February 2015

Volume 6, Issue 3

Delta activists and sportfishing groups are crying foul over a new and improved method of determining the maximum number of delta smelt that may be entrained by the state and federal water projects. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service changed the method earlier this year after careful consideration, and in response to a number of independent scientific reviews, which suggested that the method of calculating the number be revised. The new method is more robust and relies on more data. Bottom line, it is more scientific and reliable.

To most people, more data, more reliable results and improved science are good things. Apparently not in this case, at least to those who continue to blame all of the Delta’s ills on the water project pumps without acknowledging the many other stressors on the ecosystem. Hopefully we can all agree that better science is a noble cause and something we need more of in the Delta. If sportfishing enthusiasts and others are truly concerned about counting fish, they may want to start counting the number of endangered delta smelt and salmon that are eaten every year by non-native striped bass and black bass. That exercise would truly be worth everyone’s time and effort.