New Riparian Setbacks Needed where 3 fish-killing Chemicals Used

New riparian setbacks needed where 3 fish-killing chemicals are used.

Chlorpyrofos (Lorsban, Dursban) has been used against glassy-winged sharpshooters in Southern CA, and of course those of us who lived in Santa Clara Valley in the 1980s got malathion dumped on us. One official supposedly drank a glass of it (in water) to show how safe it was.

Lorsban was phased out of residential use starting in 2001 or so, and diazinon started leaving store shelves in 2004. Both are now restricted to professional pest control operator use, but this still threatens salmon.


News item in Press Democrat, 11/19/08

New Protections for Salmon

Farms and orchards that continue to use three pesticides that harm salmon will have to greatly expand buffer zones around their fields so the chemicals don’t reach streams, federal biologists ruled Tuesday.

Acting under terms of a lawsuit brought by anti-pesticide groups and salmon fishermen, NOAA Fisheries Service issued findings under the Endangered Species Act that chemicals malathion, diazinon and chlorpyrifos jeopardize the survival of all 28 species of Pacific salmon listed as threatened or endangered in the West.

The chemicals, found by the U.S. Geological Survey to contaminate rivers throughout the West, interfere with salmon’s sense of smell, making it harder to avoid predators, locate food and even find their native spawning streams and reproduce. At higher concentrations, they kill fish outright.