SFEWS Vol. 20, Issue 1 | March 2021
#CentralValley #ChinookSalmon #otolithchemistry #Steelhead #monitoring #surveys #catchability #detectionefficiency #DeltaSmelt #supplementation #Ich #pathogens #organiccarbon #stablecarbon #nitrogen #inputs #YubaRiver #watersheds
Variation in Juvenile Salmon Growth Opportunities Across a Shifting Habitat Mosaic
Coleman et al. found that juvenile Chinook Salmon grew faster in the Delta in some years (2016), but slower in the Delta during drought conditions (2014 to 2015). Habitat that featured faster growth rates varied within and among years, suggesting the importance of maintaining a habitat mosaic for juvenile salmonids, particularly in a dynamic environment such as the California Central Valley.
Counting the Parts to Understand the Whole: Rethinking Monitoring of Steelhead in California’s Central Valley
Eschenroeder et al. argue that a reallocation of monitoring resources to better understand the interaction between resident and anadromous Steelhead would provide better data to estimate the vital rates needed to evaluate the effects of recovery actions.
Relative Bias in Catch Among Long-Term Fish Monitoring Surveys Within the San Francisco Estuary
Huntsman et al. assessed relative catchability differences among four long-term fish monitoring surveys from the San Francisco Estuary. Their results demonstrate that catchability is a source of bias among monitoring efforts within the San Francisco Estuary, and assuming equal catchability among surveys, species, and size classes could result in significant bias when describing spatio-temporal patterns in catch if ignored.
Investigation of Molecular Pathogen Screening Assays for Use in Delta Smelt
Gille et al. conducted a pilot study that applied molecular assays originally developed in salmonids to assess the presence of a wide variety of pathogens in the gill tissue of cultured and wild Delta Smelt—as well as cultured fish—deployed in enclosures in the estuary. Although disease is not an overt cause of population decline of Delta Smelt in the San Francisco Estuary, comprehensive pathogen presence and prevalence data are lacking, and unintended transmission of pathogens can have devastating effects on populations already at-risk or on the natural ecosystem at large. Their results corroborate previous work that cultured Delta Smelt do not appear to present a high risk for pathogen transmission during population supplementation or reintroduction.
Multi-Biomarker Analysis for Identifying Organic Matter Sources in Small Mountainous River Watersheds: A Case Study of the Yuba River Watershed
Pondell and Canuel's study focused on identifying the composition of watershed-derived organic matter (OM). To better understand inputs to inland waters and improve distinguish between terrigenous and aquatic sources in downstream systems, such as estuaries and coasts, they surveyed OM sources from the Yuba River watershed in northern California to identify specific biomarkers that represent aquatic and terrigenous OM sources. Results demonstrate the utility of multi-biomarker studies for distinguishing between OM from different sources and land uses, offering new insights for biogeochemical studies in aquatic systems.
Volume 2, Issue 1, 2004
This paper reviews the current state of knowledge of the open waters of the San Francisco Estuary. This estuary is well known for the extent to which it has been altered through loss of wetlands, changes in hydrography, and the introduction of chemical and biological contaminants. It is also one of the most studied estuaries in the world, with much of the recent research effort aimed at supporting restoration efforts. In this review I emphasize the conceptual foundations for our current understanding of estuarine dynamics, particularly those aspects relevant to restoration. Several themes run throughout this paper. First is the critical role physical dynamics play in setting the stage for chemical and biological responses. Physical forcing by the tides and by variation in freshwater input combine to control the movement of the salinity field, and to establish stratification, mixing, and dilution patterns throughout the estuary. Many aspects of estuarine dynamics respond to interannual variation in freshwater flow; in particular, abundance of several estuarine-dependent species of fish and shrimp varies positively with flow, although the mechanisms behind these relationships are largely unknown. The second theme is the importance of time scales in determining the degree of interaction between dynamic processes. Physical effects tend to dominate when they operate at shorter time scales than biological processes; when the two time scales are similar, important interactions can arise between physical and biological variability. These interactions can be seen, for example, in the response of phytoplankton blooms, with characteristic time scales of days, to stratification events occurring during neap tides. The third theme is the key role of introduced species in all estuarine habitats; particularly noteworthy are introduced waterweeds and fishes in the tidal freshwater reaches of the estuary, and introduced clams there and in brackish water. The final theme is the rather heterogeneous set of results from monitoring and research in the estuary. For example, some topics have been subjects of intense activity both in research and monitoring (e.g., physical dynamics of the upper estuary, phytoplankton blooms), while others have received little attention (e.g., microzooplankton). In addition, both research and monitoring have emphasized some regions of the estuary (e.g., the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta) over others (e.g., San Pablo Bay). In addition, ecological modeling and synthesis has emphasized lower trophic levels over higher. Opportunities for restoration in the open waters of the estuary are somewhat limited by the lack of scientific basis for restoration, and the difficulty in detecting ecosystem responses in the context of high natural variability.