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Salmon Water Now Releases the 'Bullies of Westlands' Video

September 2010 has been designated as “Salmon Month" by the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco. To celebrate salmon month, SalmonAid ( will be sponsoring a month-long series of exciting events, creating an opportunity to educate the public about what has gone so terribly wrong with California’s once bountiful salmon runs.

"Salmon Water Now could not let Salmon Month start without adding our two-cents to the educational process," said Bruce Tokars, the relentless producer of Salmon Water Now videos. "So we have a new video, actually, two new videos."

“Bullies of Westlands” is Salmon Water Now's answer to the reason that wild salmon in such dire shape. The video runs 20:44 minutes and is available on Vimeo uninterrupted and in two parts on YouTube.

"You knows a bully when you see one," said Tokars in introducing his latest video. "They use their strength and power to get their way or to influence an outcome."

Tokars said a bully can be a person, or an organization. "In California’s on-going struggle over water, the biggest bully of them all is the Westlands Water District on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. We believe that in the last couple of years, the once mighty runs of wild salmon have been decimated by the self-righteous bulling tactics of the Westlands Water District," he stated.

This Salmon Water Now video looks at the words and deeds of Westlands, the "Darth Vader" of California water politics, as they push for more and more water to be shipped south of the Delta to irrigate subsidized crops on selenium-laden soil that should have never been irrigated.

"We see and hear the voices of Westlands and the politicians and media that have been carrying their messages – demanding that their need for water trumps all others," said Tokars.

Along the way, Tokars documents the struggle of fishery managers trying to determine how many salmon are in the ocean (not many!).

He puts the lie to the Westlands claims that reduced water deliveries have put America’s agricultural output in jeopardy. "We contrast the record, surplus crops of tomatoes, and almonds shipped to China, against the low numbers of salmon that are sold domestically for $20 a pound," noted Tokars.

"Something is not right," said Tokars. "The Westlands Water District’s bullying tactics. Their unwillingness to be reasonable in the face of sound science regarding the health of the Delta and the need for balance is not right."

However, Tokars emphasized, "It is not too late for Westlands to become good citizens. To accept their role in the tragic reality of wild salmon forced to the edge of extinction. It is not too late for Westlands to actually encourage balance and sharing of water. Will it happen? The odds are against the survival of salmon as long as the bullies of Westlands have their way."

I encourage you to watch this superb video and see for yourself. "It is time to make what is wrong, right again. It is time for bullies to be dismissed for what they are. It is time for salmon water, now!" concluded Tokars.

“Bullies of Westlands” links:
YouTube Part 1:
YouTube Part 2:

In addition to "Bullies of Westlands," Tokars has released “Jenna’s Salmon," a short video about a little girl who caught two very large salmon recently. It is a fish tale that explains the angst over the current salmon season - and what is wrong and what is right, too.

“Jenna’s Salmon” link:

Recreational and commercial fishing for chinook salmon on the ocean off California and Southern Oregon was closed in 2008 and 2009, due to the unprecedented collapse of Central Valley salmon populations. While multiple factors have lead to the demise of Central Valley salmon, none is more significant than massive water exports from the California Delta to corporate agribusiness and Southern California.

Yet the response of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his collaborators to this unprecedented disaster is to call for the construction of a peripheral canal and new dams to facilitate increased water exports to subsidized agribusiness and Southern California water agencies.

As usual, sharing and embedding of these videos is encouraged. For more information, contact: Bruce Tokars, For more information about SalmonAid, go to: