Dead end river: Fish carcasses starting to pile up in stagnant pools at the Kern River’s western end

“Avid cyclist and angler Jonathan Vegas was thrilled last fall when he read that a local judge had issued an injunction requiring the City of Bakersfield to keep enough water in the Kern River to support fish populations.

So, he was dismayed when he saw water dwindling in the riverbed west of town. At this point, he said, by the time the Kern River reaches Enos lane, the braided flows have mostly petered out leaving just a smattering of shrinking pools and dead and dying fish as he shows in a video he shot Feb. 11.

Vegas said he was unclear until then that the injunction issued Oct. 30 by Kern County Superior Court Judge Gregory Pulskamp only affects six weirs operated by the city from about Hart Park to the McClung weir, three miles west of Allen Road.

But the river stretches beyond that point, all the way to Interstate 5 and, historically, north to the old Tulare Lake in big water years.” [Read More]