Fish die-off in the Delta – 6/19/2005

  • October 23, 2013 at 3:04 am #722
    Scientists to meet to examine mystery fish die-off in Delta

    Associated Press

    STOCKTON, Calif. – Scientists will begin meeting over the next four
    months to examine possible explanations for a mysterious fish die-
    off in the Delta.

    The $2 million research plan that’s part of the CalFed Bay-Delta
    water management program calls for new studies, stepped up
    monitoring, examination of fish livers and a more thorough analysis
    of existing data.

    “In my view, some of this work should have been done long ago,” said
    Tina Swanson, a senior scientist at the Bay Institute.
    When researchers analyzed new data in January, they discovered an
    unexplained, rapid decline in all of the Delta’s open-water fish
    populations. The population of Delta smelt, a small fish that’s
    considered indicative of the health of the Delta, is at its lowest
    level ever.

    “While several of these declining species … have shown evidence of
    a long-term decline, there appears to have been a precipitous ‘step-
    change’ to very low abundance during 2002-2004,” according to the
    science report.

    Prime suspects for the decline include pesticides and herbicides,
    invasive species, and the effect of pumping trillions of gallons of
    water from the Delta each year to the Central Valley and Southern
    California. Scientists say it’s likely there’s more than one cause.

    Information from: Contra Costa Times

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