SCIENCE NEWS: Record number of steelhead return to spawn at Coleman hatchery; Long-term monitoring aids scientists studying sea star wasting mystery; Coho salmon die, chum salmon survive in stormwater research; and more …

Snow across the West on March 5, 2018. Photo by NASA.

Record number of steelhead return to spawn during 2017-2018 season at Coleman National Fish Hatchery:  “Unprecedented. That’s the word to describe the 10,000 steelhead that returned to Coleman National Fish Hatchery during the 2017-2018 season.  While dealing with the large return presented huge challenges for hatchery personnel, anglers will be happy to see the fish released into the Sacramento River after they have been spawned.  Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are the anadromous, or ocean-going, form of rainbow trout found throughout the Sacramento River system and its tributaries. The fish were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1998. … ”  Read more from the US FWS here:  Record number of steelhead return to spawn during 2017-2018 season at Coleman National Fish Hatchery

Long-term monitoring aids scientists studying sea star wasting mystery:  “Scientists working to solve the mystery of Sea Star Wasting Disease—and to learn more about the possible keystone species Pisaster ochraceus, the ochre sea star—are reaping the benefits of long-term monitoring of the species along the West Coast. Dr. Melissa Miner, a UC Santa Cruz researcher in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, spoke with EM about her two decades of work with the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network and her recent efforts surrounding the ochre sea star. … ”  Read more from Environmental Monitor here:  Long-term monitoring aids scientists studying sea star wasting mystery

Coho salmon die, chum salmon survive in stormwater research:  “WSU scientists have discovered that different species of salmon have varying reactions to polluted stormwater runoff.  In a recent paper published in the journal Environmental Pollution, scientists found that coho salmon became sick and nearly died, within just a few hours of exposure to polluted stormwater. But chum salmon showed no signs of ill-effects after prolonged exposure to the same water.  “It really surprised us,” said Jen McIntyre, an assistant professor in WSU’s School of the Environment. “Not that the coho were affected so quickly, but how resistant the chum were. We saw no impact at all in the chum’s post-exposure bloodwork.” … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Coho salmon die, chum salmon survive in stormwater research

Better species mapping can improve conservation efforts:  “The scientific models that ecologists and conservation biologists rely on to determine which species and habitats to protect lack critical information to help them make effective decisions, according to a new study.  Angela Strecker, an environmental science professor at Portland State University and the study’s co-lead author, said that species distribution models can help predict all the places where a given species could live based on their environmental preferences, and using these models can help target conservation efforts to areas where they would have the most impact. They can also be useful in predicting where non-native or invasive species may spread. … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Better species mapping can improve conservation efforts

Large wildfires bring increases in annual river flow:  “Large wildfires cause increases in stream flow that can last for years or even decades, according to a new analysis of 30 years of data from across the continental United States.  Enhanced river flows are a good news, bad news proposition. The good news is more water can be a boon, such as serving as a hedge during times of scarce water. The bad news is more water can also be a detriment, especially when it comes with an increase in contaminants, such as sediment or nutrients, caused by the greater runoff that follows vegetation losses to fire.  Prescribed burns on the other hand were not found to significantly alter river flows. … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Large wildfires bring increases in annual river flow

What is ecoforecasting?  “Ecoforecasts detail how interactions between organisms and their environment may affect ecological phenomena such as animal extinction, the spread of invasive plants and disease, and the health of waterbodies.  Major benefits of ecological forecasts include:  Improving decisions to sustain the productivity of ecosystems and to reduce the impacts of extreme natural events and human activities; Bringing scientists and resource managers together to solve resource management challenges; and, Focusing scientific research and monitoring priorities to reduce uncertainties in environmental conditions. … ”  Read more from the NOAA here:  What is ecoforecasting?

Effects of climate change on communally managed water systems softened by shared effort:  “Shared fates and experiences in a community can help it withstand changes to water availability due to climate change, a recent study by Sandia National Laboratories researchers found.  “During our research, a community’s ability to withstand natural and social pressures was routinely pinpointed to the fact that the people who live there feel like they are a community,” Thushara Gunda, a Sandia environmental engineer and the paper’s first author said. “The social fabric of the community, the mutualism, or sense of cohesion, is a really important factor that contributes to its resilience.” … ”  Read more from Science Daily here:  Effects of climate change on communally managed water systems softened by shared effort

Maven’s XKCD Comic Pick of the Week …

Daily emailsSign up for daily email service and you’ll never miss a post!

Sign up for daily emails and get all the Notebook’s aggregated and original water news content delivered to your email box by 9AM. Breaking news alerts, too. Sign me up!


About Science News and Reports: This weekly feature, posted every Thursday, is a collection of the latest scientific research and reports with a focus on relevant issues to the Delta and to California water, although other issues such as climate change are sometimes included. Do you have an item to be included here? Submissions of relevant research and other materials is welcome. Email Maven

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: