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Agencies Concerned About Salmon Decline

Knights Ferry, CA — A group says that nearly 200,000 salmon eggs were destroyed in the Stanislaus River this month.

The study was carried out by scientists with the group FISHBIO, based in Oakdale. In response, The Associated Press reports that a trio of Central California water districts (Oakdale Irrigation District, South San Joaquin Irrigation District and Stockton East Water District) has sent a joint letter to the Bureau of Reclamation requesting an answer as to why this happened.

The three districts say the BOR first released too much water from New Melones Reservoir, prompting salmon to spawn in normally-dry side channels. Then, when it cut releases, the channels dried up and killed the eggs.

BOR spokesman Pete Lucero told the AP that the destruction of the eggs was “unfortunate.” But he said the water release was necessary to make space for this year’s heavy rainfall.

Chinook Salmon are not an endangered species, as declared by the federal government, but are listed as a “species of concern.”