Letters to the Editor

Is bill about striped bass or is it a red herring?

Rep. Jeff Denham’s bill would end a 1992 law of doubling the number of striped bass in the Delta in an effort to protect juvenile salmon, but the issue of striped bass predation could be a red herring designed to distract from the real issues that impact the survival of Chinook salmon.
Rep. Jeff Denham’s bill would end a 1992 law of doubling the number of striped bass in the Delta in an effort to protect juvenile salmon, but the issue of striped bass predation could be a red herring designed to distract from the real issues that impact the survival of Chinook salmon. rpench@sacbee.com

Striped bass or red herring?

Re “House passes bill intended to help save Delta salmon” (Capitol & California, July 6): I’m disappointed that reporter Michael Doyle did not fully explore this latest attempt by agricultural interests to grab more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The issue of striped bass predation on young salmon is a red herring designed to distract from the real issues that impact the survival of Chinook salmon and other fish. Striped bass have coexisted with salmon and other species in the Delta for more than 130 years, and once formed a prized commercial fishery. Salmon, striped bass and other fish populations have declined precipitously in recent years coincident with increased water exports to agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley.

Those interests would like nothing better than the extinction of Delta smelt and Chinook salmon so there would be reduced competition for what they consider “their” water. Rep. Jeff Denham’s bill is a thinly disguised attempt to be “environmental” when it is, in fact, just the opposite.

Lowell L. Ashbaugh, Davis

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