By Bill Jennings, CSPA Executive Director
The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Water Impact Network and AquAlliance have submitted comments on the draft flow report issued by the California Department of Fish and Game.
In November 2009, the California Legislature passed the Delta Reform Act, which established and requires the Delta Stewardship to develop, adopt and implement a comprehensive management plant for the Delta before 1 January 2012. To inform that planning process, the Delta Reform Act required the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) to develop new flow criteria for the Delta ecosystem by August 2010 and the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to identify quantifiable biological objectives and flow criteria for the species of concern in the Delta.
The State Board conducted a hearing in March to receive scientific information from technical experts on the Delta flows needed to protect public trust resources and issued a final report including flow criteria on 3 August 2010. CSPA participated extensively in that hearing.
DFG released a draft report on need flows and quantifiable biological objectives on 21 September and conducted a public workshop on 6 October. CSPA meet with DFG Director John McCamman and his staff on 17 August regarding the pending report and attended the October workshop.
The DFG report, like the State Board report, identifies substantially higher flows as fundamentally necessary to protect the fisheries and public trust resources of the Delta and its tributaries. The comments by CSPA, CWIN and AquAlliance largely support DFG’s recommendations and suggest a number of changes to clarify and strengthen the report.