A response to this article in SFGate today (4/2/2010) http://www.sfgate.com/cgibin/article.cgi?

f=/c/a/2010/04/01/BAM61COMNS.DTL

Regarding your article in today's paper about the protest of the salmon fishermen, I am attaching a table prepared by the Department of Water Resources. DWR has to pay for every salmon killed at the pumps, so there are well-established methods for estimating the number killed, based on the number salvaged and trucked downstream to the western Delta. DWR used those methods to estimate the number of salmon killed at the pumps for each of 427 groups of salmon grown in hatcheries, marked with a small coded wire tag in their nose, and released in or upstream of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The groups, averaging 165,000 fish per group, were released from 1993 through last year. The average mortality of these fish at the export pumps was 0.4%(!). That is not a typo; it was less than half of one percent. Your article says, "The churning delta pumps crush younger salmon and in some cases actually reverse the flow of the San Joaquin River, confusing older fish." Well, the churning only happens to about 0.4% of them. In 2007, before fishing was banned, about 50% of adult salmon were being legally killed each year by fishermen, according to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council. That mortality is 125 times higher than mortality at the export pumps. It's no wonder that the first response of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, when poor ocean conditions caused salmon population to crash up and down the Pacific Coast (even where there were no Delta exports), was to stop the killing of salmon by fishermen. Congressman Miller and Joel Rosenfeld, who were quoted in your article as blaming mortality at the pumps for the fate of salmon fishermen, both know these facts, so I assume they were intentionally misleading you and your readers. I guess I should not be amazed at the gall of these advocates in completely distorting the facts, given their persistence in doing so over the years, but it still surprises me that they continue to get away with it.

PERCENT OF ALL TAGGED SALMON SMOLTS RELEASED FROM 1993-2009 THAT SUFFERED DIRECT MORTALITY AT THE EXPORT PUMPS
NUMBER OF RELEASE GROUPS 58 28 31 26 18 13 89 21 6 11 12 38 14 3 36 23 427
1 2 3

RIVER

SOURCE OF FISH

RACE OF SALMON

RELEASE LOCATION

AVERAGE NUMBER OF FISH PER GROUP 218,305 111,754 493,467 82,947 108,919 114,296 113,920 94,442 649,981 121,726 96,570 109,408 90,938 71,943 185,142 145,292

PERCENT DIRECT MORTALITY PER RELEASE GROUP BANKS PUMPING PLANT MINIMUM 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.81 0.00 0.00 AVERAGE 0.40 0.72 0.08 0.05 0.05 0.00 0.03 0.36 0.00 0.01 0.27 0.02 0.09 4.24 1.06 0.70 MAXIMUM 2.99 6.43 2.13 0.36 0.28 0.01 0.41 1.43 0.00 0.04 1.33 0.21 1.15 5.56 9.64 5.25 TRACY PUMPING PLANT MINIMUM 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.00 0.00 1.26 0.00 0.00 AVERAGE 0.04 0.06 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.00 0.00 0.51 0.00 0.00 0.04 0.01 0.01 2.28 0.30 0.20 MAXIMUM 0.30 0.37 0.07 0.02 0.03 0.00 0.02 1.44 0.01 0.00 0.10 0.08 0.13 2.81 1.55 1.31

total fish released 12,661,690 3,129,112 15,297,477 2,156,622 1,960,542 1,485,848 10,138,880 1,983,282 3,899,886 1,338,986 1,158,840 4,157,504 1,273,132 215,829 6,665,112 3,341,716

total fish lost 55,711 24,407 12,238 1,078 1,176 0 3,042 17,255 0 134 3,592 1,247 1,273 14,072 90,646 30,075 255,947

Late fall-run Coleman Hatchery Fall-run Coleman/ Livingston Stone Hatcheries
1

Hatchery Delta2 Hatchery Delta
2

Winter-run

Upper Sacramento River Hatchery

Sacramento River System

Feather River Hatchery

Fall-run

Delta

2

Delta3 Spring-run Hatchery Butte Creek Hatchery Hatchery Delta2 Hatchery Hatchery Delta
2

Tagged Wild Fish

Spring-run Fall-run Yearlings

Mokelumne River Hatchery

Fall-run Fall-run Yearlings

San Joaquin River System

Merced River Hatchery

Fall-run

Consists of Coleman Hatchery releases from 1993-1997 and Livingston Stone releases from 1998-2009 Consists of releases into the Sacramento River at locations between Red Bluff Diversion Dam and Sacramento and in the Delta Consists of releases into the San Joaquin River near Mossdale and downstream in the Delta

70,864,458 average loss for all released fish average number per group = 166,000 fish

0.4%