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Environment & Science

California Drought News: Monoculture, moving water and trucking salmon



Moving fish around by truck, either to help them spawn, or to stock rivers for regional anglers, isn't new or special to the drought in California. This image shows a U.S. Bureau of Fisheries truck driver, John Manning, emptying his truck load of salmon at the Plain dump in Oregon's Wenatchee River.
Moving fish around by truck, either to help them spawn, or to stock rivers for regional anglers, isn't new or special to the drought in California. This image shows a U.S. Bureau of Fisheries truck driver, John Manning, emptying his truck load of salmon at the Plain dump in Oregon's Wenatchee River.
via OSU special collections/Flickr

Wednesday's news has far to go...especially if you're a Chinook salmon. More on that in a bit.

We need to farm as nature does – with diverse crops, and plants and animals together – rather than the so-called “monocultural” school of farming that grows huge fields of annual crops. Natural ecosystems are complex, and dominated by perennials, a dense mat of fibrous roots that exists in the soil year-round, tightly holding soil and water. (The Guardian)
What would you do with the 3 million acre-feet of usable storage? Hold some or all in storage in case next year is dry — creating huge shortages, fishery and water quality problems this year? Release it for water quality, the environment or senior water-right holders this year (where it will not satisfy all demands) — risking a real disaster next year if it is dry? (Those counting on El Niño to save us next year should note that a large fraction of El Niño years are dry.) (California Water Blog)
"Water conditions, because of the drought, are going to be horrible for the fish," said Harry Morse of the state Fish and Wildlife Department. "Depending on how far those fish have to go, the longer they must travel through the system, the higher the losses." (Bloomberg)

Got a more clever name for the truck that carries salmon smolts to the sea than "fish taxi?" Let us know in the comments.