November 14, 2008
DWR and USGS Begin Salmon Tracking Study in Delta
California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists today began a comprehensive three-month study of salmon migration through the Delta. Data gathered from the study will help agencies better manage the Delta ecosystem while enhancing habitat for salmon and other protected species and providing a scientific foundation for water policy, ecosystem, and salmon fishery decision makers.
"Ultimately, with the data collected from this study, we hope to find ways to improve Delta water quality and water supply reliability for the State Water Project while protecting the salmon out-migrant population," said Jim Wilde, DWR Senior Engineer coordinating the study for DWR.
Every year thousands of juvenile Chinook salmon migrate out of streams in the Central Valley and move through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on their way to the Pacific Ocean. How young salmon move through the Delta, however, is not well understood.
"This is an evolving story. We don't have the answers, but we are using the latest science and technology to find them," said USGS hydrologist Jon Burau, one of the study's lead scientists. "This is an example of interagency cooperation across many scientific disciplines and offices. Scientists will be putting in thousands of hours over the next few months to understand how juvenile salmon migrate through the Delta."
Collected data will be used to develop management tools capable of estimating how current operations and potential new projects may impact out-migrating juvenile salmon. The field experiment will involve many scientific disciplines and the use of emerging technologies in fisheries science and hydrodynamic measurement.
SOURCE: CA Department of Water Resources