Shasta River Dewatered, Coho Salmon in Peril:
A Need for Urgent Action!
June 3, 2021
Over the Memorial Day weekend, our science team watched as the Shasta River was very nearly dried up as a result of excessive irrigation diversions following an orchestrated and poorly implemented “pulsed flow” meant to provide a temporary surge of water through the river in order to “flush” vulnerable salmon out of the Shasta and down into the Klamath River. Today (June 3) we are once again observing extremely low flows in the river with the flow measuring gauge at Montague showing a flow of less than 4 cubic feet per second. This is putting the survival of already threatened and vulnerable Coho salmon at risk and is also harmful to all other fish and aquatic species.
We are now asking for your help in contacting state agencies to support our efforts and restore adequate and reliable flows to the Shasta River. You can do this in two ways:
- Write to the Secretary of the State Water Resources Control Board Jeanine.Townsend@waterboards.ca.gov asking that your email be distributed to all board members and ask them for two things–
- to take immediate action to ensure sufficient instream flows for Coho Salmon survival and recovery right now
- and to initiate re-adjudication to include a permanent dedicated instream flow provision.
Without re-adjudication to clean up the water management mess, this will continue to happen. Please also cc the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Submit an online complaint to the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA). Go to https://calepacomplaints.secure.force.com/complaints/Complaint
- Select Water
- In the field for “Complaint Description” explain that unmonitored artificial flow manipulations on a river with known endangered species should never be done without strict scientific oversight. You can also add that the fish are already experiencing one of the worst water years on record and that no unproven techniques should be used that could increase the mortality of endangered species.
- Location should be Shasta River
- You do not need to include a responsible party
- Your “water” concern should be Water Quality and Water Rights and you should write Shasta River for affected water source, Klamath Watershed, no parcel number is needed
- Date of occurrence May 29, 2021 and select ongoing occurrence
- You can submit anonymously or leave your email and information where the state may update you on your complaint
Here’s our letter to the State Water Resources Control Board, with much more detail