Scientists working to protect California’s most endangered salmon say in a new report that key improvements in tracking Sacramento River winter-run Chinook through California’s complex water delivery system would help recover the species while the water continues to flow.
They recommend upgrades in tracking technology from tiny transmitters implanted into juvenile fish to wider use of genetic fingerprinting to unravel how the fish travel through rivers and canals in California’s Central Valley to the ocean and why many disappear along the way. The same rivers and canals carry water to much of California’s population and farmland.
The answers will help inform water management decisions and promote fish recovery, the 16 scientists from NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Water Resources, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Geological Survey, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, write in the journal San Francisco Estuary & Watershed Science. The agencies work together with other agency partners through the Interagency Ecological Program.
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