SCIENCE NEWS: Study finds warm water important for salmon and trout; Miscounted fish may be skewing population sizes; Reopening a Northern California creek to threatened steelhead; and more …

Warm water important for cold-water fish like salmon and trout, study finds

Warm river habitats appear to play a larger-than-expected role in supporting the survival of cold-water fish, such as salmon and trout. This information was published today in a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change.  The research has important implications for fish conservation strategies. A common goal among scientists and policymakers is to identify and prioritize habitat for cold-water fish that remain suitably cool during the summer. This is especially important as the climate warms. ... ”  Read more from NOAA here: Warm water important for cold-water fish like salmon and trout, study finds

Fate and chance encounters: Mark-recapture studies in an open fish population

Reeling in a behemoth is a chance encounter with a formidable fish, and your decision whether to keep or release your catch seals the fish’s fate. If your catch is marked with a tag, its fate is of particular interest to fish researchers trying to understand fish survival and abundance. Managing a sustainable fishery requires a great deal of information about a fish population, including population size, or abundance. Although straightforward in concept, estimating the abundance of a fish species can be challenging in practice, especially over a large area such as the Sacramento and San Joaquin basins, the Delta, and the San Francisco Bay in California. … ”  Read more from FishBio here: Fate and chance encounters: Mark-recapture studies in an open fish population

Miscounted fish may be skewing population sizes

When scientists affix tracking tags to fish and release them into the ocean, they expect that some will live, some will die, and some will go on to be caught another day. The number of tagged fish researchers catch on repeated surveys provides a way to gauge fish populations. But according to a new study, a subset of fish is prone to being recaptured multiple times. Brendan Runde, a graduate student at North Carolina State University and lead author of the new study, says this means that “for most fisheries, we would be overestimating the number of fish.” … ”  Read more from Hakai Magazine here: Miscounted fish may be skewing population sizes

Female salmon are dying at higher rates than male salmon

Female adult sockeye from the Fraser River are dying at significantly higher rates than their male counterparts on the journey back to their spawning grounds, finds new UBC research. For every male salmon that doesn’t make it to their natal stream, at least two, sometimes three female salmon die.  “This is causing skewed sex ratios in their spawning grounds, something that has been observed in recent years,” says lead researcher Dr. Scott Hinch, a professor in the faculty of forestry and head of the Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation Laboratory at UBC. “The implications on the health of Fraser River stocks are concerning, particularly as Pacific salmon populations in British Columbia have been declining over the past several decades.” … ”  Read more from Science Daily here: Female salmon are dying at higher rates than male salmon

For the first time in a century, California condors will take flight in the Pacific Northwest

For the first time in 100 years, the endangered California condor will return to the Pacific Northwest. Once on the brink of extinction, this iconic species has made significant steps towards recovery. Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and the Yurok Tribe announced a final rule that will help facilitate the creation of a new California condor release facility for the reintroduction of condors to Yurok Ancestral Territory and Redwood National Park, which is in the northern portion of the species’ historic range. This facility will be operated by the Northern California Condor Restoration Program, a partnership between Redwood National Park and Yurok Tribe.  … ”  Read more from the US FWS here: For the first time in a century, California condors will take flight in the Pacific Northwest

Napa: Reopening a Northern California creek to threatened steelhead—part 1: “The whole watershed will benefit”

The Napa River in Northern California is a linchpin in the recovery of Central California Coast Steelhead, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Flowing into San Francisco Bay, the river supports small cities and renowned vineyards. Removal of a century-old dam on a tributary of the Napa River has now increased its capacity to support recovering populations of threatened steelhead, as well.  “For steelhead to recover we need them to return in greater numbers to interior San Francisco Bay,” said NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region biologist, Dan Logan, “and for that to happen we need them to return to the Napa River.” … ”  Read more from NOAA here:  Reopening a Northern California creek to threatened steelhead—part 1: “The whole watershed will benefit”

Providing water for fish in the Calaveras River

Part of responsibly managing a watershed is efficiently using a limited water supply to balance the needs of both humans and wildlife. This is especially true in the highly variable climate of California, and even more so in a rain-fed river system like the Calaveras River, where the water supply can be unpredictable. Today, as part of World Water Day, we are taking a look at a new Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) developed for the for the Calaveras River, which includes several objectives related to water flow and water quality to help conserve vital fish habitat used by rainbow trout/steelhead, and occasionally by Chinook salmon. These objectives ensure enough downstream flow to allow fish passage during key periods of the salmonid life cycle. … ”  Read more from FishBio here:  Providing water for fish in the Calaveras River

Underwater meadows of California seagrass found to reverse symptom of climate change

Eelgrass, a plant that grows in “underwater meadows” along the California coast and emerges like a floating carpet at low tide, is already known to be an important habitat for fish, birds and baby Dungeness crabs. It turns out it can also reduce seawater’s acidity back to preindustrial levels, creating refuges for animals who can’t tolerate that byproduct of climate change.  That’s the conclusion of a six-year study published Wednesday by the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory. ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Underwater meadows of California seagrass found to reverse symptom of climate change

Future of San Diego’s Buena Vista Lagoon to be more natural

“The Buena Vista Lagoon Ecological Reserve in San Diego County sits between the cities of Oceanside to the north and Carlsbad to the south. It’s historic because it was the state’s first-ever reserve, created in 1968. Recently it has become considered noteworthy, if not historic, for another reason. Homeowners in that area, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), CDFW and several other groups came to an agreement after years of dispute on how the lagoon should be altered so it thrives well into the future.  “It’s a really exciting situation, and it leads me to believe that people will do the right thing when push comes to shove and not just look out for their own personal interests,” said CDFW Reserve Manager Gabriel Penaflor. … ”  Read more from the Department of Fish & Wildlife here:  Future of San Diego’s Buena Vista Lagoon to be more natural

Why trillions of jellyfish washed ashore from Canada to California

During some years in the spring, so many jellyfish wash ashore on the beaches of Washington, Oregon, and California that they carpet the sand in thick, gooey mats. The jellyfish Velella velella can pile so high that taken together, they likely equal six and half blue whales’ worth of stuff.  Researchers now want to know where the jellyfish came from and what they could mean for the ecosystem.  “The question is, Are all those gazillions of Velella colonies out there eating all the fish eggs?” said Julia Parrish, a marine ecologist at the University of Washington. ... ”  Read more from EOS here: Why trillions of jellyfish washed ashore from Canada to California

Dueling eyes on ecosystem metabolism tell diverging stories

Ecosystem respiration from plants, microorganisms, and animals together makes up one of the largest flows in the global carbon cycle. Researchers have gone to great lengths to develop ways to automate high-frequency measurements of these processes. Yet, two of the more common state-of-the-art techniques, soil chambers and eddy covariance flux towers, disagree on the magnitude and daily to seasonal variation of this term at many sites worldwide. ... ”  Read more from EOS here: Dueling eyes on ecosystem metabolism tell diverging stories

Resources for Programming in Hydrology

Here we present a non-exhaustive collection of useful (open-source) programming resources and tips for conducting research within the broader hydrological sciences. After supervising multiple students, a recurring question is where to start and what tools to use. Therefore, we created this collection with the needs of beginning to advanced level data scientists in mind. … ”  Continue reading at AGU-H3S here: Resources for Programming in Hydrology

Science communication at its best: This viral TikTok perfectly explains how the COVID-19 vaccines work

” … The TikTok video is a short skit by an actor named Vick Krishna who turns the mundane process of vaccination into a good-versus-evil thriller to explain how the mRNA vaccine works. It’s been viewed 6 million times on TikTok alone, and has been shared on other social platforms and in text messages where it’s harder to measure its reach. … ”  Read the article from Fast Company here: This viral TikTok perfectly explains how the COVID-19 vaccines work, or cut to the chase and watch the video on Tik Tok here: How the mRNA Vaccine 💉 works

Maven’s XKCD Comic Pick of the Week …

 

 


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

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