Our program focuses on relocation efforts within the San Geronimo Valley in the Lagunitas Watershed. Background and information on the populations and motivation for conducting this effort are described in SPAWN's reports.
2012 Fish Rescue Updates!
2012 Salmonid Fish Rescue Has Begun! Creeks Drying = Fish Dying.
SPAWN's Annual Fish Rescue Program began yesterday in Arroyo Creek! SPAWN biologists recieved a 911 call for emergency fish rescue from a creekside landowner. SPAWN's team mobilized immediately to come to the rescue of 161 Steelhead fry and 2 parr or resident steelhead.
To be part of our fish rescue team or to report drying pools in the SG Valley call Melinda at (415) 663-8590 x. 114 or email@example.com
Field Work Description
Streams are surveyed to determine presence and absence of salmonids and monitored to determine water flow, depth and temperature in pools from April - October. As it became apparent that pools will dry completely, and based on previous years observations at known sites, relocation efforts begin. Crews delay efforts as long as possible in an effort to maximize resident time in their natal stream habitat. Relocation usually begins in June but can start as early as April depending on creek flows and rainfall.
Fish are dip-netted out of pools and placed in an insulated cooler equipped with a battery operated aerator. Approximately every 15-45 minutes, captured fish are transported to a perennial flow section downstream on their natal tributary or to San Geronimo Creek at or downstream of the confluence where they would have passed had they not become stranded. The exact release location is dictated by the availability of nearby pool habitat and issues of access on private property. To assure that pools where fish arre relocated to arre not overstocked, field crews relocate fish to several pools along stretches and make sure to release fish into pools where connectivity allows botj upstream and downstream migration.
Upon capture of fish, individuals are identified and lengths measured and stream conditions recorded. In some cases, measurements are done on a random sample of fish, especially if hundreds were caught at a site. In some cases, to minimize stress, particularly when air temperature reach 32º C or higher, fish will be identified but not measured prior to relocation.
To further minimize disturbance and stress to fish, pools are netted for no more than 30 minutes. Netting is done by gently but swiftly sweeping a net through the water. If fish mortalities occurr, individuals are collected and frozen for delivery to NMFS. Notes arre made of how each incident occurs and efforts arre modified to prevent further mortalities.
Over 15,000 juvenile coho and steelhead have been saved from imminent mortality between since this effort began in 1999.