More than two years after the 2015-16 Dungeness and rock crab seasons in California was marred by toxic algae blooms, the federal government this week has allocated $25.8M in disaster funds to relieve fishermen and businesses affected by the closure. The Yurok Tribe was also allocated nearly $4M in disaster relief for its 2016 commercial salmon season, which was closed due to low numbers of returning spawners.
The Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against local rancher Ray Christie earlier this week, including seven felony counts of animal cruelty and 28 misdemeanors related to placing carcasses too close to state waters in violation of state Fish and Game regulations.
When it comes to a recent Humboldt Baykeeper study of mercury levels in Humboldt Bay fish and shellfish, the group’s director Jennifer Kalt said there’s good news and bad news. The study found that men, women and children of all ages should avoid ingesting unsafe levels of mercury by taking leopard shark out of their diets.
For the fifth consecutive year, Humboldt County beaches placed on a pretty gross Top 10 list. Clam and Luffenholtz beaches placed fourth and sixth respectively on the environmental organization Heal the Bay’s Beach Bummers list because of poor water quality — specifically from fecal bacteria contamination.
Desperate to save plummeting water reserves in Lake Mendocino, a Mendocino County water agency is lobbying the state to dramatically reduce the amount that must be released downstream into the Russian River for fish and people.
It looks as if the last oyster may finally be shucked at the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. by the end of December, judging by what both sides in the long legal fight over the future of the farm said in federal court Monday. Then again, maybe not.
State water officials Tuesday will be considering new regulations aimed at cracking down on people who have ignored orders to stop diverting water from several California streams, including the upper Russian River.
A state appeals court has restored the authority of California water regulators to direct reductions in cold-weather sprays by grape growers and other waterfront farmers along the Russian River that have led to deaths of endangered species of salmon.