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Editorial: Twin Tunnels

Editorial: Twin tunnels mean fishery collapse

By BILL JENNINGS/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: May 23, 2018

Thanks go to Bill Jennings of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) for this editorial.

Most fishermen are aware that current fisheries are a small remnant of their historical abundances and are in a downward spiral. Scientists are predicting that over 80 percent of native California fish species, including three-fourths of trout and salmon, are threatened with extinction over the century. Many of these species may disappear in less than 50 years.


Fish don’t lie. Their very existence tells us that fish thrive when suitable habitat and adequate quantities of good quality water are available. Absent those conditions, they’ll disappear. The battles to ensure that fisheries receive the necessities of life take place in dreary buildings and windowless rooms. Unfortunately, far too few fishermen are in those rooms taking part in the critical decisions that will determine whether or not our fisheries survive.


A pivotal battle over the fate of our fisheries is occurring in the State Water Board’s evidentiary hearing regarding the California WaterFix proposal to construct vast tunnels (Twin Tunnels) to divert the Sacramento River under the Delta for export to southern California. This hearing will largely determine the future of fisheries from the Bay to the crest of the Sierras.


Now in its third year, the proceeding already encompasses more than 200 witnesses and thousands of pages of sworn testimony, cross-examination and rebuttal spanning almost 100 hearing days and several million pages of evidentiary record. A final decision by the State Board is expected late this year or early next year. The involvement of fishery groups is essential since the Brown and Trump administrations have prohibited state and federal fishery agencies from testifying or providing evidence.


CSPA and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Associations, who represent commercial fishermen, are the only fishery organizations participating as designated parties. Of course, our involvement has been extremely expensive and exhaustingly time consuming. We urge you to generously contribute to our efforts in this pivotal battle and ask your friends to do the same.


As activists, we don’t squander limited resources on fluff — it all goes for technical and legal support.


Support California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) and your fisheries by going to Calsport.org and donating what you can.




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