I nearly choked on my morning coffee reading the Jan. 25 Bee editorial: “Peer-reviewed study; Salmon don’t need too much water.” I quote two salient points “government regulators often sent the wrong (water) signals (for salmon),” and “their efforts were sometimes counterproductive to helping salmon populations recover.” Amen.
Though now retired, I spent much of my 35-year water-resources-engineering career heavily engaged in fishery issues in Central Valley rivers and the Delta. That included reviewing numerous fishery studies on salmon, delta smelt, Sacramento splittail and others. Those studies came from both regulatory agencies and independent fishery experts like FishBio’s study cited by The Bee.
Almost without exception when regulatory agency studies were subjected to peer review by nationally recognized independent experts, the agency studies were found to be grossly flawed – including using auto-correlated analyses and even manufactured data to support their regulatory directives for fishery flows.
The Bee correctly notes “state and federal scientists … should reconsider their positions and base their demands on the facts they find on our rivers – not disputable dogma.”
Hopefully The Bee now really gets it; more flow doesn’t equal more fish – be they salmon or delta smelt.
Lance W. Johnson, Shaver Lake