CDFW Trucks Salmon Smolts to the Golden Gate to Help them Avoid Predators

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) biologists and the Commercial Salmon Trollers Advisory Committee are continuing an experimental project to help California’s ocean-bound juvenile salmon, in hopes of increasing survival rates. On April 8, for the third year, CDFW staff will fill a boat with approximately 100,000 young Chinook (called smolts) and move it down the Sacramento River to San Francisco Bay. Upon arrival, the smolts will be released in the Bay, where they will swim into the sea and grow to adulthood before returning upriver to spawn.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The experimental project is being conducted by CDFW fisheries biologists with the support of the Commercial Salmon Trollers Advisory Committee, which donated the use of the boat, fuel and crew time to help ensure a successful start to the study. They have committed to helping CDFW continue data collection. The fishing vessel Merva W will receive 100,000 smolts into its hold in Rio Vista on the Sacramento River the morning of April 8.

This year’s severe drought has only exacerbated the number of challenges facing salmon smolts migrating downstream. Salmon return to their spawning grounds using their sense of smell. The process, called imprinting, begins before birth as waters flow over the eggs and continues as they grow and make their way to the ocean. Each segment of water on their journey has distinctive chemical cues which they can re-trace to their spawning grounds. Water is circulated through pumps from the Sacramento River into the Merva W ‘s holding tank, where the fish are kept. The hope is that this may improve their ability to find their way back as adults. The trucking process also prevents that smolts from exposure to predators during the journey downstream.

This is the third year of a three-year experimental project to determine if barging improves smolt survival. Data collected over the next few years will be evaluated to determine if these fish had higher survival rates, if more of these fish make it back to the hatchery of origin and how this release strategy differs from others currently being used.

To form a basis of comparison for the experimental project, two other control groups of 100,000 smolts each will be released by trucks in other locations at the same time as the barge release — one under the Golden Gate Bridge and one into the Sacramento River near Rio Vista. All 300,000 fish in this experimental project are implanted with coded wire tags smaller than a tiny piece of pencil lead, which will ultimately enable scientists to tell which of the three groups the returning fish came from — the barge release, or one of the two truck releases.

Data collected from this experiment will help scientists to evaluate the efficiency of barging when compared to other release strategies, as well as to determine which group has better survival rates  and how quickly the fish make it back to their natal hatcheries (improved stray rates).

The city of Rio Vista and the Tiburon Salmon Institute at the Romberg Center are providing access for the transport boat and fish trucks.

Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Bill Smith, Hatchery Manager, (209) 759-3383

130515-CDFW-AJH-1434

Recreational Ocean Salmon Season to Open South of Horse Mountain on April 5

Media Contacts:
Barry Miller, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 576-2860
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1478Marine sports salmon fishing

The California Fish and Game Commission and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announce the recreational salmon season will open in ocean waters on Saturday, April 5, 2014, from Horse Mountain (40° 05’ 00” N. latitude) south to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Federal fishery biologists estimate roughly 934,000 fall-run Chinook salmon will be in California coastal waters through the summer. Though lower than last year’s estimate, there are still plenty of fish to allow for significant angling opportunities for salmon enthusiasts in all areas off California.

The daily bag limit will remain at two Chinook salmon but the Commission recently took action to change the salmon possession limit. Two daily bag limits are now allowed in possession when on land; however, when on a vessel in ocean waters, no person shall possess or bring ashore more than one daily bag limit.

The minimum size limit is 20 inches total length between Horse Mountain and Point Arena (38° 57’ 30” N. latitude). For areas south of Point Arena, the minimum size limit is 24 inches total length. For anglers fishing north of Point Conception (34° 27’ 00” N. latitude), no more than two single-point, single-shank barbless hooks shall be used and no more than one rod per angler when fishing for salmon or fishing from a boat with salmon on board. In addition, barbless circle hooks are required when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling. The retention of coho salmon is prohibited in all ocean fisheries. For complete ocean salmon regulations in effect during April, please visit CDFW’s ocean salmon webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/oceansalmon.asp or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429.

Final 2014 ocean salmon regulations will be decided next month by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) during their April 4-10 meeting in Vancouver, Wash. and by the Commission at their April 16-17 meeting in Ventura. Final sport regulations will be published in the CDFW 2014 Supplemental Fishing Regulations booklet available in May at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations.

Three alternatives are being considered for California’s recreational ocean salmon seasons that will begin on or after May 1. The public is encouraged to comment on any of the proposed alternatives, which can be found at the PFMC website at www.pcouncil.org.

CDFW to Offer Wild Pig Hunting Clinic in Monterey County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program and the Pacific Coast Hunter Education Association will jointly offer a wild pig hunting clinic on Saturday, April 12. The clinic will be held in Lockwood in Monterey County.

Designed for all skill levels, the clinic will cover wild pig biology, methods for locating wild pigs, laws and regulations for pig hunting, hunting and field dressing techniques and the care of wild game.

The clinic will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $45 for adults. Youths 16 years and younger are free but must be accompanied by a registered parent or guardian. CDFW’s Advanced Hunter Education Program will provide all necessary class equipment.

An optional $10 barbecue lunch (country ribs, salad, beans and a drink) will be available for purchase from the Pacific Coast Hunter Education Association the day of the clinic.

Space is limited and preregistration is required. Registration forms can be found online at www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/advanced/index.aspx. After registering, participants will receive an email with a map to the facility and a list of items to bring.

Media Contacts:
Lt. Dan Lehman, CDFW Advanced Hunter Education Program, (916) 358-4356
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

pig on range

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,521 other followers