BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: Dark Carbon and a Return to Abundance: How Detrital Floodplain Food Webs Can Help Recover Endangered Fish

In the pre-development Central Valley, winter-spring flooding once created a vast mosaic of productive wetland habitats that teemed with fish and wildlife. A major driver of this wildlife abundance was terrestrial carbon made available to aquatic food webs when floodplains were inundated. Nineteenth and twentieth-century investments in drainage and a network of dams, canals, and levees transformed the Central Valley’s […]

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BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: Harvest, Hatchery Returns, and Straying of Salmon Released at Bay and Delta sites during California’s Drought

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Coleman National Fish Hatchery is the largest salmon hatchery in California, annually producing 12 million fall Chinook Salmon smolts that substantially contribute to California’s ocean and inland fisheries. Standard practice at Coleman NFH is to release smolts on-site into Battle Creek; however, during the severe drought of 2014 and 2015, degraded water quality throughout […]

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BROWN BAG SEMINAR: California floodplains and the fish that use them

How restoring functional flows to floodplains could help restore native fish Two centuries ago, the floor of the Central Valley was largely a marshy wetland.  In the springtime, the snowpack would melt, swelling the rivers beyond their banks and casting the young fish out onto the floodplains.  There they would stay for months, fattening up on the abundant zooplankton and […]

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THE DELTA AND THE TRIBUTARIES, part 2: California’s salmon face challenges, but there are success stories, too

In the fall of every year, an incredible phenomenon takes place in the Central Valley: the fall salmon run.  Adult salmon travel many miles from the Pacific Ocean upstream to their spawning grounds, returning to the river where they were born, sometimes even to the same riffle, where they will spawn, laying their eggs in the gravels of the rivers […]

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Reaction to the State’s resiliency strategy for Sacramento Valley salmon and steelhead

State Resiliency Strategies Show Significant Promise to Improve Conditions for Fish in California Innovative and Comprehensive Approach Seeks to Improve Co-Equal Goals in Delta From the Metropolitan Water District, Northern California Water Association, Westlands Water District, and the San Joaquin Tributaries Association: The California Natural Resources Agency today issued a progress report on its Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy (Resiliency Strategy). […]

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THIS JUST IN … State Launches Aggressive Strategy to Aid Salmon, Steelhead in the Sacramento Valley

Actions Aim to Reduce Threats to Iconic Species From the California Natural Resources Agency: With the latest science showing that nearly half of California’s native salmon and trout species face extinction in the next 50 years, state agencies have committed to a suite of actions to improve survival rates, including restoring habitat, improving stream flow, removing stream barriers and reintroducing […]

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BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: The effects of water project operations on juvenile salmon survival in the Delta

Literature, data review, and recommendations for future salmonid investigations Survival for migrating juvenile chinook salmon has been low for those on the San Joaquin River, averaging approximately 5% since 2002.  Survival is more variable for Sacramento River chinook salmon, and survival data are limited for steelhead.  While water export operations contribute to salmonid mortality by way of direct mortality at […]

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Reconciliation ecology could end California’s water wars

Projects in the Sacramento Valley demonstrate the success of collaboration for the benefit of species This article first appeared in the Central Valley Business Times and is republished here with permission.  Written by Eric Miller, CVBT Correspondent. A careful foot can step anywhere, the Chinese proverb goes, so long as the foot moves in a direction that is good. But […]

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Farms as floodplains: A summary after five years of experimental flooding of agricultural land

Studies show the rice-field fish are larger, healthier and more robust than those in the river at the same age One of the recent and notable success stories for California has been the ongoing studies in the Yolo Bypass to use flooded rice fields as habitat for young migrating salmon. The results from the five years of study show the […]

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Factors that influence salmon predation in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

NOAA’s Dr. Sean Hayes reviews the results of studies of salmon predation in the San Joaquin River At the April 19th meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board, Board members heard an informational update from Dr. Sean Hayes with NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center on the results of the latest studies of predation on salmonids in the Delta, and […]

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