakistan's World Forum of
FisherPeoples (WFFP) is calling for a worldwide fisheries strike on 21
November 2001 to protest the decline in world fish harvests. Pakistan
Fisher Folk Forum (PFFF) chairman Muhammad Ali Shah said, "In order
to address this crisis the fishing communities that depends on fishing for
their livelihood should have the right of custodianship of water bodies and
should manage resources. They own the fishing implements and the rights
of sale and distribution of their catch. We must stop all destructive gear
and pollution. We must adopt eco-friendly fishing gear." Shah has called
for a day-long stoppage of fishing as well as the sale and consumption of
fish on World Fisheries Day 2001. An editorial published in the 4 April
edition of WorldCatch's The Wave disagrees with using the day as a
vehicle for protest. John Fiorillo, editor, writes, "Yes, there are problems
associated with harvesting and farming seafood, and industry professionals
around the world are working to correct most of these problems. But that
doesn't change the fact that human beings have been fishing since the
beginnings of time, and the renewable resources of the ocean deserve our
respect and admiration."

POPULATIONS: The Forest Science Project, located on the Humboldt
State University campus, convened a day-long meeting 22 March to
discuss the various methods that are or have the potential to be used to
assess Coho salmon population status and trends on a regional,
northwestern California scale. Much of the day was given to presentations
by agency researchers and their consultants concerning statistical analysis.

The California Department of Fish & Game announced at the meeting
that the Department must provide the Fish & Game Commission an
assessment of California coho conditions given the recent listing of coho
salmon under the State's endangered species act. The Department intends
to conduct a presence/absence survey of northern California streams, using
the ten-pool method developed by the National Marine Fisheries Service
(NMFS) and modified by Kier Associates when that firm conducted dive
surveys for juvenile coho and steelhead in northwestern California for
NMFS in 1997.

Times reported on 4 April that 15 men aboard the F/V Arctic Rose from the
port of Seattle are presumed dead following their disappearance Monday
morning in the Bering Sea, making it one of the worst accidents in the
history of the Pacific Northwest fishing industry. An automatic emergency
signal went out from the 92-foot-long longlining boat while harvesting rock
sole early Monday morning in stormy Bering Sea waters. Coast Guard
officials have been searching the area since the accident but only two
bodies have been recovered. PCFFA offers its condolences to the families
and friends of the Seattle fishermen. For the entire text of the story go to:

CLIMATE CHANGE: A worldwide warming trend has been linked to
widespread toad-egg deaths in the Cascade mountains of the Western US,
according to researchers at the Oregon State University in a recent
scientific journal report. Though the researchers concentrated on the
disappearance of toads from Oregon lakes, moisture sensitive amphibians
are disappearing at alarming rates in most places in the world, with many
once abundant species nearing extinction. According to the researchers,
warmer average temperatures and increasingly severe El Ninos, which are
symptoms of global warming, apparently triggered environmental changes
in Oregon alpine lakes resulting in increased susceptibility to diseases,
showing that global warming impacts can be complex and interdependent.
"It has become increasingly clear that to predict how climate change may
translate into species loss, we must link global and local processes,"
commented the scientists. The paper, "Complex causes of amphibian
population declines," Kiesecker, et. al., appears in Nature 410, 681-684 (5
April 2001). An internet version can be found at:
http://www.nature.com/nature/fow/010405.html Also see the 5 April
Oregonian at:

LEGISLATION: The first Magnuson-Stevens Act (also called the
"Sustainable Fisheries Act") bill of the year, SB 637, was introduced by
Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and John McCain (R-AZ)on 28 March
to authorize the establishment of individual fishery quota systems. For the
full text of the bill go to: http://thomas.loc.gov. Meanwhile, a hearing on
reauthorization of the Act was held 4 April by the House Resources
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans. To view
a witness list and a transcript of the hearing go to:

13 APRIL: The California Coastal Commission will meet 10-13 April
meeting at the Radisson Hotel-Santa Barbara, 1111 East Cabrillo Blvd.,
Santa Barbara, California. For more information or to subscribe to their
agenda mailing list contact the Coastal Commission at 45 Fremont Street,
Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94105-2219 (415)904-5200 or visit their
website at: http://www.coastal.ca.gov/web

The Northern California Chapter of Salmon Unlimited, one of the state's
oldest salmon conservation groups, is reorganizing and looking for new
membership. The next meeting is Tuesday, 17 Aprill at 1900 HRS in
Ukiah at the Farm Bureau on Talmage Road. Contact president Lynn
DeMille at (707) 463-1272 for more information.

LISTED UNDER ESA: On 4 April the Fisheries Information and
Services Network reported that the decision by the National Marine
Fisheries Service (NMFS) not to list Pacific Herring and three species of
rockfish in Puget Sound is drawing criticism from environmentalists and
fishing groups. A NMFS spokesperson justified the decision by saying that
the agency has, "concluded that the sound's rockfish populations had
stabilized in the past five years." Critics worry that the low levels at which
the population has stabilized creates a risk of extinction. Go to
www.fis.com for the full story.

IFR Boards will be meeting in San Francisco on Thursday, 12 April. The
PCFFA Board will meet in a morning session will be held at Scoma's
restaurant starting 0900 HRS, followed by an afternoon meeting at the
PCFFA/IFR offices at the Presidio. For more information contact PCFFA
at (415) 561-5080 or IFR at (415) 561-3474.

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

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