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Sold Down The River

Documentary examines California water crisis, effects on sport fishing

By: Special to OutdoorChannel.com

The Sacramento San Joaquin Delta is in crisis; on this point no one disagrees. Winter, fall, late-fall and spring-run Chinook salmon have all declined so much in number that two of the four salmon runs have been listed under the Endangered Species Act. 

Meanwhile, the Delta smelt, green sturgeon, striped bass and even orcas, to name just a few species, have all been adversely affected to one degree or another by the faltering ecosystem in which they live. To date many advocacy groups involved in California water policy have been involved in heated debate over likely culprits and solutions alike. According to environmental advocates, including the State Water Resources Control Board, restoring stream flows into and through the Delta would go a long way toward solving the problem. 

The farming and agribusiness lobby tells a different story. They suggest that invasive species, pollutants and over-harvest, along with the changed nature of the system, account for the serious declines in wildlife.

And then there’s the growing urban population, and the debate on the issue of water usage and sustainability. Currently, the Delta ecosystem is on a crash course.

Agribusiness accounts for billions added to the state budget on an annual basis however.  So where do good economic and good environmental policy intersect?

“California Kings – Sold Down the River,” is documentary produced by Pawlawski Sports, LLC, owned by Gridiron Outdoors host and former NFL player Mike Pawlawski. The 1-hour special that airs on Outdoor Channel, Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET, examines these issues.

The show addresses the very real problems which need immediate attention. Pawlawski takes an in-depth look at the state of water politics in California and its effect on the people and ecosystems of the state, attempting to humanize the groups involved so that taxpayers/voters can make informed decisions about state water policy based on real facts as opposed to the public relations campaigns that demonize both sides.

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