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LTA Press Release on Decision to Draw the Lake
Lake Tulloch Alliance Press Release
For Immediate Release

Friday, August 07, 2015
Contact: Jack Cox (209) 785-1944
The Oakdale and South San Joaquin irrigation Districts have failed to oppose the policy to release more water for fish below Lake Tulloch and Goodwin Dams to achieve an environmental policy they know that does not work.  They have announced a plan to begin drawing down Lake Tulloch in just two weeks after promises they would not.
“The lowering of Lake Tulloch during the prime summer season is going to have a profound impact on the economy, ecology and the people.” Declared Jack Cox of the Lake Tulloch Alliance. “It is absolutely irresponsible. We understand the need to drop  the lake to achieve the usual 5 year cycle for repair but this is not for improvement of lake facilities but for continuing fish flows.”
One of the agency’s officials this week informed the Lake Tulloch Alliance that they would not oppose implementation of the release of more water from Lake Tulloch and Melones to pursue a failed policy. The official further told the Alliance they considered the Lake Tulloch community of secondary importance compared with making money from power generation and selling water to users.
The District’s own consultants have told them the policy will not work . Their fish biological consultants have told them:
  • Most fish affected aren't native but hatchery fish.
  • Goal to expand the Salmon population to 20,000 Salmon in one river won’t work because the habitat can only support 5,000.
  • Non-native habitat does not support fish laying more eggs.
  • Only about 3% of the Delta has any habitat anymore because of rock levies.
  • Predator fish such as Bass, planted by state and federal agencies years ago, are responsible now for eating baby salmon before they ever grow to be adults.
“These irrigation districts have simply refused to protect the farmers and residents of the Sierra Foothils from misguided public policies that are wasting billions of gallons of water for a biological purpose they know doesn’t work.” Declared Cox. “The agency is also damaging their ability to even abide by their own contract with the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency to protect the lake’s environment and investments of hundreds of millions of dollars by homeowners, business and the public sector.
The Alliance noted that the Irrigation Districts refused to release water for the Spring pulse flows because it was in their financial benefit  only to protect their water supplies for farmers and domestic users by agreeing to terms with the Bureau of Reclamation through August. Apparently now they can throw the Sierra Foothills under the bus for a policy that is not needed.
The Lake Tulloch Alliance released a discussion paper outlining the conflict the agencies now have in abiding by their own agreement with the federal government to protect the lake. “They have a potential major conflict here.” noted Cox.
The Lake Tulloch Alliance is an association of leaders and members of all of the Lake Tulloch Area homeowners associations and works closely with policy makers on a local, state and federal level.  The organization has been a vocal supporter of TriDam and the goals to protect the environment and economy of the area with effective land use planning and environmental policies.

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