Attached is an update on current conditions on the Gualala and Garcia rivers. Currently the very low levels of flow are challenging fishery survival. This is true on many of our north coast rivers..
There are minimum by-pass flow conditions (established by DFG) in place on the Garcia and Gualala rivers that are not being enforced.
While the current low flow conditions are dire outstanding complaints on diversion by Walter Stornetta Dairy – where there are illegal water transfers going on and pumping beyond license conditions. This complaint has been before the Division of Water Rights for over 4 years. Last Sunday when I drove by the Dairy on a very warm and extremely windy day there was massive irrigation ongoing on no less than 5 very large fields (far in excess of 20 acres per field). This instantaneous draw down must of been quite large. The evaporative effects and water loss of the irrigation probably was in the range of 20% to 30% due to the wind.
Flows on the Gualala River are extremely low. Lower than any of the locals have ever noted – with major sections of the stream disconnected. There is currently minimum by pass flow conditions set on the North Fork (North Gualala Water Company), and in the mainstem. These by-pass flow conditions are not being enforced. In fact, the North Gualala Water Company does not have water conservation plans or a program in place – as called for by their license.
If fish are to survive, they need water. I ask you to enforce current conditions and to promptly move forward on your north coast rivers flows policy. This situation is urgent.