Sacramento perch in the ponds at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

Learn about the “Sacramento Perch in the Ponds at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area” at Flyway Nights on Thursday, April 7. (Max Fish/Courtesy photo)

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By Corky Quirk
Special to the Express

Last summer the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife transplanted native Sacramento perch to the demonstration ponds at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Headquarters. They backed up the truck and the perch found their new home in the pond. The demonstration ponds are on not connected to other waterways so nonnative fish cannot find their way here.

Sacramento perch is a California native fish that was once common and abundant throughout the Central Valley, but now struggles to survive in its native habitat. One of the main reasons for its decline has been the introduction of nonnative species to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and Central Valley.

While remarkably resilient in various temperature and water quality conditions, this species competes poorly with other fish, especially sunfishes. One of the most unique populations of Sacramento perch was rescued from the drying Jewel Lake in 2014 and now live in the demonstration wetlands ponds located at the YBWA Headquarters. This presentation, by Claire Ingel and Max Fish, highlights their journey to the ponds and CDFW’s management efforts along the way.

Ingel is the Statewide Coordinator and Fish is a Senior Scientist for the Native Fishes Conservation and Management Program in CDFW’s Fisheries Branch, which focuses on the restoration and recovery of all California native fish species.

Ingel has been a part of the CDFW Sacramento Perch management team for almost three years. Her experience includes habitat conservation, aquatic education, drought response, and direct management of native fish populations.

Fish has been a part of the CDFW Sacramento Perch management team for eight years. His experience includes management, monitoring, risk assessment and translocations of Sacramento perch throughout California.

Flyway Nights is a monthly speaker series highlighting environmental issues, natural history of Northern California, and current research topics in conservation. Yolo Basin Foundation hosts Flyway Nights the first Thursday of the month from November to April through virtual presentations. The presentation will be via Zoom. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link to the presentation.

A $10 donation to support the Foundation’s wetland education programs is suggested. For the complete schedule and to register, visit or call Yolo Basin Foundation at 530-757-3780.

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