In the fall of 2019, the Kings River Conservation District (KRCD) contracted with FISHBIO to conduct a snorkel survey of the fish populations on the lower Kings River below Pine Flat Reservoir in eastern Fresno County. The main objective of this survey was to characterize the size distribution of rainbow trout and other fish by reach and habitat type, and to estimate the abundance of each size class for approximately 11 miles of river. Other fish species documented included three-spine stickleback, Sacramento pikeminnow and California roach.

To obtain an accurate estimate of fish abundance, the whole reach was categorized into distinct habitat units based on a three-category classification (i.e., riffle, run, pool) using high-resolution digital bathymetric data along with Google Earth imagery. The length of each unit was remotely estimated in ArcMap. Within each habitat category that was deemed conducive to visual surveys, a sub-sample of units were surveyed systematically. The survey was intended to provide information to complement the annual electrofishing depletion surveys that have been conducted since 1983 as part of the Kings River Fisheries Management Program and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) monitoring requirements. A report from the survey can be downloaded from the Kings River Fisheries Management Program website.

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