Fish predation is a critical stressor of endangered species in the California Delta, and the ESA fisheries team is working hard to find solutions to the problem.
The study sets a goal of removing and relocating predatory fish, such as striped bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and white catfish away from sensitive migratory routes of endangered Chinook salmon. Relocation of predatory fish attempts to improve the chances of survival of endangered fish species, while relocating the fish to a reservoir outside of the legal Delta provides enhanced opportunities for recreational fishing.
ESA is working alongside the California Department of Water Resources and project partners to help lead and execute a large-scale fish sampling and relocation effort across multiple years. Our fisheries team have key roles helping organize activities and equipment, captaining boats, conducting sampling, collecting meticulous field data, analyzing data, and summarizing the findings.
Across the globe, coastal zone management efforts have concluded that restoring fish populations often requires acting on land-based human activities. With a few notable exceptions, most commercially and recreationally important species of fish, crabs, and shrimp spend at least a portion of their lives in estuarine locations, where waters from the open ocean mix with runoff from land.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) is DNA collected from the environment—water, soil, and air—rather than directly from an organism. All organisms add DNA to their environment by excreting waste, shedding, decomposing, etc. Since short stretches of DNA contain information that identifies species and populations, genetic testing of environmental samples can reveal the presence of animals and plants nearby.