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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

STOCKTON FWO: Inaugural Meeting of the Interagency Ecological Program Biotelemetry Project Work Team

Region 8, September 22, 2011
Scott Evans (right) of the United States Geological Survey optimizing an acoustic receiver on Medford Island
Scott Evans (right) of the United States Geological Survey optimizing an acoustic receiver on Medford Island - Photo Credit: n/a

By Jack Ingram, Stockton FWO

One of the most effective tools for Interagency Ecological Program activities and collaboration has been the formation of Project Work Teams that focus on specific research and monitoring topics of interest.

On September 22, 2011, four staff from the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office (FWO) met with scientists from State and Federal agencies, private consultants, and academic institutions for the inaugural meeting of the Biotelemetry Project Work Team (BPWT). The meeting was led by Pat Brandes from the Stockton FWO,  and Cynthia Le-Doux Bloom of the California Department of Water Resources. The mission of the team is to facilitate communication and coordination among scientists engaged in aquatic biotelemetry activities in the Central Valley, Sacramento-San Joaquin Estuary, and near shore Pacific Ocean.

During the meeting, Harmony Patricio of FISHBIO presented an overview of acoustic tagging work being done in the Central Valley. In addition, other attendees summarized their current and future biotelemetry projects. Pete Klimley of the University of California at Davis led a discussion on the needs of the current 69 kHz VEMCO receiver array that stretches from Battle Creek, a tributary to the Sacramento River near Cottonwood CA, to the Golden Gate Bridge.

The VEMCO receiver array is important to current and future biotelemetry studies that monitor salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass, and other fishes, but is now without stable, long-term funding. It is the desire of the BPWT to discuss and identify funding for the maintenance, future existence, and expansion of this array to include updated 180 kHz VEMCO receivers. A private Wiki site was created on behalf of the BPWT to enhance communication about ongoing and future studies.

The Biotelemetry Project Work Team is to meet every 6 months and identify and discuss current and future projects, participate in proposal reviews as solicited to facilitate collaboration, standardize the methods and technologies where possible, and leverage resources. The next BPWT meeting is tentatively scheduled during March of 2012.

Contact Info: Joseph Kirsch, 209-334-2968 ext. 309, joseph_kirsch@fws.gov