Solano County Water Agency extends funding for Chinook salmon study

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The Solano County Water Agency Board of Directors (SCWA) has approved a contract with the University of California, Davis to continue study of Lower Putah Creek salmon populations for the next fiscal year. The board’s approval of these funds brings SCWA’s total investment in salmon studies to nearly $400,000. This primary purpose of this study is to determine whether a self-sustaining Chinook salmon population is becoming established.

“Additional information on Putah Creek Salmon will help determine the potential for Putah Creek to develop a fully self-sustaining run of Chinook Salmon,” explains Peter Moyle, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology and Associate Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences, UC Davis.

“By sampling adult salmon in Putah Creek, we will learn if the fish are strays from hatcheries each year or if some offspring spawned in Putah Creek are returning to Putah Creek as a natal stream.”

Preliminary studies have indicated that the fall-run Chinook salmon are spawning successfully in the creek and that the juveniles migrating out to sea are healthy and robust. Further sampling and data analysis are needed to determine if these juveniles return to Putah Creek as adults.

Thanks to active management of Putah Creek, the past few years have seen steady salmon population growth. Salmon runs function as a pump, pushing vast amounts of nutrients into otherwise low-productivity areas. They enrich countless river ecosystems and provide a food source for regional prey. Restoration efforts are directed at promoting salmon returns and spawning conditions, leading to improved habitat and increased salmon populations.

“The Solano County Water Agency is proud to fund this study because we know that this restorative work is truly important,” said Roland Sanford, General Manager & Secretary to the Solano County Water Agency.

“The additional funding will allow us to continue this work and keep collecting information and data on the efficacy of our efforts.”

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