Leaders gather in an attempt to grade local waterways

STOCKTON – How does one grade a river?

Farmers might ask if it provides a reliable source of water for their crops. Fishermen might ask if it provides habitat for salmon or steelhead. Neighbors might ask if there is public access, maybe a nice walking trail.

Four rivers transect portions of San Joaquin County, and local leaders and advocates gathered Monday in a unique effort to evaluate those streams – subjective though their grading might be.

The results of anonymous evaluations will be summarized in an upcoming white paper.

But it’s already clear there is a wide range of opinion about the well-being of the San Joaquin, Mokelumne, Calaveras and Stanislaus rivers.

Take the Calaveras, a nursery for threatened steelhead and a primary source of water for Stockton.

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