VOL 4, NO. 7 17 August 2001
IN THIS ISSUE....
DWR SIGNS LONG-TERM POWER CONTRACT WITH
PACIFICORP - THREATENS KLAMATH RESTORATION?
KLAMATH FARMERS GET FEDERAL RELIEF-A TRAIL OF
TEARS TO THE BANK. SEE 4:07/02.
FARMING PRACTICES THAT DESTROY WETLANDS NEED
PERMIT COURT HOLDS. SEE 4:07/08.
NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR FEDERAL MPA ADVISORY
COMMITTEE. SEE 4:07/11.
WATER SHORTAGES A WORLD-WIDE PROBLEM. SEE 4:07/16.
AND MORE ....
4:07/01. DWR SIGNS $1 BILLION CONTRACT WITH
PACIFICORP-KLAMATH SALMON LONG-TERM RESTORATION
UNDERCUT?: The Dow Jones Newswire reported 16 August that the
California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has signed numerous
power contracts in the past several weeks including one with Scottish
Power's PacifiCorp that operates the Klamath Project. PacifiCorp's
facilities include Iron Gate Dam. This dam, located on the California-
Oregon border, was built to regulate flow in the Klamath River
downstream from Copco's (now Pacificorp's) other hydro generating
facilities, has proven to be a heat sump, warming up already diminished
flows containing high concentrations of organic wastes coming from
Klamath Basin agriculture. The water released from Iron Gate, as a
result, is often lethal for downstream steelhead and salmon (chinook and
coho) both hatchery and natural spawners. One of the suggestions that
has been made for improving salmon survival in the Klamath has been
the removal of Iron Gate Dam but that may be more difficult as a result
of the recent power contracts. The contract between DWR and
PacifiCorp was signed on 6 July and runs through June 2011.
4:07/02. A TRAIL OF TEARS ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK:
Today, 17 August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
announced the availability within the next few weeks of $20 million in
disaster relief approved by Congress directly to the pockets of Upper
Klamath Basin farmers stuck without water this year (see Sublegals,
4:04/11). The payments to the growers in this high desert basin of
southern Oregon and northern California will range between $90 to
$110 per acre; USDA estimates that the payments will average around
$100/acre, which for the average sized Klamath County farm of 700
acres would entitle the owner to a grant (non-taxable) of about $70,000.
This number is comparable to, and in many cases more than, past
average annual per acre net farm income even in good water years,
according to data collected by the USDA in its recent Agricultural
Census at http://www.nass.usda.gov/census. The final amounts will
depend on how many people enroll. The announcement by USDA
comes on the heels of a "Bucket Brigade" that has been formed by some
extremist farm organizations in the west with a convoy, dubbed the
"Trail of Tears" headed for Klamath Falls next week. For more
information on the relief program for Klamath Basin farmers, see:
http://www.pcffa.org/or8-18-01.htm. The USDA Press Release can be
found at: http://www.usda.gov/news/releases/2001/08/0148.htm..
4:07/03. LOW FLOW HITS ATLANTIC SALMON: The Portland
Press Herald reported on 14 August that Endangered Species Act
(ESA)-listed wild Atlantic salmon are being hit by a drought that has
five of the eight eastern Maine rivers which still support them showing
"record low flow rates." The full affect of the dry weather won't be clear
for awhile, but the "last few weeks of August are typically the driest of
the summer" and there already have been some reports of "dead juvenile
fish" although most salmon seek relief by burrowing under rocks,
seeking cool pockets near streams or by remaining in colder seawater.
4:07/04. BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON RESTORATION
AGENCY CANNED: The Vancouver Sun is reporting that British
Columbia's new Liberal government has summarily dissolved the entire
12-person board of Fisheries Renewal B.C., a four-year-old government
agency intended to save both Pacific salmon and fishery jobs in British
Columbia, and placed it under comprehensive review in what is widely
perceived as a political dispute. Fisheries Renewal B.C. was established
in May 1997 by former premier Glen Clark. Supporters say it has saved
jobs, helped rebuild Canada's damaged salmon stocks and aided coastal
communities hammered by the collapse of the B.C. salmon fishery.
Former board members said they fear their firing is a precursor to the
entire program being canceled. Since it began in 1997, the Canadian
agency has spent more than $50 million (Canadian) to support fish
habitat rebuilding projects, promote conservation, retrain fish sector
workers and assist communities and businesses hurt by salmon fisheries
collapse through loans and grants. For the full story search the archives
The announcement of the dissolution of Fisheries Renewal B.C.
came only a few days after Greenwire reported on 14 August the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) commission will
"investigate complaints Canadian officials have failed to protect"
salmon runs by subsidizing logging that harms waterways where the fish
spawn. The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) had earlier rejected a
request by Canada's First Nations and environmental and fishing groups
to investigate the claims.
4:07/05. THOUSANDS OF ATLANTIC SALMON INVADING
WEST COAST RIVERS, CANADIAN REPORT SAYS: An 11 August
Ottawa Citizen article states that a new report by the Senate Standing
Committee on Fisheries of the Canadian Parliament documents how tens
of thousands of Canadian farmed Atlantic salmon are escaping to the
Pacific Ocean each year, and have established themselves as an invading
wild species in many west coast rivers against all the predictions of
federal fish experts and assurances of aquaculture lobbyists. The report,
"Aquaculture in Canada's Atlantic and Pacific Regions," released this
past June, paints an unsettling picture of aquaculture that is expanding
while no one really knows what effect it has on wild fish and the
environment. The report documents that Atlantic salmon now live in the
wild as far away as southern Alaska and the Bering Sea, and have been
reported in 77 British Columbia rivers. An average of 43,900 Atlantics
escaped each year from B.C. fish farms through the mid- and late 1990s.
Escapes were estimated between 32,000 and 86,000 in the first nine
months of 2000. The State of Alaska, alarmed by Atlantic salmon
establishing themselves in Alaska as early as the 1980s, banned all
Atlantic salmon farming in 1990 to protect its wild salmon runs. For the
story see: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/national/010811/5074469.html.
The full report can be found at:
4:07/06. PROPOSED ESA 'TAKE' RULES FOR CENTRAL
CALIFORNIA COHO, SPRING-RUN AND COASTAL CHINOOK
OUT FOR COMMENTS: The National Marine Fisheries Service
(NMFS) has published draft 'take' rules under Section 4(d) of the federal
Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 17 August issue of the Federal
Register (Vol.66, No. 160, p.43151). This rule will govern what
constitutes an illegal 'take' of California Central Valley Spring-run
Chinook; California Coastal Chinook; Northern California Steelhead;
and amend the current 4 (d) rule for the Central California Coast Coho.
The draft rule also sets out 10 categories of activity as 'limits' to
liability under the ESA that would provide categorical exemptions from
ESA take prohibitions. Comments on this proposed rule must be
received no later than 1700 HRS PST, on 1October 2001.Written
comments and requests for information should be sent to the Assistant
Regional Administrator, Protected Resources Division, NMFS,
Southwest Region, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA
90802-4213. For further information contact: Miles Croom at: (707)
4:07/07. PFMC SALMON TECHINCAL TEAM PLANS
TELECONFERENCE WORK SESSION; FULL COUNCIL MEETING
SET FOR SEPTEMBER IN PORTLAND: The Pacific Fishery
Management Council's (PFMC) Salmon Technical Team will hold a
work session by teleconference on Monday, 27 August from 1400-1600
HRS. The session is open to the public. Listening sessions will be
available at several locations; to find the nearest location, phone the
PFMC at (503) 326-6352.
The full PFMC will be meeting in Portland, Oregon during the week
of 9-14 September at the Double Tree Hotel Columbia River, 1401 N
Hayden Island Drive. For more information on the meeting, go to the
PFMC website at: www.pcouncil.org.
4:07/08. NINTH CIRCUIT RULES CWA PERMIT NEEDED,
EVEN FOR FARMING PRACTICES SUCH AS "DEEP RIPPING,"
THAT COULD DESTROY WETLANDS AND FISH HABITAT: The
Sacramento Bee reports, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled
on 16 August that a plowing technique called deep ripping, used to
prepare land for use as orchards or vineyards requires a federal permit
under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Historically, long-established
farming practices have been off limits to environmental regulators. The
plaintiff, Sacramento developer Angelo Tsakopoulos, sued the Army
Corps of Engineers (COE) after being issued a cease and desist order on
his property, the Borden Ranch. The order was issued because
Tsakopoulos neglected to avoid vernal pools while plowing after
agreeing to do so as mitigation for filling wetlands on his property.
Wetlands are critical for water storage, clean water and habitat in coastal
areas for most species of marine fish. The Ninth Circuit decision thus
maintains, if not extends, Clean Water Act protection for wetlands.
The case is: Partnership v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
No.0015700p-08/15/2001 U.S. NINTH CIRCUIT COURT Opinions. To
view the case, go to:
The case comes following a report in the 8 August San Francisco
Chronicle, that the COE is planning in the Bush Administration to
"ease" wetland regulations to "give itself more discretion to grant
developers expedited permitees for filling in streams, bogs and other
wetlands." Conservationists and fishing groups argue the COE added
leeway in deciding where last year's stricter permits will be required and
where waivers can be granted would "add to the high rate of wetlands
4:07/09. RWQCB HEARS ARGUMENTS ON CENTRAL VALLEY
PESTICIDE RUNOFF: The California Regional Water Quality Control
Board for the Central Valley Region is currently considering whether to
continue and existing waiver for agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley to
continue discharging pesticides into streams. The San Joaquin Record
reported agricultural, environmental and fishery interests met in front of
RWQCB on 28 July to discuss the discontinuation of a waiver that
allows farmers unregulated runoff into San Joaquin valley streams. The
San Joaquin was once of major salmon producing river within the
Members of the RWQCB could decide within the next month
whether to change the current agricultural exemption to stop pollution in
Central Valley streams originating from agricultural pesticide runoff.
Charging farmers per acre could offset costs for a monitoring program.
Farmers argue that these restrictions and added costs will place them at a
disadvantage in the market in comparison with other parts of California
and the U.S. The waiver is currently set to expire in December of 2002.
CalPIRG's Teresa Olle said the magnitude of the pesticide's effects
warrants immediate action, "If you think about it, pesticides are
designed to kill. They are the only pollutant created to expressly kill
plants and animals, so is it a shock that it continues to do that in the
rivers?" she asked. Data from the Department of Pesticide Regulation
shows that pesticides were detected in 128 of 133 monitoring sites, most
in the Central Valley. The most frequently detected pesticides have been
linked to cancer, nervous-system damage and groundwater
contamination. For more information or to comment on the waiver issue
contact the RWQCB at 3614 East Ashlan Avenue Fresno, CA 93726;
Telephone: (559) 445-5116.
4:07/10. EPA SEEKS COMMENTS ON TMDL RULES: The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comment on its
draft cost study of the implementation of total maximum daily load
(TMDL) control programs for polluted water bodies. TMDLs are
pollution limits set for a waterway, with caps allocated among all the
pollutant sources impacting an impaired water body. The report was
requested by Congress last fall, and focuses solely on the costs to the
government and polluters of implementing the existing TMDL program,
but does not provide for analysis of the various economic benefits to
fisheries and human health water pollution control programs provide.
Comments are due by 7 December 7. A copy of the report and additional
information are available at: www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl.
EPA has also proposed to delay by 18 months the effective date of
the total maximum daily load (TMDL) rule published13 July 2000. The
Federal Register notice, published on 9 August, also proposes to revise
the date on which states are required to submit their next lists of
impaired waters under the Clean Water Act, from1 April 2002 to
1October 2002. Comments on the proposal are due by 10 September.
For more information on both these new rules see:
4:07/11. NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR FEDERAL MPA
ADVISORY COMMITTEE: The U.S. Department of Commerce is
establishing a Federal Advisory Committee on Marine Protected Areas
pursuant to Executive Order 13158 and is seeking nominations for
membership on this Committee for approximately 25 people. The
Committee is to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretaries
of Commerce and Interior on a range of topics related to marine
protected areas. Nominations are being encouraged from all interested
parties, such as scientific societies; academic and research institutions;
groups or governments representing Native Americans, Alaska Natives,
Native Hawaiians, Caribbean Islanders and Pacific islanders; states,
territories and localities; interest groups such as commercial and sport
fishing, boating, diving, recreational, maritime, historical and
philanthropic communities; conservation organizations; the mineral and
oil industry; and federal agencies. Nominations should be sent to: Office
of Ocean & Coastal Resource Management, NOAA, 1315 East-West
Highway, Silver Spring, Md., 20910 ATTN: Federal Advisory
Committee on Marine Protected Areas. The deadline for nominations is
15 September 2001. See Federal Register, Vol 66, No 155, pages
42204-42205, 10 August 2001. Copy of the Federal Register notice is
also available at: http://mpa.gov. For more information contact Roger
B. Griffis at (301) 713-3155, Ext.104 or e-mail:
roger.b.griffis at noaa.gov.
4:07/12. DOC TO AWARD SOLE-SOURCE CONTRACT TO
HAWAII STATE AGENCY TO EVALUATE MPAS: The U.S.
Department of Commerce (DOC) and its National Oceanic &
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) have announced plans to negotiate a sole-source
contract with the Department of Land & Natural Resource, Division of
Aquatic Resources, Honolulu, Hawaii to provide an analysis of the
effectiveness of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) system. This effort
will conduct a science-based assessment to determine the effectiveness
for the ecosystem conservation of the existing MPA system in the main
Hawaiian Islands, including both no-take and multiple use sites. The
solicitation number for the contract is 100009 and is due 27 August. For
more information, contact Sarah Huber at: sally.j.huber at noaa.gov.
4:07/13. ORANGE COUNTY SEWAGE CREEPS ONSHORE: The
Orange County Register reported 16 August that a major plume of
partially treated sewage is a mile offshore of Huntington Beach. The
finding comes as part of an investigation by the Orange County
Sanitation District into the bacterial contamination that closed the
shoreline for the summer of 1999. According to the report, the net
effects of tides, currents, and upwelling from the cooling system at a
nearby power plant are pulling the sewage, typically dumped 4 miles
offshore, inland. Sanitation district officials have long denied that the
240 million gallons of sewage dumped offshore each day migrate in
towards the shoreline. Further studies are being conducted this month to
verify the extent of the plume's migration. One alternative is to
completely treat the sewage; officials claim this change would increase
consumer's bills by $60.
4:07/14. SARDINE DIE OFF IN MEXICO: Over 20 miles of
Mexican shoreline were inundated by dead sardines in mid-August
according to a 16 August Associated Press (AP) report. The die off,
according to Enrique Astudillo, the Secretary of Fish & Wildlife for
southernmost Chiapas state, is a natural occurrence due to
overpopulation. Some environmentalists, however, believe that runoff
from pesticides used for agriculture is polluting rivers and shallow ocean
waters. Fishermen catch and sell sardines as bycatch while shrimping.
4:07/15. MICHIGAN PASSES PLAN TO REDUCE EXOTIC
SPECIES IN BALLAST: Michigan Lieutenant Governor Dick
Posthumus has signed a bill designed to reduce the dumping of ballast
water into the Great Lakes by foreign ships, thus trying to prevent
further contamination of the ecosystem by exotic species. The new law
requires the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to
make a list of ships that meet certain guidelines for the proper handling
of ballast. The key element in the guidelines will be to have ships take
on ballast water outside of harbors, so they will be less likely to pick up
foreign species or germ-filled raw sewage. The DEQ and the shipping
industry are also required to identify the best way to treat ballast to kill
such organisms. Companies in Michigan that do business with ships not
on the list will not be eligible for any grants or loans from the DEQ. For
more information contact the Michigan DEQ at: www.deq.state.mi.us.
In the past few years, the State of California has also taken action
aimed at controlling the introduction of invasives from ship's ballast
water. San Francisco Bay, for example, is the single most "invaded"
estuary in the world. Ballast water, dumping from aquariums, and
escapes from aquaculture facilities are the major sources of invasive
species threatening native fish populations.
4:07/16. WATER SHORTAGES A WORLD-WIDE PROBLEM:
The water scarcity facing the Klamath Basin is not unique in the United
States, North America or across the globe according to a 12 August
report by Timothy Egan in the New York Times. Some 450 million
people in the world are now confronting water-shortage problems.
That's grim enough but experts meeting this past week in Stockholm t
discuss water scarcity say the number could grow to 2.7 billion within
25 years. North Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, and parts of India and
China, as well as areas of southern Europe, are most hurt by current
shortages. Parts of the U.S., however, aren't far behind. Warmer
temperatures, the loss of wetlands to sprawl, and the growing demands
of agriculture are accelerating shortages across the U.S. In the Pacific
Northwest, for example, where water is the master architect of a lush
land, too little water has been promised to too many people, leaving
farms and wildlife to wither in places like the Methow Valley in
Washington or Klamath Falls, Oregon, writes Egan. In California,
some politicians, such as Representative Ken Calvert and Senator
Dianne Feinstein, are proposing new dams and reservoirs. But dams and
reservoirs don't make new water, all they do is reallocate available
supplies mostly taking it from fish and the environment. PCFFA,
stating that California, and much of the west, is already short of water in
most years, has argued for increased water efficiency, water reuse and
desalination as a means of addressing water shortages without
sacrificing fish or farms or dependable supplies needed by urban
populations. To view the New York Times article, go to:
4:07/17. SUHAC BARBECUE: On 25 August, The Sea Urchin
Harvesters Association of California (SUHAC) is sponsoring a meeting
and barbeque in conjunction with the California Fish & Game
Commission meeting to be held in Santa Barbara on 23 and 24 August.
For more tickets and information contact Pete Halmay at
phalmay at earthlink.net. Agenda items to be covered at the Commission
meeting include: Consideration of the adoption of interim regulations
for the commercial rock crab fishery * Recommendation of the
Department of Fish & Game on marine protected areas within the
Channel Islands National Park * Proposed changes to the commercial
squid fishery * Receipt of public testimony on the draft white seabass
fishery management plan. For the complete agenda visit the
Commission website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fg_comm/index.html.
4:07/18. OIL COMPANIES CONSIDERING COMMERCIAL
FISHING BUY-OUT: BP (British Petroleum) and Phillips Petroleum
are providing $500,000 in seed money to the University of Alaska to
begin six economic studies. One of the studies will consider the
possibility of buying up permits held by upper Cook Inlet setnetters and
driftnetters, leaving the salmon fishery to sport fishermen and other non-
commercial users, reports a 8 August news item from Online Mariner at:
4:07/19. CORRECTION, IT'S A SUCKER, NOT A MULLET: In
the last issue of Sublegals (4:06/02), it was reported that "sucker" was a
pejorative term for a mullet. That statement has been corrected. Reader
Dan Logan writes: "Actually, the two species in question are the Lost
River sucker Deltistes luxatus and the shortnose sucker Chasmistes
brevirostris. Both species were described by Edward Drinker Cope in
1879 [Cope, E.D. 1879. The fishes of Klamath Lake, Oregon. American
Naturalist 13:784-785.] "Sucker" is a name officially recognized by
Ichthyologists as the common name of fish in the family Catostomidae,
is long standing - well before Cope, and was not derived by the farmers.
"Mullet" is a colloquial name for the suckers of Upper Klamath Lake,
Oregon. To an ichthyologist, a mullet is a fish in the family Mugilidae.
Also, please note that names like "mullet fish" and "sucker fish" - names
that appear in Fishlink Sublegal and other sources of information - are
incorrect and makes as much sense as "bald eagle bird" and "coho
salmon fish." Sorry about that Dan. We stand corrected.
NEWS, COMMENTS, CORRECTIONS: Submit your news items,
comments or any corrections to Natasha Benjamin, Editor at:
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