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 OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) will reduce flows to the Mokelumne River below Camanche Dam from 300 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 200 cfs beginning today -- leaving enough water to protect more than 96 percent of the salmon eggs in the river above Lodi and still provide sufficient water in storage for release during the spring salmon outmigration.
 The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) will not contest the flow reduction, but will request monitoring of the impacts on existing salmon spawning areas and appropriate mitigation for any impacts.
 Conditions for the 1994 water year continue to be unusually dry. Only 9.24 inches of precipitation have fallen in the Mokelumne Basin compared to a normal of nearly 20 inches by mid-January. With the possibility of drought conditions returning, EBMUD is minimizing releases to manage limited water resources more effectively.
 Even with the flow reduction, EBMUD expects natural egg production in the river to increase to about 2 million this year. District fish biologists have counted 526 salmon redds (nests of eggs) in the river this winter, compared to 343 a year ago, 100 in 1991 and 87 in 1990. EBMUD is posting signs in fishing areas below Camanche Dam asking sportanglers to help protect this banner year for salmon eggs by not wading in the shallow areas where salmon have spawned.
 The fall and winter salmon run on the Mokelumne is producing close to historical averages, while other rivers tributary to the Delta are reporting below average runs. A total of 3,157 salmon have been counted to date at the fish ladder adjacent to Woodbridge Irrigation District Dam in Lodi, compared to 1,645 in 1992, 410 in 1991 and 497 in 1990.
 In addition, the Department of Fish and Game has harvested 2.9 million eggs at the Camanche fish hatchery and expects to be able to hatch about 1.75 million salmon. About one million of the fingerlings will be released in the spring. An additional 450,000 will be reared to yearlings for later release in the lower Mokelumne River.
 EBMUD and DFG are participating through the Mokelumne River Technical Advisory Committee to evaluate the effectiveness of fishery management practices in the hatchery and the river. This committee also includes representatives from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Committee to Save the Mokelumne, California Sportsfishing Protective Alliance, Woodbridge Irrigation District, the State Water Resources Control Board, San Joaquin County and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
 -0- 1/11/94
 /CONTACT: Gayle Montgomery of EBMUD, 510-287-0141, or home, 510-689-2327; or Ryan Broddrick of the Department of Fish and Game, 916-355-0922/

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

LW-RB -- SF005 -- 1045 01/11/94 13:49 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 11, 1994

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