Commercial fishermen say they have had ‘enough’ and they are taking the federal government to court. The issue is the decades old practice of rolling over excessive so-called ‘interim water’ contracts—mostly with large Central Valley irrigators—without following the law.
The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA) and the Crab Boat Owners Association (CBOA) filed suit Monday in the Northern Federal District Court of California, challenging the United States Bureau of Reclamation practice of promising excessive amounts of water to contractors regardless of the water year or impacts on valuable fish stocks or the environment.
Reclamation is breaking the law, the fishing organizations say, by taking far too much water from the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta – San Francisco Bay Estuary and by failing to consider impacts on wild fish nurseries in the estuary and upstream river valleys. These water contract renewals should be stopped until proper environmental review is completed.