My Mother Lode –
The volume of water being flushed down the Stanislaus River for fall fish flows can effectively be cut by half.
So says a recently released long-term study by researchers from FISHBIO in Oakdale that focused on the fall pulse flows and their impact on adult salmon migration. The findings point out a clear need for reassessing the allocation to better balance beneficial use of the Stan’s limited water supply.
Published in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management, FISHBIO’s work focused on daily fish migration upstream through a weir, a fence-like structure through which the fish must pass. In the process each is photographed via infrared silhouette. “We used 11 years of daily salmon counts and related that back to environmental conditions in the river and management actions that have been happening for the fall pulse flows,” explains study co-author Andrea Fuller.
Testing The Status Quo
“It is the first time that such a study has been conducted in the Central Valley and these pulse flows have been occurring since 1992, so it was certainly time to evaluate whether or not they were working,” Fuller shares.