Biologists are concerned about any harm done to coho, a fish which is being coaxed back from the brink of extinction but still numbers only in the hundreds.
“There is so much invested in bringing these coho back, from the hatchery program to the restoration work in Dry Creek to the monitoring,” said Mariska Obedzinski, who is monitoring the coho recovery program for the UC Cooperative Extension. “For someone to go out and accidentally catch one when they are in the river, when they could kill or harm them, it is discouraging.”
Corps of Engineers leads coalition effort to save coho salmon
JC Delgadillo, www.army.mil, The U.S. Army
In the winter of 2011, biologists funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers counted a record number of wild juvenile coho salmon in the downstream portions of the Russian River system in western Sonoma County. The project is conducted in collaboration with NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, experts at the University of California Cooperative Extension and the Sonoma County Water Agency.
"It's quite the group we have working together," said supervisory fisheries biologist Ben White of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "You've got the best scientific knowledge in the region and people with a deep passion for coho recovery. You've got leaders among their peers working this issue, and I'm proud to be a part of it. You wouldn't be in this field if you didn't care about these fish, and everybody involved wants to see them recover."
Scientists release wasps to control citrus pest
Jeff Spurrier, L.A. at Home blog, Los Angeles Times
On Jan. 6, UC Riverside bio-control specialist Mark Hoddle released 300 tiny parasitic wasps from Pakistan in the L.A. County cities of Pico Rivera, Bell Gardens and South Gate to feed on the Asian citrus psyllid.
The article mentioned that curry leaf, an herb used in Indian cuisine, can be a host for the Asian citrus psyllid.
“If someone has curry leaf and are in the L.A. area, we’d be interested in looking at their plants and maybe using them for our parasite release,” Hoddle said.
The reality of extreme weather, Part 1
Lynne Friedmann, La Jolla Light
It’s not your imagination. Weather is becoming more “extreme,” leading to prolonged heat waves, heavier precipitation, severe flooding, more powerful hurricanes, and intense snowstorms.
Especially problematic is a trend toward long heat waves, during which morality increases, and more humid heat waves resulting in higher nighttime temperatures.
Evening “chill hours” in which the temperature drops below 450º F are also critical for agriculture.
“There are three million acres of fruit orchards with chilling requirements,” said Louise Jackson, UC Cooperative Extension plant physiology specialist. “Increasing humid heat also impacts red wine grape yields.”
Reporter Rachael Myrow told listeners the release of natural enemies on Friday is the first major release in a major urban area, and then allowed Hoddle to explain the developments and their implications.
For more on Tamarixia radiata, see the UC ANR press release.
Myrow also posted a story on newsfix, KQED's Bay Area news blog.
The first release this week in Riverside of Tamarixia radiata, a tiny wasp from the Punjab that is a natural enemy of Asian citrus psyllid, was picked by several news outlets, including the Riverside Press-Enterprise, the Porterville Recorder and the Desert Sun.
“It’s great to release these guys at long last,” the Enterprise quoted Mark Hoddle, a biological control specialist in UCR’s entomology department who for the past two years has been collecting the wasps in Pakistan.
The Recorder included a quote from Ted Batkin, president of the Citrus Research Board, a grower organization that helped fund Hoddle's research.
“This is the very first step of multiple steps in research to see if this particular strain of Tamarixia will adapt to California,” Batkin said. He said the wasp is just one of 10 or 12 tactics being studied to combat the psyllid.
The Desert Sun article had words from Aviva Goldman, a UC Riverside graduate student who works with Hoddle.
“The Asian citrus psyllid is the most potentially damaging invasive pest in California right now,” Goldman said. “These wasps are a way to treat the infestation without having to go to every person's backyard and spray pesticides on each tree."
More information about the release of Tamarixia radiata in Riverside can be found in the ANR news release.