Dead fish piling up in pockets along the western reach of the Kern River concern Bakersfield residents; may prompt return to court

“More of the river has dried up, and the smell of death goes on for miles from the dead fish carcasses throughout the riverbed,” he wrote in an email. “It’s almost unbearable out there.”

Flows reaching the McClung Weir, about 3 miles west of Allen Road, have, indeed dropped. They had been about 14 cubic feet per second in January. But through most of March, they’ve gone down to about 5 cfs.

When asked about the flows and dead fish, Bakersfield Water Resources Director Kristina Budak wrote in an email that Judge Pulskamp’s order only mandates the city keep water in the river below its weirs – no further.

“City is currently following a ‘Revised-Interim Flow Regime’ proposed by the Real Parties in Interest wherein, at this time, the City is providing an adequate supply of water for fish flow,” Budak wrote. “Our observations indicate that this is sufficient to maintain a pool downstream of that (McClung) weir.”

Photos of dead fish, she noted, were taken of recharge basins along the river, not the riverbed itself.” [Read More]