In 1965 the director of the Department of Fish and Game, Walter T. Shannon, presented his annual report to the Fish and Game Commission. In that report, he noted the “significant accomplishment” of selecting the peripheral canal “as the best method of transporting water from the north to the south across the Delta.”
This conclusion was the product of the “Delta Fish and Wildlife Protection Study,” a joint federal-state project that evaluated alternatives to enhance wildlife protections in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In fact, that report concludes that the peripheral canal is “the only opportunity to both protect and enhance these resources.”
There has been no change in that position, or in the relative benefits of the peripheral canal when compared to other options for the export of water since that time.
If the state and federal governments continue to export water from the Delta, the fishery agencies’ obligation is to ensure that those exports will do the least damage, and may provide an opportunity to conserve and enhance natural communities, including the fish, wildlife and habitat that are a part of those communities.