Thursday April 23, 2015


Big Chico Creek runs through the heart of Chico and for the past decade, the habitat under the water’s surface hasn’t been studied or documented. But one Chico-based fishery’s consulting company is changing that.

FISHBIO has taken it upon themselves to study the body of water. They’ve only done two surveys so far, one in 2013 and one in 2014. However, they believe their findings will be valuable for the habitats both in and around Big Chico Creek.

“It’s really important to understand what’s happening in our streams,” said Gabriel Kopp, Operations Director at FISHBIO.  “If we don’t go out and look and count the fish and understand if there is a trend that’s moving up or down, we won’t understand if we’re affecting the environment in a negative or positive way.”

Around 30 years ago, creek managers wanted people to come fish in the creek, Kopp said. So they removed the native fish and brought in game fish. Since then, it has been heading back to its natural state and now FISHBIO is documenting that.

“We have three biologists get into the water at the same time and they work in tandem all the way up, counting the fish as they go,” explained Kopp. “And that allows for us to know how many fish are in certain parts and sections of this stream.”

Currently they have found threatened salmon and steelhead. They have seen the number of rainbow trout drop in the year between their two surveys, but there is not enough data to determine a trend just yet.

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