Design and implementation of an emergency environmental response system to protect migrating salmon in the lower San Joaquin River, California
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Design and implementation of an emergency environmental response system to protect migrating salmon in the lower San Joaquin River, California

  • Author(s): Quinn, Nigel W.T.
  • Jacobs, Karl C.
  • et al.
Abstract

In the past decade tens of millions of dollars have been spent by water resource agencies in California to restore the native salmon fishery in the San Joaquin River and its major tributaries. An excavated deep water ship channel (DWSC), through which the river runs on its way to the Bay/Delta and Pacific Ocean, experiences episodes of low dissolved oxygen which acts as a barrier to anadromous fish migration and a threat to the long-term survival of the salmon run. An emergency response management system is under development to forecast these episodes of low dissolved oxygen and to deploy measures that will raise dissolved oxygen concentrations to prevent damage to the fishery resource. The emergency response management system has been designed to interact with a real-time water quality monitoring network and is served by a comprehensive data management and forecasting model toolbox. The Bay/Delta and Tributaries (BDAT) Cooperative Data Management System is a distributed, web accessible database that contains terabytes of information on all aspects of the ecology of the Bay/Delta and upper watersheds. The complexity of the problem dictates data integration from a variety of monitoring programs. A unique data templating system has been constructed to serve the needs of cooperating scientists who wish to share their data and to simplify and streamline data uploading into the master database. In this paper we demonstrate the utility of such a system in providing decision support for management of the San Joaquin River fishery. We discuss how the system might be expanded to have further utility in coping with other emergencies and threats to water supply system serving California's costal communities.

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