2017. The 2011 rebound was a hopeful indicator that the Estuary has not yet irreversibly shifted into an altered state that will no longer support native species. 2008. The team developed several conceptual models to guide work plan development and integrate results. The decline of the Delta Smelt population is of great concern to scientists. Reasonable and Prudent Alternative, 279 p., U.S. IEP (Interagency Ecological Program). and Media Sources:http://caba.ucdavis.edu/news/2011/delta-smelt, http://farallones.org/e_newsletter/209-03/deltasmelt.html, Sign in|Recent Site Activity|Report Abuse|Print Page|Powered By Google Sites. This academic program has been in progress for about 25 years. Many data sets have been assembled in support of the Delta Smelt Life Cycle Model. The Delta Smelt is a small fish, endemic to California that only occurs in the San Francisco Estuary. Technical Report 90, January 2015, prepared for the San Francisco Bay/Delta Estuary. The model allows for quantitative assessments and predictions of Delta Smelt population dynamics under various environmental and operational conditions, thereby providing scientific support for developing and implementing management measures in the Bay-Delta for conservation and recovery of the Endangered Species Act listed Delta Smelt. The 2011 Synthesis of Studies in the Fall Low-Salinity Zone (PDF) project was implemented by the Bureau of Reclamation and the IEP and designed to explore the ecological role of low-salinity habitat in the San Francisco Bay Estuary and the value of fall flows to the endangered Delta Smelt population. Figure 46. Information on purchasing licenses, permits, tags and other entitlements, can be found on CDFW’s Online License Site. The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers then transport the delta smelt larvae downstream to the mixing zone, normally located in the Suisun Bay. Erodible Sediment Supply, Proximity to Ocean, Proximity to Discharges, Proximity to Diversions, Bathymetry (Proximity to and Extent of Shallow Areas) Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy . Figure 1: Delta Smelt Juvenile. 2010; Thomson et al. At one point the fish that have a one-year life cycle were so plentiful that they were caught and sold commercially. Baxter, R., R. Breuer, L. Brown, L. Conrad, F. Feyrer, S. Fong, K. Gehrts, L. Grimaldo, B. Herbold, P. Hrodey, A. Mueller-Solger, T. Sommer, and K. Souza. It is part of a serious decline of pelagic fish species in the Delta collectively called the "pelagic organism decline" (POD) in 2002 that includes native Longfin Smelt Spirinchus thaleichthys, introduced age-0 Striped Bass Morone saxatilis, and introduced Threadfin Shad Dorosoma pentenense. Annual work plan, approved December 2015, modified March 2016. This fish has a fairly distinctive life cycle. Young delta smelt then feed and grow in the mixing zone before starting their upstream spawning migration in late fall or early winter. Spawning takes place in the spring in fresh water. Most spawning happens in tidally influenced backwater sloughs and channel edgewaters. Sections of this document overlap with the reasonable and prudent alternatives detailed in the USFWS 2008 Delta Smelt Biological Opinion (PDF). The Delta Smelt life cycle follows the four seasons—spring spawning in fresh water, summer migration/rearing in the low salinity zone, fall maturation in the low salinity zone, and winter upstream migration shortly before spawning (Figure 4). As they grow, their diet shifts nearly exclusively to copepods (small crustaceans). The following conceptual model for the delta smelt population (Figure 1) is derived from considerable research and monitoring by resource agency and academic researchers, summarized in the recently-submitted review paper (Bennett 2005). They lay eggs on the vegetation. Their spawning occurs in spring in river channels and tidally influenced backwater sloughs upstream of the mixing zone where salt water meets fresh water. DSM TN 1. “The Delta is the heart of our water distribution system in California,” explained Dr. Sommer.“We have the Central Valley project and the State Water Project located in the south Delta. Summer finds them migrating to and rearing in a low-salinity area, where they will remain as they mature in the fall. Today the fish that are unique to the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta are on the verge of extinction in the wild. 2012). FEEDING: Small larvae begin feeding on unicellular algae, planktonic animals, and small crustaceans. The IEPs mission is to “provide and integrate relevant and timely ecological information for management of the Bay-Delta ecosystem and the water that flows through it” (CDWR 2017 (PDF)). 2002. They live in schools so they mate with whoever they want. 3 . 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