Fish Are Dying Downstream?

1483 WordsAug 17, 20166 Pages
Fish are dying downstream. In fall of 2015, the fourth year of California’s drought, eulogies are being written for the nearly extinct Delta smelt, and its lesser-known cousin the longfin smelt may be next in line for that honor. Water in the rivers is so low and so warm that it can barely bring salmon upstream or sustain their nests and young long enough for the young to ever make it to the ocean. Water agencies are building a giant raft – an un-Noah’s Ark – to pump water up to intakes that provide water to surrounding homes. Those intakes are normally deep under water. Columbia University scientists have just estimated that eight to 27 percent of the intensity of the drought is due to climate change. Folsom Lake is a shadow of its former…show more content…
Would not you? I roll from the paved parking lot at Granite Bay off a high-and-dry boat ramp and out into the lake landscape – or make that sandscape. The tan shifting surface is vegetation-free and trailless, and I happily pick a route based on what interests me rather than on the quickest way to get to my destination, whatever that may be. I have half a day to burn and I figure I can get from Granite Bay to or past Beeks Bight, a tight cove with a few points and peninsulas between here and there. Having recently ridden at both Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville, I am pleased to note that the slopes are imminently rideable. This reservoir, lower in elevation and closer to the valley floor, has gentle slopes along this southwestern side, so the surface is gentle to flat, with occasional rocky points and muddy ravines that were once coves, and before that, streams. I know that further upstream the arms of the reservoir will narrow and the slopes will steepen to canyon walls, but there is plenty of riding between here and there. The lake bottom is crisscrossed with the prints of wide truck tires. I note that if sand will support a truck, it will generally support the fat bike. But heading straight upslope in sand is a new challenge. Even with low pressure – I am running just under ten pounds per square inch in my tires – the front of the bike bogs down and slides with even the slightest twisting of the handlebars, and the
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