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» June 14, 2006 «
A cooperative effort among farmers, ranchers and fisheries agencies will benefit fish in the Scott River of Northern California. Officials will dedicate fish screens along the river today (Wednesday). A total of 32 screens will prevent young coho salmon from straying from the river into agricultural irrigation canals. A representative says farmers see the screens as a way to protect fish while maintaining the region's agricultural production.
Populations of a severe olive pest have increased dramatically throughout the state. Olive fruit flies can ruin the fruit in commercial orchards. Monitors indicate the number of flies has jumped in olive-growing regions around the state. The monitoring helps farmers know when to protect their olive groves against the pest. It cannot be eradicated in part because of the number of ornamental olive trees used in landscaping.
It was about this time last year that state officials received their first reports of California horses becoming ill with West Nile virus. So far this year, there have been no reports of horses coming down with the virus. The state Department of Food and Agriculture urges horse owners to make certain their animals are vaccinated against the disease. Authorities expect more mosquitoes this year due to added breeding ponds of water from all the rain. The insects spread the disease.
Another indication of the ample precipitation this past winter and spring is the condition of California's rangeland. A federal report says nearly 60 percent of the state's range grasses remain in good or excellent condition. The condition of rangeland matters to livestock ranchers. If pastures and range grasses provide enough nutrients for livestock, ranchers do not have to supplement as much feed for their animals.Top