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EBMUD ASKS FOR EMERGENCY CLOSURE OF RIVER

 OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) will ask the State Fish and Game Commission tomorrow (Thursday) to order an emergency closure of a section of the Mokelumne River above Lodi to protect the fall 1992 salmon hatch from destruction by anglers.
 Fisherman wading in the river are causing massive damage to nests of salmon eggs in the stretch of the Mokelumne between the town of Lockeford and Camanche Dam, EBMUD fish biologists said. EBMUD biologist Joe Miyamoto will make a plea for the emergency closure at the commission's meeting Thursday in Long Beach.
 Spawning salmon in fall 1992 constructed 335 "redds" (nests dug by salmon in gravel) in shallow water below Camanche Dam, and 121 of those redds are near the Mokelumne Day Use Area where fishing is heavy. Anglers crossing the river there to reach popular fishing holes are stepping on the salmon eggs and disturbing redds in a critical incubation period. The loss of those 121 salmon redds would be equivalent to the entire 1991 salmon run in the Mokelumne.
 "EBMUD and the Department of Fish and Game in Region II have devoted too much time, research, money and water to improve salmon habitat to have a few fishermen go out and wipe out the population with their wading boots," Miyamoto said.
 EBMUD will ask the commission for an immediate ban on fishing in the Mokelumne River from Elliott Road near Lockeford to Camanche Dam. The area should remain closed until the end of April, EBMUD said, so that both salmon eggs and 1991 yearling salmon and steelhead can be protected.
 "The fishery resource should not be jeopardized by inadequate sport- fishing regulations when it has a good chance to rebound," EBMUD General Manager Jorge Carrasco stated in a letter to the Department of Fish and Game. Carrasco pointed out that significant rainfall this winter has improved the return of spawning salmon.
 -0- 2/3/93
 /CONTACT: Gayle Montgomery of EBMUD, 510-287-0141, or home, 510-689-2327/


CO: East Bay Municipal Utility District; California Department of Fish
 and Game ST: California IN: SU:


GT-SG -- SF008 -- 2639 02/03/93 17:46 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 3, 1993
Words:358
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