The delta smelt is on a trajectory towards extinction in the wild. Heading into 2017, the spawning adult population was at an all-time low although this past wet winter has apparently seen a small resurgence. However, increasingly warm summer temperatures in the Delta may dampen any upswing. Given the long-term trajectory of the population and climate predictions for California, maintaining Delta smelt in the Delta for the next 20-30 years is not likely to happen without significant improvements to the habitat.
Archive for date: August 13th, 2017
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The winter of 2017 was a gift in many ways. Not only did it bring desperately needed water to California and end a statewide drought emergency, it highlighted the need to build more surface water storage projects like Temperance Flat on the San Joaquin River. California’s investment in water infrastructure has not kept up with the ever-growing demand for water supply. Many aging facilities don’t have the capacity necessary to keep up with our state’s population growth. Friant Dam and Millerton Lake are too small to capture runoff from the massive watershed above it.