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  • Title

    Monitoring and Evaluation of the North Delta Food Subsidies and Colusa Basin Drain Study

    Lead California Department of Water Resource [DWR]
    Description The North Delta Food Subsidies – Colusa Basin Drain Study monitors and evaluates the effects of the North Delta Flow Action on the Delta food web.
    Science topics Delta Smelt, Fish, Flows, Water management
    Updated November 17, 2022
  • Title

    Directed Outflow Project

    Lead U.S. Bureau of Reclamation [USBR]
    Description The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and California Department of Water Resources (DWR), along with collaborators, are continuing efforts to evaluate the hypothesized benefits of outflow and outflow alteration for Delta Smelt. The collective aim of these efforts is to better inform management actions that will bolster and stabilize the Delta Smelt population. The planned five-year Directed Outflow Project (DOP) seeks to assist in evaluating the overarching hypothesis that habitat quality and quantity is improved in the summer/fall when X2 is below 81 km and the LSZ occurs in Suisun Bay and Marsh, and this improvement in habitat conditions will translate into a greater catch density, health, and growth for Delta Smelt using this area
    Science topics Delta Smelt, Fish, Flows, Water management
    Updated November 17, 2022
  • Title

    Delta Landscapes Project

    Lead San Francisco Estuary Institute [SFEI]
    Description The Delta Landscapes Project has developed a body of work to inform landscape-scale restoration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem. The project is built on knowledge, first published in 2012’s Delta Historical Ecology Investigation, of how the Delta ecosystem functioned in the early 1800s (prior to the California Gold Rush and subsequent landscape-level changes).
    Science topics Landscape metrics, Restoration planning, Marsh wildlife, Riparian wildlife, Terrestrial wildlife, Fish
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Delta Landscape Scenario Planning Tool

    Lead San Francisco Estuary Institute [SFEI]
    Description The Delta Landscapes Scenario Planning Tool is a set of resources to assist users with developing, analyzing, and evaluating different land use scenarios in the Delta. The tool is designed to inform ongoing and future restoration planning efforts by assessing how proposed projects will affect a suite of landscape metrics relating to desired ecosystem functions.
    Science topics Fish, Landscape metrics, Marsh wildlife, Restoration planning, Riparian wildlife, Sea level rise, Terrestrial wildlife
    Updated November 17, 2022
  • Title

    Delta Regional Monitoring Program Mercury Monitoring

    Lead Delta Regional Monitoring Program [RMP]
    Description Monitoring of sport fish and water was conducted by the Delta Regional Monitoring Program (Delta RMP) from August 2016 to April 2017 to begin to address the highest priority information needs related to implementation of the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta Estuary Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Methylmercury (Wood et al. 2010). Two species of sport fish, largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus), were collected at six sampling locations in August and September 2016. The length-adjusted (350 mm) mean methylmercury (measured as total mercury, which is a routinely used proxy for methylmercury in predator fish) concentration in bass ranged from 0.15 mg/kg or parts per million (ppm) wet weight at Little Potato Slough to 0.61 ppm at the Sacramento River at Freeport. Water samples were collected on four occasions from August 2016 through April 2017. Concentrations of methylmercury in unfiltered water ranged from 0.021 to 0.22 ng/L or parts per trillion. Concentrations of total mercury in unfiltered water ranged from 0.91 to 13 ng/L. Over 99% of the lab results for this project met the requirements of the Delta RMP Quality Assurance Program Plan, and all data were reportable. This data report presents the methods and results for the first year of monitoring. Historic data from the same or nearby monitoring stations from 1998 to 2011 are also presented to provide context. Monitoring results for both sport fish and water were generally comparable to historic observations. For the next several years, annual monitoring of sport fish will be conducted to firmly establish baseline concentrations and interannual variation in support of monitoring of long-term trends as an essential performance measure for the TMDL. Monitoring of water will solidify the linkage analysis (the quantitative relationship between methylmercury in water and methylmercury in sport fish) in the TMDL. Water monitoring will also provide data that will be useful in verifying patterns and trends predicted by numerical models of mercury transport and cycling being developed for the Delta and Yolo Bypass by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).
    Science topics Biosentinels, Fish, Methylmercury, Restoration, Water
    Updated November 17, 2022
  • Title

    An Improved Genomics Tool for Characterizing Life History Diversity and Promoting Resilience in Central Valley Chinook Salmon

    Lead Michigan State University
    Description This study will improve our ability to protect the diversity of traits in Chinook salmon. The diversity of Chinook salmon migration timing is decreasing in the Central Valley. A key roadblock to protecting diversity is the current inability to rapidly and inexpensively identify large numbers of individuals from different populations during their migration to the ocean. This study addresses this information gap by leveraging pre-existing genomic data to develop a new technique that will allow scientists to identify individuals to life history type and location. For example, this study will potentially be able to identify Fall Run Chinook that are from the Sacramento versus the San Joaquin River basins. This information, in combination with data on water temperature and river flows, can determine the relationship between environmental conditions and juvenile salmon life history diversity. The information generated by this work will provide managers with the ability to accurately monitor the effect of key management actions on the different Central Valley Chinook salmon populations.
    Science topics Chinook Salmon, Estuaries, Fish, Habitat restoration, Resilience, Salmon rearing
    Updated November 29, 2022
  • Title

    Synchrony of Native Fish Movements: Synthesis Science Towards Adaptive Water Management in the Central Valley (FishSync)

    Lead University of California - Davis [UC Davis]
    Description Salmon and other native California fishes are in decline and increasingly targeted for enhanced conservation. Acoustic telemetry technologies have emerged, allowing researchers to track fish routes through the Central Valley. Yet while the use of acoustic telemetry has widened, little synthesis has occurred on the large, growing, and expensive datasets that already exist. The main goal of the project is to conduct a synthesis study of existing and high priority telemetry datasets for native and non-native fishes in the Central Valley. Using synchrony of movement rates, through space and time, we will develop a novel behavior-based statistical framework to gain understanding into the environmental conditions that promote movement/passage of diverse native fishes in the Central Valley. The project includes a Technical Advisory Group, composed of members of multiple conservation teams. The group will inform each step of study, strengthen syntheses, and enable rapid communication of results to decision makers. In total, the project will analyze 10 to 15 high-quality telemetry datasets encompassing a range of native fishes and life stages. This synthesis will yield major insights into water management practices that could help improve survival of native fish.
    Science topics Chinook Salmon, Fish, Salmon migration, Steelhead Trout, Sturgeon, White Sturgeon
    Updated December 4, 2022
  • Title

    Developing an eDNA metabarcoding protocol to improve fish and mussel monitoring in the San Francisco Estuary

    Lead National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA]
    Description Description We propose to develop an eDNA metabarcoding protocol to complement existing IEP monitoring surveys and assess the effects of management activities such as habitat restoration or flow alteration. We will develop a reference sequence database for native and invasive fish, mussels, and other macroinvertebrates present in the San Francisco Estuary (SFE). We will optimize a molecular and computational pipeline for metabarcoding and ground truth the method against three SFE monitoring efforts, each using different sampling gear. We will investigate the relationship between eDNA sequence read count and fish biomass or abundance (EDSM survey). Finally, we will determine the ability of metabarcoding to detect fish and macroinvertebrate assemblages across large and small spatial scales and over time. Need Our overarching goal is to develop a non-invasive, low cost monitoring tool that can be used in conjunction with existing IEP monitoring programs or used alone to assess biological community composition at locations of interest in the SFE. This proposal is related to the 2020 – 2024 IEP Science Strategy by creating a new monitoring tool that can assist in two main areas: 1) Restoring Bay-Delta native fishes and community interactions and 2) assessing effects of flow alteration on Bay-delta aquatic resources. Broadly, this study will inform management decisions by supporting and augmenting existing monitoring surveys in the SFE. It will also lead to a richer and more complete understanding of SFE ecology. This study is not explicitly required by law or agreement, and to our knowledge is neither a recommended action nor a result from an IEP review or synthesis effort. Objectives Objective 1: Develop robust molecular methods and a computational pipeline for detection of SFE fish and macroinvertebrates by eDNA metabarcoding of water samples. Objective 2: Compare eDNA metabarcoding head-to-head with existing and historical monitoring data from three ongoing ecological surveys using diverse conventional sampling gear and evaluate accuracy of fish abundance and biomass estimates from eDNA metabarcoding data. Objective 3: Evaluate factors that influence eDNA detection of species of interest (e.g. rare or invasive species) and suites of species (e.g. benthic fishes and invertebrates) on two spatial scales, within and between habitats, along with temporal variation.
    Science topics Fish
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Integrating Measurement of Fish Body Condition within the Delta Juvenile Fish Monitoring Program [DJFMP]

    Lead U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS]
    Description Description The aim of this pilot effort is to begin assessing methods and developing protocols for incorporating measurement of fish body condition (Fulton’s Condition Index, K) into standard Delta Juvenile Fish Monitoring Program (DJFMP) sampling. Need The goal of this study is to examine the utility of fish body condition as a measure for DJFMP to evaluate underlying factors driving fish health and survival in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River-Delta system. This will provide a more complete assessment of how condition metrics vary for common fish species that are sensitive to differences in environmental conditions, filling a fundamental data gap in our existing monitoring program. Objectives • Establish a pilot sampling design and methods for collection of data from fish sampled through DJFMP. • Assess the utility and expand the use of body condition to include up to 7 species of commonly sampled fishes. • Develop protocols for incorporating new methods into DJFMP sampling.
    Science topics Fish
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Delta Regional Monitoring Program

    Lead San Francisco Estuary Institute [SFEI]
    Description The Delta Regional Monitoring Program (RMP) is a stakeholder-directed project formed to develop water quality data necessary for improving our understanding of Delta water quality issues.
    Science topics Hg and methyl mercury, Insecticides, Rodenticides, Herbicides, Fungicides, Main channels, Sloughs, Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout, Green sturgeon, White Sturgeon, Striped bass, Fish
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Endangered Species Project

    Lead California Department of Pesticide Regulation [DPR]
    Description In California, DPR has been studying endangered species protection issues with federal funding since 1988. DPR activities include mapping sites occupied by federally listed species, evaluating pesticide exposure risks to inhabited sites, classifying risk and developing protection strategies to minimize risk as needed. There are currently 359 federally listed species in California including federally protected endangered and threatened species, proposed endangered, proposed threatened and Category 1 candidate species (that await only administrative processes to become protected species). Collectively, the federally listed species may occupy about 16 million acres, or about 16 percent of the land area of the state, albeit at very low densities. Of all federally listed species in California, the San Joaquin kit fox has by far the greatest overlap with agricultural areas, accounting for about 10 million acres in 14 counties, mostly in the agriculturally rich southern San Joaquin Valley. Other species that are interspersed with agricultural areas include birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans and many plants.
    Science topics Agriculture, Urban development, Insecticides, Rodenticides, Herbicides, Fungicides, Chinook Salmon, Delta Smelt, Benthos, Shorebirds, Giant garter snake, California tiger salamander, Insects, Other species, Fish, Mammals, Birds, Amphibians and reptiles
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    California Natural Diversity Database [CNDDB]

    Lead California Department of Fish and Wildlife [CDFW]
    Description The California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB) is an inventory of the status and locations of rare plants and animals in California. CNDDB staff work with partners to maintain current lists of rare species, as well as to maintain an ever-growing database of GIS-mapped locations for these species. The CNDDB is a "natural heritage program" and is part of a nationwide network of similar programs overseen by NatureServe (formerly part of The Nature Conservancy). All natural heritage programs provide location and natural history information on special status plants, animals, and natural communities to the public, other agencies, and conservation organizations. The data help drive conservation decisions, aid in the environmental review of projects and land use changes, and provide baseline data helpful in recovering endangered species and for research projects.
    Science topics Mudflats, Intertidal / transition zones, Above-highwater refugia, Main channels, Sloughs, Backwater, Submerged aquatic vegetation, Floating aquatic vegetation, Seasonally flooded, Open water, Managed ponds, Riparian wildlife, Forests, Non-forested vegetation, Delta islands, Pacific flyway, Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout, Green sturgeon, White Sturgeon, Delta Smelt, Longfin Smelt, Sacramento Splittail, Pelagic fish, Benthos, Salt marsh harvest mouse, Waterfowl, Shorebirds, Gulls, Giant garter snake, California tiger salamander, Insects, Mollusks, Crustaceans, Striped bass, Corbicula/Potamocorbula, Nutria, Water hyacinth, Brazilian waterweed, Spongeplant, Giant reed, Yellow star thistle, Saltwater / freshwater marshes, Habitat, Other species, Fish, Mammals, Birds, Amphibians and reptiles, Invertebrates, Invasive / non native species, Non-resident / overwintering birds
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Drought Stressor Monitoring

    Lead California Department of Fish and Wildlife [CDFW]
    Description The state of California recently experienced a severe drought and one of the warmest and driest periods of recorded history. The drought lasted for five years, from 2012 to 2016. On January 17, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown declared the drought a state of emergency. This proclamation directed all state agencies to act to prepare for and mitigate drought-related effects on water supply and aquatic species. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) responded by developing and implementing “Drought Stressor Monitoring”. In late 2016 to early 2017, drought conditions improved considerably throughout most of the state when winter storms delivered higher than average levels of rainfall. This report describes the results from a collaborative monitoring effort carried out during the period 2014 to 2017 by scientists from California Department of Fish and Wildlife and other agencies throughout the state.
    Science topics Dissolved oxygen, Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout, Fish, Amphibians and reptiles
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Aquatic Invasive Species [AIS] Program

    Lead U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS]
    Description The overarching AIS goal is that "Risks of aquatic invasive species invasions are substantially reduced, and their economic, ecological, and human health impacts are minimized.” This goal is addressed through a series of performance and workload measures. The AIS Program provides funding for Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinators for each Region within the Service and their respective aquatic nuisance species activities. These coordinators work closely with the public and private sector to develop and implement invasive species projects. One of the primary initiatives of the program is the prevention of invasive species via boats through the "100th Meridian Initiative" (overseen by individual AIS regional coordinators). This initiative aims to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by boats personal watercraft and other pathways. Through boat inspections and boaters assessments along the 100th meridian, partners can learn how to prevent the spread of zebra mussels and other AIS via transport of boats and personal watercraft.
    Science topics Mudflats, Intertidal / transition zones, Above-highwater refugia, Main channels, Sloughs, Backwater, Submerged aquatic vegetation, Floating aquatic vegetation, Seasonally flooded, Open water, Managed ponds, Riparian wildlife, Mollusks, Crustaceans, Striped bass, Corbicula/Potamocorbula, Nutria, Water hyacinth, Brazilian waterweed, Spongeplant, Giant reed, Yellow star thistle, Saltwater / freshwater marshes, Fish, Mammals, Amphibians and reptiles, Invasive / non native species
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Central Valley Angler Survey

    Lead California Department of Fish and Wildlife [CDFW]
    Description CDFW uses a stratified sampling design to interview anglers and check catches in the Delta and throughout the Sacramento system. Focus of the program is on salmonids, but they also record striped bass and sturgeon data, as available.
    Science topics Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout, Green sturgeon, White Sturgeon, Fish
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Mokelumne River Rotary Screw Trap Monitoring

    Lead East Bay Municipal Utilities District
    Description EBMUD operates 2-3 RSTs downstream of the Mokelumne Fish Hatchery.
    Science topics Surface water / flow, Water temperature, Dissolved oxygen, pH, Turbidity, Main channels, Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout, Sacramento Splittail, Striped bass, Fish, Water intakes, fish screens & passage
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Water Quality in the Nation's Stream and Rivers

    Lead U.S. Geological Survey [USGS]
    Description In 1991, Congress established the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project to address where, when, why, and how the Nation's water quality has changed, or is likely to change in the future, in response to human activities and natural factors. A prominent feature of NAWQA is the development of long-term consistent and comparable information on streams, rivers, ground water, and aquatic systems. The NAWQA Project is designed to answer these questions: 1. What is the current condition of our Nation's streams, rivers, and groundwater? 2. How are these conditions changing over time? 3. How do natural features and human activities affect these conditions, and where are those effects most pronounced? Under the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) project, there are several surface water and ecology studies, including the Regional Stream Quality Assessment (RQSA) (a baseline assessment of streams), and current conditions and long-term trends monitoring.
    Science topics Wastewater discharge, Nitrogen / ammonia, Phosphorous, Carbon, Chlorophyll A / B, Harmful algal blooms HAB, Suspended sediment, Chemistry, Toxicity, Salinity, Water temperature, Dissolved oxygen, pH, Turbidity, Hg and methyl mercury, Polychlorinated biphenyl PCB, Hydrocarbons / polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PAH, Flame retardants, Endocrine disruptors, Lead, Cadmium, Copper, Zinc, Arsenic, Selenium, Constituent of emerging concern CEC, Insecticides, Rodenticides, Herbicides, Fungicides, Microplastics, Other discharge contaminants, Main channels, Sloughs, Backwater, Benthos, Insects, Mollusks, Crustaceans, Fish, Invertebrates
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    National Wetland Condition Assessment [NWCA]

    Lead U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [USEPA]
    Description The National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA) is a statistical survey that begins to address some of the gaps in our understanding of wetland health by providing information on the ecological condition of the nation’s wetlands and stressors most commonly associated with poor condition. The NWCA is designed to answer basic questions about the extent to which our nation’s wetlands support healthy ecological conditions and the prevalence of key stressors at the national and regional scale. It is intended to complement and build upon the achievements of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wetland Status and Trends Program, which characterizes changes in wetland acreage across the conterminous United States. Paired together, these two efforts provide government agencies, wetland scientists, and the public with comparable, scientifically-defensible information documenting the current status and, ultimately, trends in both wetland quantity (i.e., area) and quality (i.e., ecological condition).
    Science topics Fishing, Surface water / flow, Groundwater, Tides, Flood, Drought, Nitrogen / ammonia, Phosphorous, Chlorophyll A / B, Harmful algal blooms HAB, Phytoplankton, Other zooplankton, Suspended sediment, Chemistry, Toxicity, Salinity, Dissolved oxygen, pH, Turbidity, Hg and methyl mercury, Other discharge contaminants, Mudflats, Intertidal / transition zones, Above-highwater refugia, Submerged aquatic vegetation, Floating aquatic vegetation, Seasonally flooded, Open water, Managed ponds, Riparian wildlife, Forests, Pelagic fish, Benthos, Insects, Mollusks, Crustaceans, Conductivity, Saltwater / freshwater marshes, Habitat, Other species, Fish, Invertebrates, Fecal coliform / E. coli
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Anadromous Fish Abundance and Trends

    Lead Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission [PSMFC]
    Description In 1998, the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the National Marine Fisheries Service began a cooperative effort to collect, archive, and enter into standardized database formats the information generated by fisheries resources agencies throughout California. Data for this project have been collected from a variety of government sources, such as the Department of Fish and Game and the US Forest Service, and non-government sources, such as tribal fisheries monitoring, university research, local watershed stewardship programs, and numerous additional fisheries stakeholders. The database contains a significant amount of information regarding the current and historic status of California's anadromous fish. The building and expansion of the cooperative anadromous fisheries abundance dataset is largely dependent on funding, support, and sharing the vision that this type of program in California is imperative. The wealth of this type of information that has already been compiled into the CalFish database demonstrates what can be accomplished through interagency cooperation.
    Science topics Main channels, Sloughs, Backwater, Seasonally flooded, Open water, Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout, Habitat, Fish
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Summer Townet Survey

    Lead California Department of Fish and Wildlife [CDFW]
    Description The Summer Townet (STN) Survey was initiated in 1959 to determine relative distribution and abundance of young of the year (age-0) striped bass (Morone saxatilis) in the Delta. To predict fishery recruitment, the survey calculates an index to measure age-0 striped bass year class strength. This index is based on abundance when age-0 striped bass attain a mean length of 38.1 mm. In contrast, the delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) index is the average of the first two survey indices. The delta smelt index was developed about 1990 in response to declining delta smelt abundance. It has proven valuable in gauging the health of the estuary;delta smelt abundance trend data was used as supporting evidence for their listing as threatened in 1992 under the Federal and State Endangered Species Acts. It appears that zooplankton data are also collected.
    Science topics Mysis, Other zooplankton, Main channels, Sloughs, Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout, Green sturgeon, White Sturgeon, Delta Smelt, Longfin Smelt, Sacramento Splittail, Striped bass, Fish
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Delta Juvenile Fish Monitoring Program [DJFMP]

    Lead U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS]
    Description The abundance of juvenile Chinook Salmon (all races) emigrating from the Central Valley's tributaries on their way to the ocean is estimated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Delta Juvenile Fish Monitoring Program that operates in and around the Delta. The Delta Juvenile Fish Monitoring Program (DJFMP) conducts annual monitoring of juvenile fishes, participates in multi-agency research activities, and contributes to several technical and management committees within the region.
    Science topics Water temperature, Dissolved oxygen, Turbidity, Main channels, Sloughs, Chinook Salmon, Crustaceans, Fish, Invertebrates
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Suisun Marsh Fish Study

    Lead University of California - Davis [UC Davis]
    Description The University of California, Davis has been involved in fish and wildlife monitoring and research within Suisun Marsh for 35 years and has been instrumental in detecting important trends associated with naturally fluctuating environmental conditions as well as anthropogenic influences. Research has included a 35+ year time series on the fish and invertebrate communities of the slough networks, research on waterfowl nesting patterns and population biology, and research on the demography of salt marsh harvest mouse. The Suisun Marsh Fish Study anchors this effort as it is the longest established survey in Suisun marsh. It will continue the research of Professor Peter Moyle under the direction of John Durand, and will focus upon the detection of changes in the aquatic ecosystem in response to developing stressors in the San Francisco Estuary (SFE). This time series is designed to further our understanding of the ecology and function of the fish community residing within Suisun Marsh and the San Francisco Estuary (SFE), and acts as one of the key surveys with Interagency Ecological Program's monitoring effort.
    Science topics Stage, Tides, Salinity, Water temperature, Dissolved oxygen, Main channels, Sloughs, Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout, Green sturgeon, White Sturgeon, Delta Smelt, Longfin Smelt, Sacramento Splittail, Pelagic fish, Benthos, Salt marsh harvest mouse, Mollusks, Crustaceans, Striped bass, Corbicula/Potamocorbula, Conductivity, Environmental drivers, Other species, Fish, Invertebrates
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Fish Salvage and Genetic Analysis

    Lead U.S. Bureau of Reclamation [USBR]
    Description The State Water Project (SWP), operated by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), and the Central Valley Project (CVP), operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, export water out of the San Francisco Bay Delta for urban and agricultural use in California. Salvage of fish at both facilities is conducted 24 hours a day, seven days a week at regular intervals. Since 1957, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) has salvaged fish at the Tracy Fish Collection Facility (TFCF). CDFW's Fish Facilities Unit, in cooperation with DWR, began salvaging fish at the Skinner Delta Fish Protective Facility (SDFPF) in 1968. Fish salvage and loss rates are used to determine the need for changes in operations in response to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regulatory requirements. Salvage and loss monitoring includes daily monitoring and reporting of estimated loss of salvaged fish, as well as monitoring and reporting of salvaged Coded Wired Tagged (CWT) hatchery fish. This information is widely used by West Coast fisheries agencies to collect information on natural and hatchery-reared stocks of salmon and steelhead. Our state-of-the-art genetic analysis techniques are used to quantify salvage rates of listed runs of California's Central Valley juvenile Chinook Salmon. We also utilize advanced genetic analysis techniques to identify different populations of Central Valley juvenile Chinook Salmon, and actively participate in development of new analysis methods.
    Science topics Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout, Green sturgeon, White Sturgeon, Delta Smelt, Longfin Smelt, Sacramento Splittail, Striped bass, Fish, Invasive / non native species
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Recreational Freshwater Fishing Licenses

    Lead California Department of Fish and Wildlife [CDFW]
    Description California tracks the number of fishing licenses sold each year, by county.
    Science topics Fishing, Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout, Green sturgeon, Pelagic fish, Fish
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Yolo Bypass Fish Monitoring

    Lead California Department of Water Resource [DWR]
    Description California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has operated a fisheries monitoring program in the Yolo Bypass, a seasonal floodplain and tidal slough, since 1998. The objectives of the Yolo Bypass Fish Monitoring Program (YBFMP) are to: (1) collect baseline data on lower trophic levels (phytoplankton, zooplankton, and aquatic insects), juvenile fish and adult fish, hydrology, and water quality parameters;(2) investigation of the temporal and seasonal patterns in chlorophyll-a concentrations, including whether high concentrations are exported from the Bypass during agricultural and natural flow events and the possibility of manipulating bypass flows to benefit listed species like Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) and Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). The YBFMP operates a rotary screw trap and fyke trap, and conducts biweekly beach seine and lower trophic surveys in addition to maintaining water quality instrumentation in the bypass. The YBFMP serves to fill information gaps regarding environmental conditions in the bypass that trigger migrations and enhanced survival and growth of native fishes, as well as provide data for IEP synthesis efforts.
    Science topics Surface water / flow, Stage, Velocity, Direction, Tides, Flood, Chlorophyll A / B, Phytoplankton, Other zooplankton, Water temperature, Dissolved oxygen, pH, Turbidity, Other discharge contaminants, Mudflats, Intertidal / transition zones, Main channels, Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout, Green sturgeon, White Sturgeon, Delta Smelt, Longfin Smelt, Sacramento Splittail, Insects, Striped bass, Conductivity, Saltwater / freshwater marshes, Fish, Invasive / non native species
    Updated April 29, 2022
  • Title

    Examining the relationship between Longfin Smelt and flow in the San Francisco Bay Delta

    Lead University of California - Berkeley [UC Berkeley]
    Description The overarching goal of this study is to investigate the time-varying effects of flow variation and food availability on longfin smelt population dynamics, via advanced modeling of a diverse set of environmental and ecological monitoring time series. Specifically, this project will:(1) Assess how key environmental drivers (flow, salinity, temperature) have changed over the past 5 decades (1967 to present) across the San Francisco Estuary (SFE); (2) Examine how longfin smelt population dynamics have changed over that time period, and whether/when breakpoints in abundance and trends exist (e.g., periods of 'decline' vs' stability'); (3) Quantify the effects of environmental on driving observed fluctuations in longfin smelt dynamics; (4) Determine whether/how environment-smelt relationships have changed in magnitude or sign over time; and if they changed, whether such changes have been spatially consistent across the SFE. These goals will inform ongoing conservation efforts of longfin smelt by determining the combinations of flow, habitat, and prey availability conditions that lead to stable population dynamics for the species.
    Science topics Fish, Flows, Longfin Smelt, Zooplankton
    Updated May 8, 2024
  • Title

    Science for adaptive management of juvenile spring-run Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River

    Lead University of California - Davis [UC Davis]
    Description Spring-run Chinook salmon rehabilitation efforts are intensifying on the San Joaquin River. Over the last three years, UC Davis has successfully tracked movement, behavior, reach-specific survival, and route selection for reintroduced juvenile spring-run Chinook salmon in this ecosystem. In 2019, information on salmon tracking was combined with state-of-art habitat (fast limnological automated measurements or “FLAMe”) and physiological (e.g. fish condition, survival and transcriptomic) approaches. Results from this work are ongoing but have yielded actionable information on key habitats and management strategies for promoting salmon life-cycles in the San Joaquin River and central Delta. Now UC Davis will further explore promising recent findings. First, the analysis of an additional year of juvenile salmon tracking will occur to glean more survival information across different water year conditions. This information would be married with expanded FLAMe surveys in space and time along with a second year of physiological assays using caged fish. UC Davis will also evaluate the ‘transport effect’ on salmon, in an attempt to explain consistently high losses of JSATS-tagged salmon through the restoration area. Numerous other synergies exist with new and ongoing telemetry work that will be benefitted by a continuation of this work. The goal is to provide actionable science, and open access data, with a high potential to facilitate adaptive management in the San Joaquin River and central Delta.
    Science topics Chinook Salmon, Endangered species, Estuaries, Fish, Habitat restoration
    Updated October 3, 2023
  • Title

    Non-Invasive Environmental DNA Monitoring to Support Tidal Wetland Restoration

    Lead University of California - Davis [UC Davis]
    Description In this project we use single-species and multi-species environmental DNA (eDNA) approaches to monitor tidal wetland restoration sites and paired reference sites (existing, unrestored tidal wetlands located near restoration sites) in the San Francisco Bay Delta (SFBD). We are working in coordination with the CDFW Fish Restoration Program (FRP) and other collaborators so our eDNA detections can be paired with physical detections of fishes from their trawling efforts. Ultra-sensitive DNA single species detection methods are being used to identify restoration site use by listed species (Delta Smelt, Longfin Smelt, winter- and spring-run Chinook Salmon) while the DNA metabarcoding approach will evaluate entire fish communities (groups of different fish species) at restored and reference sites. Aside from revealing restored habitat use by other fishes, metabarcoding will reveal potential ecological interactions between Endangered Species Act listed and non-listed species, through concurrent detection in time and space. Sampling throughout the year will allow us to identify seasonal trends in fish use of restored and reference sites. This project will demonstrate the utility of eDNA detection as a non-invasive (no take), cost-effective monitoring tool that can complement conventional surveys of restored tidal wetlands in the SFBD. Our results can be incorporated into an adaptive monitoring framework for tidal wetland restoration, to increase success of future restoration projects.
    Science topics Chinook Salmon, Delta Smelt, Endangered species, Estuaries, Fish, Green sturgeon, Habitat, Habitat restoration, Invasive / non native species, Invertebrates, Longfin Smelt, Mollusks, Pelagic fish, Restoration, Restoration planning, Sacramento Splittail, Salmon migration, Salmon rearing, Steelhead Trout, Striped bass, Sturgeon, Tidal wetlands, Wetlands, White Sturgeon
    Updated May 24, 2024
  • Title

    From Microbes to Zooplankton, What Defines a Beneficial Wetland?

    Lead San Francisco State University, Estuary & Ocean Science Center
    Description Our study will characterize species diversity at multiple levels of biological organization in the water column of restoring wetlands in the upper San Francisco Estuary and Delta (SFE), from bacteria to fishes. In doing so, we will also describe the foodweb benefits being provided to larval fishes, including longfin smelt, through additional dietary DNA analysis. We will use the species diversity we find in the water column to identify a subset of biota that are indicative of the conditions present in wetlands in different stages of restoration (early, intermediate, and mature) and identify connections between those indicators to the foodweb resources being provided to higher trophic levels. We will study 3-4 wetlands in each of 3 stages: early (unvegetated), intermediate (partially vegetated and partially channelized), and mature (fully vegetated and channelized) wetlands.
    Science topics Crustaceans, Cyanobacteria, Estuaries, Fish, Food webs, Habitat, Habitat restoration, Insects, Invertebrates, Longfin Smelt, Other species, Other zooplankton, Pelagic fish, Phytoplankton, Predation, Restoration, Salinity, Saltwater / freshwater marshes, Tidal wetlands, Wetlands, Zooplankton
    Updated January 31, 2024
  • Title

    Open-Source Resources for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Telemetry Research Community

    Lead Cramer Fish Sciences
    Description There is a great deal of telemetry data amassed from studies in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It continues to grow every year with special studies and monitoring efforts. Multiple research priorities surrounding fish ecology in the Delta could be addressed, at least in part, by synthesizing the myriad telemetry data sets that exist; this work would benefit greatly from the centralization and standardization of data workflows surrounding telemetry research. With the guidance of a PIT Advisory Team, we plan to establish a collection of open-source, technology-agnostic, accessible resources to support a reproducible and transparent telemetry data workflow for researchers in the region. The workflow and resources do not invent new procedures, rather improve and standardize those already used by the telemetry research community. This will bring us in closer alignment with centralized, coordinated data workflows that have been successfully implemented in other regions and data communities. The final open-source set of resources will include a design and roadmap for implementing a central telemetry database and workflow, an R package for the preparation, QA/QC, and basic analysis of telemetry data, and a regional workshop offering training programs in the proposed telemetry data workflow.
    Science topics Chinook Salmon, Fish, Other species, Salmon migration, Steelhead Trout, Striped bass, Sturgeon
    Updated December 22, 2023
  • Title

    Standard Operating Procedure for Diagnosing and Addressing Predator Detections in Salmon Telemetry Data

    Lead University of Washington [UW]
    Description Tag predation is a complicating factor in juvenile salmon telemetry studies that can bias results, delay timely reporting, and prevent effective data synthesis. This project addresses the problem by (1) characterizing predatory fish movement patterns from existing telemetry data in the Delta; (2) developing a standard operating procedure for diagnosing and handling detections of predated tags in salmon telemetry studies; and (3) implementing the recommendations in a software package in Program R that includes code, a “library” of expected predator behaviors, and example vignettes. The R package will be freely available for download at www.cbr.washington.edu.
    Science topics Chinook Salmon, Endangered species, Fish, Intertidal / transition zones, Invasive / non native species, Predation, Salmon migration, Steelhead Trout, Striped bass
    Updated December 26, 2023
  • Title

    Impacts of predation and habitat on Central Valley Chinook smolt survival

    Lead University of Vermont, USGS Vermont Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
    Description The Sacramento River in California’s Central Valley has been highly modified over the past 150 years due to mining, urbanization, and impoundment/diversion of river flow to provide water for municipal, industrial, and agricultural needs. Land use changes combined with high levels of harvest have been accompanied by drastic declines in native salmon populations, including the once abundant Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Further, the region has been subject to the introduction and widespread establishment of non-native fish species, some of which are predators of juvenile salmon. Of the four historic ecotypes of Chinook salmon (fall, late-fall, winter, and spring runs), winter- and spring-runs have been most impacted and are currently listed as endangered and threatened respectively under the US Endangered Species act. Past research has illustrated how smoltification of juvenile salmon and outmigration from freshwater to the ocean is a time of increased mortality, and reduced survival at this life stage can impact the number of reproducing adults returning to the system in subsequent years. While these studies have provided valuable information on how habitat and environmental conditions experienced by migrating Chinook salmon smolts can affect survival, they have primarily focused on individual ecotypes during the portion of the year where downstream migrations occur. However, variation in smolt size and migration timing among ecotypes can expose migrating fish to differing environmental conditions and levels of exposure to predation, which can present distinct risks for outmigration survival. To identify the areas and environmental conditions which have the greatest relative impact on juvenile survival for each ecotype, this project will use over ten years of data (2012-2022) from acoustically tagged smolts representing all four Chinook salmon ecotypes in the Sacramento River/Central Valley. Combining these data will increase sample size relative to previous studies, the range of environmental conditions (e.g., temperature, flow, and predator abundance) modeled, the range of fish sizes, and thus, the statistical power of our analyses. We hypothesize that each ecotype will have different factors that will be the primary drivers of mortality experienced during outmigration. To test our hypotheses, we will implement Cormack-Jolly-Seber (CJS) mark-recapture models to estimate both the probability of survival through reaches of the Sacramento River delineated by acoustic receivers, and the detection probability in each reach. Survival will be modeled as a function of individual, release group, reach-specific, and time-varying covariates. Further, to examine the relative impact of predation on smolt survival, we will include an additional covariate representing predator-prey encounter rates using the Mean Free-path Length model. Finally, model selection will be applied to a series of CJS models to assess the relative impact of each covariate on smolt survival for each of the four Chinook ecotypes.
    Science topics Chinook Salmon, Environmental drivers, Fish, Flows, Habitat, Predation, Salmon migration, Water temperature
    Updated February 2, 2024
  • Title

    White Sturgeon Telemetry Synthesis

    Lead Cramer Fish Sciences
    Description Acoustic telemetry studies are expensive and logistically demanding. A new study to tag and monitor 315 White Sturgeon would require a massive field effort by a large team, but by pooling and leveraging existing datasets, this sample size and analysis will be achieved at a fraction of the cost and effort. In recognition of the efficiencies gained by this approach, the Delta Stewardship Council’s Science Program lists the synthesis and analysis of existing telemetry datasets in Science Action Area (SAA) 2. This project directly addresses SAA 2 by capitalizing on existing White Sturgeon telemetry data through the synthesis of three existing large telemetry dataset to understand system-wide White Sturgeon movements. This contract will synthesize existing long-term acoustic telemetry datasets in order to address high priority research questions for the management of White Sturgeon in the San Francisco Estuary system. These questions include: 1. What is the periodicity of spawning migrations by tagged White Sturgeon, and how do these estimates compare to those from previous, single-basin studies? 2. What is the scope and variability of inter-basin movements exhibited by tagged adult White Sturgeon across years? 3. Is there individual fidelity to specific migration routes or sites within each river basin? 4. Do White Sturgeon migrating through the Yolo Bypass experience delays in reaching spawning grounds relative to fish using the mainstem Sacramento River or San Joaquin River routes? 5. Is the onset of upstream migration movement by individuals associated with a characteristic flow rate or event? This contract will serve as a model for future telemetry synthesis studies by adhering to best practices in scientific computing for reproducible, transparent research, and by making all parts of the data and analysis accessible to the broader Delta research community.
    Science topics Environmental drivers, Fish, Flows, White Sturgeon
    Updated May 21, 2024
  • Title

    In search of refuge: Investigating the thermal life history of Delta Smelt through in-situ oxygen isotope ratio analysis of otoliths.

    Lead University of California - Davis [UC Davis]
    Description The inner ear bones of fish, or otoliths, grow continuously and their chemistry reflects the water conditions that a fish has experienced throughout its life. In this project, researchers used in-situ chemical analysis to determine the oxygen isotopic composition of otoliths, which can reflect the water temperature that a fish has experienced. They applied this method to archived adult Delta Smelt otoliths from multiple different water years spanning the time from before and during the recent drought. Using these data, they investigated the relationship between delta smelt abundance and environmental parameters, such as water temperature. More specifically they investigated whether delta smelt are able to find temperature refuges, even in drought years.
    Science topics Climate change, Delta Smelt, Endangered species, Fish, Temperature
    Updated February 26, 2024
  • Title

    Revealing the invisible contributors to the diets of larval longfin smelt and striped bass in the San Francisco Estuary.

    Lead San Francisco State University [SFSU]
    Description To better understand why the longfn smelt is threatened, the project compared the diet of larval longfn smelt to a thriving fsh with overlapping natal habitat and of similar size and morphology— the Pacifc herring. Using new genetic analysis methods, the project aimed to elucidate species composition of fsh diets in greater detail than has been done before and to measure diferences in composition and frequency of prey across habitats. In particular, the project aimed to identify prey items that were not previously seen using traditional diet analysis methods and assess whether any prey are indicative of natal habitats
    Science topics Fish, Longfin Smelt
    Updated February 26, 2024