Feds blamed for quick water cutoff, spoiling 200K fish eggs

Alex Breitler, Record

Water districts that spend $1 million each year studying fish on the Stanislaus River are publicly blaming the federal government for the destruction of nearly 200,000 salmon eggs, after the feds rapidly decreased river flows earlier this month.

Normally, the water districts chastise the government for sending too much water downstream. You might have seen newspaper ads or billboards warning that New Melones Lake, east of Stockton, could go dry if more water is sent down the river for fish.

This time, the districts say the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation first released too much and then not enough water from New Melones, ignoring the districts’ advice and wasting their money.

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