I was sitting around the house with a sick b-day girl yesterday and happen to catch a program on PBS regarding the Sacremento River system. I thought the Sac was a much bigger river than what I appeared on the tv screen. Any how long story short the program was filled with a multitude of trout/salmon bioligists and the impact man has had on wildlife on the Sac.. I watched around 45 minutes of the program before it went off and it appeared to revolve around the expansion of the dam. The dam was originally built to be expanded upon upwards of 200ft, making human expansion possible at a later date...Well, that later date is now. Anyhow it was an interesting 45 minutes and I wish I could have sat through the whole thing. There was also a guide by the last name of Trout, who spoke of fishing a tributary on the Sac after a trail toppled over with a trail cart of pesticide spilling it's 45 thousand gallons killing all the fish in the tributary. He also spoke of the iron mines (Iron Mountain) and it's effect on the tributary. They also did an interview with a man who is in charge of taking the mineral deposits, out of the water that are responsible for killing fish. Really, really interesting!
Anywho, the whole thing brought to mind the topic of trout mortality and the thread posted. All of the biologists said temperatures above 65 degrees weren't lethal but added a tremendous amount of stress to the fish. Speeding up there metabolism and making them hungry but also taking oxeygen out of the water making conditions extemely uncomfortable! All an all had you watched the program you'd understand why I though it looked very similar to the conditions refered to on that post, minus the droubt like conditions. There were several other factors included ie; irrigation, research (abroad), and conservationists...It also starred the McCloud River, which is home to the McCloud River rainbow trout. I believe is currently being protected (or an attempt is being made) by Orvis and TU..
By the looks of things it looks like that tributary doesn't stand a chance, it appeared as if the local officials already had there mind made up on expanding the dam another 20 ft putting some streams deeper and some more dried out!
Who else got to watch it...I don't have cable around the house, and I don't watch a lot of TV. I know PBS is a lost channel around most households but I hope someone caught a glimps of it. Hope someone else did and would love to hear some feedback!
Brett: I have actually seen the documentary. It is called Sacramento: The River of Life and was narrated by the actor Peter Coyote. After reading about it and actually seeing it, it is not the picture of a river as we are accustomed to see in the east. It is a vital source of water coming out of the Sierras that is used in the irrigation of the agricultural fields and unfortunately, it is the same runoff from these fields that is poisoning much of the river. It is also located in a fast growing region of California from a housing and population standpoint which is generating the utilities to want to impound more of the river for a source of water to supply the building boom
Painting a different picture!
In the midst of things I was watching my daughter tear up the floor (litter the floor) with toys from her earlier in the day b-day party. I'm sure I had a few things mixed up! A great documentary non the less. I really wish I could have watched a little more intently...They had a few wide shots of the Sacramento Dam System making it look miniscule in size. It's amazing to think samon make it over such gigantic hurdles. I believe one of the biologists said they live in stream for around four years before decending to the ocean and then upon reapproach to the stream only 1 out of 100 make it back past all the hurdles and predators! Amazing these guys can make it past the dam. I don't know what part of the river the Iron mountain lies on, but that stream had an appearance of a steeply falling, signifigantly smaller Hiawassee river or slighly larger, quicker moving Elkmont stream appearance to it. There was a specific clip in the documentary that focused on a "non" tribe of natives that were rebelling on raising the dam. The clips they showed looked like a small East TN stream, but thinking back on it the leader of the un official tribe did say that since the construction of the dam, it had already sank many sacred (loss of word here),,,,,ritual spots.
I'd love to visit this river system before they raise the dam. TV definately put a different perspective on things. I wish I had that picture in my head to paint for myself so consider yourself lucky KY. I hope in the picture there was a fish or two!;)
You also changed my perspective on why there wanting to raise the dam...I now need to go and do some research on Hydro-electricity! I thought the purpose in raising the dam was to lower water levels and properly divert water were they wanted and when they wanted!
Good insight thanks KY,
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