SFEWS Vol. 20, Issue 2 | June 2022
#ChinookSalmon #SacramentoSplittail #tidalmarsh #floodplain #openwater #drought #flood #juvenileproductionestimate #JPE #lifehistory #raceidentification #springrun #SacramentoRiver #CADelta #quantile #regressionforest #Steelhead #machinelearning #entrainmentloss #SanFrancisco #estuary #SFE #BayDelta #gillnet #gearselectivity #Drainage #waterquality #agriculturaldrainage #returnflow #diversions #Delta #island #groundwater #nitrogen #phosphorous #metals
Considerations for the Development of a Juvenile Production Estimate for Central Valley Spring-Run Chinook Salmon
Effective species management depends on accurate estimates of population size. There are, however, no estimates of annual juvenile production for Central Valley spring-run Chinook Salmon (“spring run”), a highly imperiled species in California, making it difficult to evaluate population status and effectively manage key issues such as entrainment of this species at water diversions. In recognition of this critical information gap, we initiated an effort to develop a juvenile production estimate (JPE) for spring run, defined here as an annual forecast of the number of juvenile Central Valley spring-run Chinook Salmon that enter the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta (“Delta”) from the Sacramento Valley.
Machine Learning Forecasts to Reduce Risk of Entrainment Loss of Endangered Salmonids at Large-Scale Water Diversions in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, California
Incidental entrainment of fishes at large-scale state and federal water diversion facilities in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, can trigger protective management actions when limits imposed by environmental regulations are approached or exceeded. These actions can result in substantial economic costs, and likewise they can affect the status of vulnerable species. Here, we examine data relevant to water management actions during January–June; the period when juvenile salmonids are present in the Delta.
Gill Net Selectivity for Fifteen Fish Species of the Upper San Francisco Estuary
Gill-net size selectivity for 15 fish species occurring in the upper San Francisco Estuary was estimated from a data set compiled from multiple studies which together contained 7,096 individual fish observations from 882 gill net sets. The gill nets considered in this study closely resembled the American Fisheries Society’s recommended standardized experimental gill nets for sampling inland waters. Relationships between gill-net mesh sizes and the sizes for each fish species retained in them were estimated indirectly using generalized linear modeling and maximum likelihood.
Nutrient and Trace Element Contributions from Drained Islands in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, California
Inventorying nutrient and trace element sources in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (the Delta) is critical to understanding how changes—including alterations to point source inputs such as upgrades to the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (SRWTP) and landscape-scale changes related to wetland restoration—may alter the Delta’s water quality. While island drains are a ubiquitous feature of the Delta, limited data exist to evaluate island drainage mass fluxes in this system. To better constrain inputs from island drains, we measured monthly discharge along with nutrient and trace element concentrations in island drainage on three Delta islands and surrounding rivers from June 2017 to September 2018.
Climate Change Impacts on San Francisco Estuary Aquatic Ecosystems: A Review ample header
In the San Francisco Estuary, signals of climate change are apparent in the long-term monitoring record. Here we synthesize current and potential future climate change effects on three main ecosystems (floodplain, tidal marsh, and open water) in the upper estuary and two representative native fishes that commonly occur in these ecosystems (anadromous Chinook Salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha and estuarine resident Sacramento Splittail, Pogonichthys macrolepidotus).
Volume 5, Issue 2, 2007
Organic Carbon and Disinfection Byproduct Precursor Loads from a Constructed, Non-Tidal Wetland in California's Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta
Wetland restoration on peat islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will change the quality of island drainage waters entering the Delta, a primary source of drinking water in California. Peat island drainage waters contain high concentrations of dissolved and particulate organic carbon (DOC and POC) and organic precursors to drinking water disinfection byproducts, such as trihalomethanes (THMs). We quantified the net loads of DOC, POC, and THM-precursors from a constructed subsidence mitigation wetland on Twitchell Island in the Delta to determine the change in drainage water quality that may be caused by conversion of agricultural land on peat islands to permanently flooded, non-tidal wetlands. Creation of permanently flooded wetlands halts oxidative loss of the peat soils and thereby may mitigate the extensive land-surface subsidence of the islands that threatens levee stability in the Delta. Net loads from the wetland were dominated by DOC flushed from the oxidized shallow peat soil layer by seepage flow out of the wetland. The permanently flooded conditions in the overlying wetland resulted in a gradual evolution to anaerobic conditions in the shallow soil layer and a concomitant decrease in the flow could be minimized by reducing the hydraulic gradient between the wetland and the adjacent drainage ditch. Estimates of net loads from the wetland assuming efflux of surface water only were comparable in magnitude to net loads from nearby agricultural fields, but the wetland and agricultural net loads had opposite seasonal variations. Wetland surface water net loads of DOC, POC, and THM-precursors were lower during the winter months when the greatest amounts of water are available for diversion from the Delta to drinking water reservoirs.
Processes Affecting Agricultural Drainwater Quality and Organic Carbon Loads in California's Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta
From 2000 to 2003 we quantified drain flow, drain-and ground-water chemistry and hydrogeologic conditions on Twitchell Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The primary objective was to quantify processes affecting organic carbon concentrations and loads in agricultural drainage water. We collected physical and chemical data in southern and northern areas: TN and TS, respectively. Corn grew in both areas during the spring and summer. The peat soils in the TN area are more decomposed than those in the TS area. Results elucidate processes affecting drain flow and concentrations under varying hydrologic conditions. During May through November, groundwater flows from the permanently saturated zone to drainage ditches, and the resulting average drainage-water quality and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration was similar to the groundwater; the median DOC loads in the TN and TS study areas ranged from 9 to 27 g C/ha-day. The major ion chemistry and stable isotope data confirmed that groundwater was the primary source of drainflow. In contrast, during December through April the drainwater is supplied from the shallow, variably saturated soil-zone. The DOC concentrations, major-ion chemistry, and stable isotope data indicate that the shallow-zone water is partially evaporated and oxidized. Higher flows and DOC concentrations during these months result in higher median DOC loads, which ranged from 84 to 280 g C/ha-day.
During December through April, increasing groundwater levels in the shallow peat layers and mobilization of organic carbon result in high drain flow and increased trihalomethane precursor concentrations and loads. On a per mass DOC basis, drain water collected during high flow periods is less likely to form THMs than during low flow periods. However, the high flows and subsequent high concentrations contribute to substantially higher trihalomethane precursor and DOC loads.
This study tested whether analyzers using different methods were equally capable of measuring organic carbon in diverse environmental water samples from California’s Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta and its watersheds. The study also evaluated whether the different instruments might provide differing organic carbon concentration measurements, which could in turn trigger (or not) a regulatory requirement for enhanced coagulation at a water treatment plant. In Phase 1, samples were collected in eight monthly events at five stations associated with California’s State Water Project and analyzed using three high temperature combustion and three chemical oxidation instruments. Significant differences between instruments occurred in only 20% of the analyses. However, 80% of the observed differences were attributed to one combustion instrument that reported higher values compared to the other instruments. In Phase 2, four certified standards were analyzed with nine instruments. Results suggested that the main contributor of the observed differences was some instruments’ inability to remove inorganic carbon, an important step in the analytical process. There were no significant differences in the frequencies at which different instruments would have prescribed enhanced coagulation at a water treatment plant. We concluded that properly operating instruments using any of the standard methods were equally capable of analyzing the diverse concentration levels of organic carbon in the Delta.
Predation is one mechanism that could lead to low native fish abundance in macrophyte dominated shallow-water habitats in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. We used beach seine and gill net sampling to identify and compare the distribution and feeding ecology of three piscivores (striped bass, Morone saxatilis, largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, and Sacramento pikeminnow, Ptychocheilus grandis) at five nearshore sites in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Sampling was conducted March-October 2001 and 2003. We addressed the following questions. What are the spatial and temporal distributions of age-1 and older striped bass, largemouth bass, and Sacramento pikeminnow? What prey are eaten by these predators? What is the relative importance of predator size versus seasonal prey availability on incidence of piscivory for these predators? What is the likely per capita impact of each piscivore on prey fishes, particularly native fishes? All 76 of our individual station visits yielded at least one of the three species, suggesting that piscivorous fishes frequently occur in Delta shallow-water habitats. All three piscivores had diverse diets.There were noticeable seasonal shifts in prey fish for each of the three piscivores. In general, most native fish were consumed during spring (March-May) and the highest prey species richness occurred during summer (June-August). Largemouth bass likely have the highest per capita impact on nearshore fishes, including native fishes. Largemouth bass preyed on a greater diversity of native fishes than the other two piscivores and consumed native fishes farther into the season (July versus May). Based on binomial generalized additive models, incidence of piscivory was predominantly a function of size for largemouth bass and Sacramento pikeminnow. Largemouth bass became predominantly piscivorous at smaller sizes than Sacramento pikeminnow; about 115 mm versus about 190 mm respectively. In contrast, incidence of piscivory was predominantly a function of season for striped bass. Striped bass were typically most piscivorous during summer and fall regardless of size. We conclude that shallow-water piscivores are widespread in the Delta and generally respond in a density-dependent manner to seasonal changes in prey availability.