- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
“It's grim. It's going to be a rough year for the coho,” said Mariska Obedzinski, a fish biologist who coordinates the coho monitoring program. “They can't get where they need to go.”
Obedzinski is part of the UC Sea Grant program, based at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.
Two coho spawning streams — Porter and Pena creeks — are already cut off from the river. If no more rain falls, other tributaries, including Green Valley, Dutch Bill and Mill creeks, will likely go dry in spots, Obedzinski said.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is already planning rescue operations to save the smolts and younger fish in disconnected streams.
Last year some streams disconnections took place in late May, toward the end of the salmon run. The drying being seen in mid April may be unprecedented. Obedzinski said it was possibly the worst year for the fish since stream monitoring began in 2005.
A multiagency effort to save the Russian River coho began in 2001, when the fish were on the verge of extinction. The effort includes California Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and UC Sea Grant.
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
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.”