As you recall, GWWF has been very active in the fight to get increased water flows for Central Valley steelhead and salmon in the lower Tuolumne before they go extinct. In the fall of Tuolumne, only 269 salmon returned to spawn which is the third straight year of returns less than 300 adults. A population needs about 1,000 returning adults to be self-sustaining and the stated goal of the Central Valley Improvement Act passed by Congress in 1992 is to have 40,000 fall run Chinook return to the Tuolumne annually. We are still waiting to hear the final decision from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about whether they will order the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts to increase the flows and their timing to save these fish. This special proceeding, only done once before, has resulted in significant legal expenses for the Conservation Groups with standing (the Tuolumne River Trust, Friends of the River, California Trout and the California Rivers Restoration Fund) The Hydropower Reform Coalition has been especially supportive in providing a grant for legal expenses and I was successful in applying for a grant from the Northern California Council Federation of Fly Fishers and would like to thanks them here for the much appreciated support.
If you want more news on the monitoring of salmon and steelhead on the rivers of the San Joaquin watershed go to: www.fishbio.com.