2.9 million fish killed – Delta Pumping

Winnemem Wintu will dance for the salmon and estuary on June 5

By Dan Bacher

The state and federal water project pumps in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River continue to kill hundreds of thousands of imperiled Sacramento splittail and hundreds of threatened spring run chinook salmon every day.

Natural Resources Secretary John Laird and the Department of Fish and Game have failed to take action to stop the unprecedented carnage caused by the export of Delta water to corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and southern California water agencies. Meanwhile, the state and federal governments continue to go forward with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build a peripheral canal/tunnel.

The federal Central Valley Project pumps killed 470,532 Sacramento splittail, a native minnow species found only in the Delta and Central Valley. The State Water Project facilities killed 34,456 splittail on Thursday, May 19, according to data available from the DFG website. (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/delta/data/salvage/)

On May 20, the federal pumps entrained 475,532 splittail and the state pumps killed 11,708 splittail.  Both the state and federal facilities continue to massacre Central Valley spring-run chinook salmon, a species listed as “threatened” under the state and federal Endangered Species Acts.

The federal facilities killed 96 spring salmon and the state pumps destroyed 60 salmon on May 19. The federal facilities slaughtered 172 Chinooks and the state pumps killed 4 Chinooks on May 20. Delta pumps killed over 1.9 million splittail in just the three-day period from May 16 through 18.

Over the five-day period including May 19 and 20, a horrifying 2,882,046 splittail were killed!  The pumps have killed over 11,000 Chinooks since the beginning of the year.

When are federal and state officials going to take action to stop this unprecedented carnage on the Delta?  There are three things that you can do to take action to stop the massacre:

First, please contact John Laird, California Natural Resources Secretary, and demand that he take immediate action to stop the killing of millions of Sacramento splittail and thousands of threatened spring run Chinook salmon by the Bureau of Reclamation and Department of Water Resources!

Contact him at:

California Natural Resources Agency
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 653-5656(916) 653-8102 fax
Email: secretary@resources.ca.gov


Second, mark Sunday, June 5 on your calendar to support the Winnemem Wintu Tribe’s dance for the salmon at Sogorea Te, Glen Cove, in Vallejo, where Native Americans are holding a spiritual encampment to stop the desecration of a native burial site by the Greater Vallejo Recreation District (GVRD). The Tribe has launched a campaign to restore endangered winter run Chinook Salmon to the McCloud River above Shasta.

“Salmon need the splittail to survive in the Estuary,” said Caleen Sisk-Franco, chief and spiritual leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. “The Estuary is necessary for the survival of Chinook. The Chinook are necessary for the water to be drinkable, and for the People. Climate change will come in to balance once we follow the salmon runs. This is why the Winnemem will dance for the salmon and the Estuary on June 5th at Glen Clove in Vallejo!”

For more information and directions to Glen Cove, go to: http://protectglencove.org.

Third, please write a letter to stop legislation by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) aimed at gutting protections in the Bay-Delta Estuary and blocking the restoration of the San Joaquin River. Send your letter by going to the Center for Biological Diversity website, http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/action/alerts/.

For more information, go to: http://blogs.alternet.org/danbacher/2011/05/20

Comment on this article:

The Government Has Ears, But Does Not Listen,  by C-gull

If the killed 2.88 million Splittail fish averaged only 4 ounces a piece that means that 360 tons of the fish people have died. Died in waste and died in fear. This is a very bad thing both physically and spiritually and a sure sign that our government no longer respects life and democratic process. By allowing this kind of waste of life the government risks other cataphrophies. I do not know if it will be a quake or storm- but it won’t be good. Just look at the midwest and huge tornado that hit Missouri. It twisted up cars like balls of wax. The elementals are being hurt so much that they are not taking it any more. For years and years the indigenous peoples have warned the dominant society but they have no ears to listen. So now they suffer.
I recently spent 2 days with an elder Lakota medicine man. He said you must pray for the water. Do not wait. The Indians out here already know this but anyone can clear their mind and say thank you to the water spirit. Maybe place a little tobacco in a pool or stream. Give your thanks to the water. Water IS life and the power of prayer is real. Do not wait.
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