San Joaquin River


Some interesting conversations during a recent backpacking & fly fishing trip in the eastern Sierra.  America used to be a relatively egalitarian place with a strong middle class.   Is this still reality?  Is it still true that if you educate yourself and work hard you will be rewarded?  Everyone in America needs a strong middle class.  Without it we will fail.

Dry season threatens farmers, return of salmon to San Joaquin River. - Ripple Effects: How drought is changing the Valley -
Even though the wetter half of California’s winter is still ahead, it’s hard to ignore the historic dry spell taking shape. The statewide snowpack is 15% of average for early January. This winter is mirroring the terrible 1976-1977 season – the driest time on record. “I never recall a year when there were zero storms for this length of time,” said Randy McFarland, local historian and spokesman for many water districts. “I have the sense we’re seeing history in the making.” A history-making dry year could mean no water releases this summer from Millerton Lake for the restoration of the San Joaquin. All eyes will be on the river in late December when officials are scheduled to reintroduce long-dead salmon runs. Read more here:…
Environmentalists Concerned Drought Causing Salty Bay Water To Invade Delta, Threaten Ecosystem

Environmentalists Concerned Drought Causing Salty Bay Water To Invade Delta, Threaten Ecosystem

STOCKTON (CBS/AP) — State officials say they are struggling to keep portions of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta fresh as saltier water from the San Francisco Bay pushes inland during another summer of drought.

Normally, rivers push back saltier water and keep the delta fresh. But because of the drought, the rivers are low and bay water is invading parts of the estuary.

According to the U…

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It doesn’t get much better than the San Joaquin River in September.  The crowds are gone.  The temperatures are cooler.  The Aspen trees are just starting to change color.  The trout are hungry and aggressive.

Just outside of Mammoth Lakes in the eastern Sierra, this freestone river flows through Devils Postpile National Monument.  It is full of wild Brown and Rainbow Trout.  The dry fly fishing is spectacular.  Caddis and hoppers.  Do yourself a favor and turn off the football game, pack yourself a lunch, and spend the day working your way upstream from Rainbow Falls to the national monument.  

Rainbows at Goodwin - The Goodwin Diversion Dam is located on the Stanislaus River and is owned by the Oakdale and South San Joaquin Irrigation districts which diverts Stanislaus River water into the district`s canals. The Stanislaus River is one of the largest tributaries of the San Joaquin River.  The river is named for Estanislao a Miwok leader from Mission San Jose who led a band of 400 former mission acolytes against the Mexican government in 1828 and 1829. The Stanislaus is a widely popular recreational river for fishing, rafting, camping and picnics.


Photo by Reclamation Fish Biologist John Hannon


Yesterday I showed you green, lush photos from the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge. Now for the dark side of the refuge - a strong reminder that we are now on year 4 of a devastating drought in California. These are photos from the San Joaquin River in the Central Valley of California, March 2015.