Monday, February 24, 2014

Political Drought Plus Jet Stream Drought Has California Dreamin'

Sacramento Delta waterways. Image Credit: California WaterBlog

Political Drought Plus Jet Stream Drought Has California Dreamin'

Simply stated, people who wish to show their power under the name of "making a difference" through progressive political policies have over-stepped their bounds.

Political Progressives are always looking for ways to exert their influence throughout every aspect of human life and there are no limits to where they will go in order to show that they matter.

A case in point that received national attention when the President of the United States traveled and made speeches in California, was the confluence of a natural drought brought about through this winter's direction of the jet stream that has major water and snow bearing storm systems bypass California, and a political drought put forward through federal and state legislation to protect a fish that move beyond their normal habitat to get chewed up by pumps.

Moyle et al. 1992, Moyle 2002, Figure 1

This excerpted and edited from a John Muir Institute of the Environment and Bodega Marine Laboratory University of California, Davis PDF report -

Delta Smelt Life History Model
A Contribution for the CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program
Bill Bennett - 01/31/05

Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) are endemic to the northeastern San Francisco Estuary and Delta (Moyle et al. 1992, Moyle 2002, Figure 1 - ABOVE). Formerly abundant they are now listed as threatened under the Federal and State Endangered Species Acts (ESA) and thus labeled a “Big R” (at risk) species for priority restoration by the CALFED Bay-Delta Authority. Much of the concern with delta smelt is over ESA restrictions on the numbers of these fish that are lost to freshwater export operations located in the south Delta (Figure 1). These restrictions are highly controversial because they can curtail export pumping and thus have a major influence on how freshwater is allocated to California’s agriculture and growing human population.

Delta smelt are one of six species currently recognized in the genus Hypomesus that occurs across the Pacific Rim (Saruwatari et al. 1997, Bennett 2005). Delta smelt are small (typically < 80mm total length, TL) translucent fish with a steel-blue lateral stripe and a pleasant cucumber-like aroma (Moyle 2002, Bennett 2005). They most likely evolved from a population of surf smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus) isolated from the coastal marine environment as the estuary formed about 8,000 years ago. Although some aspects of their ecology are similar to other smelts and salmonids, delta smelt are not readily classified with other fishes using typical life history characteristics. They are primarily an annual species with rapid growth and high annual mortality during recruitment to the adult stage, but relative to other such species have low fecundity and spawn only once or twice within a protracted spawning period. Moreover, delta smelt hatch as free-swimming larvae and do not have the degree of parental investment provided by the majority of salmonids. Thus under the classification scheme provided by Rose and Winemiller (1992) and McCann and Shuter (1997) they fit somewhere in between an “opportunistic” or “equilibrium” life history strategist.
[Reference Here]

These definitions are the hinge-points that progressive political power operate from. The beginning of this report outline findings that were the result of grant monies put forward to liberal education institutions by both the state and federal government in order to establish political beach heads of power (read global warming agenda, social justice agenda, control of human activity agenda).

In this case, the monies invested gave the impression that the world would end for a species of opportunistic fish (and the emotional health for some human beings) that threaten their own lives by swimming farther up the Sacramento Delta from San Francisco Bay that the species would normally be found because they are attracted by the noise of pumps. These pumps, as mechanical devises commonly do, chew up and make fertilizer out of the smelt as the fresh water is moved from the Delta to fields that grow food for human consumption.

Armed with this information based upon presumptions outlined in the UC Davis paper, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. introduced the National Oceans Protection Act (NOPA) of 2005. Some of the provisions of this act are: strengthen ocean governance; protect and restore marine wildlife and habitats; address ocean pollution; improve fisheries management. The bill also addresses needs regarding marine science, research and technology, marine mammals, coastal development, and invasive species.

The value of the Delta smelt? Besides serving as bait for attracting larger fish, the Delta smelt is not edible, does not eliminate pests or have any meaningful commercial value. Essentially nothing. Sometimes, despite environmentalist’s protestations to the contrary, certain species reach a natural evolutionary dead end.

Funny thing about the myopic vision of human activity governance. No matter how well intended the action, it can not stop the will to be “opportunistic” or “equilibrium” life history strategist by a species of smelt.

Peter Moyle, UC Davis professor of fish biology, said he was stunned to find a delta smelt he could hold in both hands. Image Credit: Jacob Katz-Ragatz

This excerpted and edited from California WaterBlog -

Large delta smelt population found south of Delta
by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences - Posted on April, 2013

UC Davis scientists have found large populations of the federally protected delta smelt growing extraordinarily large in three Southern California reservoirs, hundreds of miles from its native waters. The smelt presumably colonized the lakes after being pumped from the Delta though the California Aqueduct.

The find, reported today in the journal Pelagic Papers, prompted immediate calls from San Joaquin farmers to remove the fish from state and federal lists of species threatened with extinction. Wildlife officials, however, feared the newfound populations in Pyramid, Castaic and Silverwood lakes would be swiftly poached to low levels because they are extraordinarily large, tasty and easily caught on dry flies.

Normally no bigger than a finger, the delta smelt caught by researchers were an arm’s length and as much as nine pounds, the pier-reviewed study said. Photos of the super-sized smelt went viral on social media within minutes of their online publication this morning. By noon, the fishing blog Fish Ogler reported runs on smelt flies at sports stores near all three lakes.
Moyle and his colleagues at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences explored several explanations for the extraordinary size of the smelt found in the Southern California lakes, but reached no definitive conclusion.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which owns the drinking-water reservoirs, said its executives were aware of the study but unavailable for comment.
“We never looked for the delta smelt down south,” O’Rear said. “I could never get my boss to approve travel expenses for any trip farther than Suisun Marsh.”
Despite the unnaturally large size of the south state smelt, Moyle said he could immediately confirm its identity.

“It has a curious cucumber odor,” he said.
[Reference Here]

Okay, so the California WaterBlog posted this on April 1st of last year ... as humor.

The fact remains that protection of the Delta Smelt, a tiny, slender fish that resides exclusively in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a fertile area that serves as a transition for water originating in Northern California, and ends in water delivery West of the Delta for agriculture and South of the Delta for citizens of Southern California ... results in the diversion of tens of billions of gallons of fresh water away from vital agriculture and population needs and directly into the Pacific Ocean. A precious resource essentially wasted.

As usual, devastation to jobs and economic ruin mean nothing to Political Progressives who are always looking for ways to exert their influence throughout every aspect of human life. To them, the Delta smelt’s survival has a higher priority than the human condition.