SFEWS: Volume 19, Issue 2
Welcome to the June issue of San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science. At midyear in 2021, research surrounding the San Francisco Estuary looks forward. Here, six articles in four categories offer advances in science using new technologies and a re-examination of past efforts.
Photo: CA Dept. of Water Resources, public domain.
In Honor of Dr. Larry R. Brown
Herbold et al. remember Dr. Larry R. Brown, who died suddenly in February of 2021. This note captures how important his scientific work was in the San Francisco Estuary and why he will be intensely missed by many of his colleagues.
Photo: Canva stock image
Preparing Scientists, Policymakers, and Managers for a Fast-Forward Future
To accelerate forward-looking science, policy, and management in the Delta, Norgaard et al. propose that the State of California create a Delta Science Visioning Process to fully and openly assess the challenges of more rapid change to science, policy, and management and offer appropriate solutions, including legislation.
Photo: CA Dept. of Water Resources, public domain
Ecological Effects of Climate-Driven Salinity Variation in the San Francisco Estuary: Can We Anticipate and Manage the Coming Changes?
Ghalambor et al. review and summarize the presentations and discussions that arose during the symposium “Ecological and Physiological Impacts of Salinization of Aquatic Systems from Human Activities,” which brought together an interdisciplinary group of scientists, managers, and policy-makers to answer the central question: can we use existing knowledge and future projections to predict and manage anticipated ecological impacts?
Photo: Canva stock image
Effects of Tidally Varying River Flow on Entrainment of Juvenile Salmon into Sutter and Steamboat Slough
Previous studies suggest that fish generally “go with the flow”—however, complex tidal hydrodynamics at sub-daily time-scales may be decoupled from net flow. To further examine entrainment of acoustically tagged juvenile Chinook Salmon into Sutter and Steamboat sloughs, Romine et al. modeled routing of acoustic tagged juvenile salmon as a function of tidally varying hydrodynamic data. Results indicate that discharge, the proportion of flow that entered the slough, and the rate of change of flow were good predictors of the probability of an individual fish being entrained.
Photo: John Burau
Examining Retention-at-Length of Pelagic Fishes Caught in the Fall Midwater Trawl Survey
A study was conducted in 2014-2015 to investigate and quantify the efficiency of the Fall Midwater Trawl for catching the endangered fish species Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus). Mitchell and Baxter revisit the same gear efficiency study and further utilize the data set by fitting selectivity curves for three additional pelagic fish species: Threadfin Shad (Dorosoma petenense), American Shad (Alosa sapidissima), and Mississippi Silverside (Menidia beryllina), and by applying more statistically sensitive approaches.
Photo: Lara Mitchell
Use of the SmeltCam as an Efficient Fish Sampling Alternative Within the San Francisco Estuary
Resource managers often rely on long-term monitoring surveys to detect trends in biological data. However, no survey gear is 100% efficient, and many sources of bias can both detect or miss biological trends. Huntsman et al. evaulate the SmeltCam, an imaging apparatus developed as a sampling alternative to long-term trawling gear surveys within the San Francisco Estuary, with the potential to reduce handling stress on sensitive species like the Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus).
Photo: Ken Newman
Volume 4, Issue 3, 2006
Residence times of dissolved substances and sedimentation rates in tidal channels are affected by residual (tidally averaged) circulation patterns. One influence on these circulation patterns is the longitudinal density gradient. In most estuaries the longitudinal density gradient typically maintains a constant direction. However, a junction of tidal channels can create a local reversal (change in sign) of the density gradient. This can occur due to a difference in the phase of tidal currents in each channel. In San Francisco Bay, the phasing of the currents at the junction of Mare Island Strait and Carquinez Strait produces a local salinity minimum in Mare Island Strait. At the location of a local salinity minimum the longitudinal density gradient reverses direction. This paper presents four numerical models that were used to investigate the circulation caused by the salinity minimum: (1) A simple one-dimensional (1D) finite difference model demonstrates that a local salinity minimum is advected into Mare Island Strait from the junction with Carquinez Strait during flood tide. (2) A three-dimensional (3D) hydrodynamic finite element model is used to compute the tidally averaged circulation in a channel that contains a salinity minimum (a change in the sign of the longitudinal density gradient) and compares that to a channel that contains a longitudinal density gradient in a constant direction. The tidally averaged circulation produced by the salinity minimum is characterized by converging flow at the bed and diverging flow at the surface, whereas the circulation produced by the constant direction gradient is characterized by converging flow at the bed and downstream surface currents. These velocity fields are used to drive both a particle tracking and a sediment transport model. (3) A particle tracking model demonstrates a 30 percent increase in the residence time of neutrally buoyant particles transported through the salinity minimum, as compared to transport through a constant direction density gradient. (4) A sediment transport model demonstrates increased deposition at the near-bed null point of the salinity minimum, as compared to the constant direction gradient null point. These results are corroborated by historically noted large sedimentation rates and a local maximum of selenium accumulation in clams at the null point in Mare Island Strait.
This monograph presents an extensive review of the biology and management of Chinook salmon and steelhead in the Central Valley of California. Relevant data and publications on these populations are summarized and discussed in the context of the wider professional literature, with emphasis on the importance of evolutionary considerations in the assessment of populations and in their management, the need to manage populations together with their environments, and the contradiction between maintaining a major hatchery program to support a mixed-stock ocean fishery and trying to maintain or restore populations adapted to natural or semi-natural habitats. Recommendations are presented for management and monitoring—for example for a thorough review of hatchery operations, for more emphasis on monitoring individual-based factors such the physiological condition and growth rates of juveniles, and for simulation of major restoration actions and monitoring programs. The 17 chapters cover major conceptsin salmon biology and conceptual foundations for management, and Central Valley Chinook and steelhead populations and their habitat, growth and migration, habitat use, harvest, hatcheries, modeling, monitoring, and management.
- 28 supplemental PDFs