This video originally aired in 1997 by Common Ground (approx. 28 min)
Hosts – Griff Derryberry and Craig Breon
Mike Silveria – Trout Unlimited
Roger Castillo – Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Group
Mark Wolf -National Heritage institute
Larry Johmann – Guadalupe Coyote Conservation Resource District
The Common Ground panel discusses the surprising return of the Chinook salmon in the Guadalupe River in San Jose and the impact of flood control development. Loss of riparian habitat along the river due to flood control development and how the salmon are coping are among the subjects discussed.
With the current drought conditions the wildlife in the local rivers are stressed due to lack of water. They try their best to cope with the situation waiting for the water to return. During the recent rains, instead of naturally dissipating into the ground, an unnatural amount of runoff water is directed to the rivers via the man made gutters and drainage systems. These systems are intended to keep the streets from flash flooding during large storms. And these systems work well for humans……
But, the wildlife is mislead into following the large flash flows and they begin to migrate towards the quickly diminishing source where they eventually get trapped. What seems like a refuge soon becomes a deathtrap. This video shows some of the effects of flash runoff on wildlife in our local rivers.