Field Notes

Field Notes showcases the activities and accomplishments of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service from across the nation. Here are the latest stories pertaining to the Bay-Delta FWO:

July 6, 2016
Volunteers help conduct annual survey for endangered Antioch Dunes evening primrose -- at the only place in the world where it is found

Antioch Evening Primrose, Steve Martarano USFWS

Antioch Evening Primrose
Steve Martarano USFWS

"If you see a bud," U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Susan Euing said to her group of about 15 survey volunteers. "Count it as a bloomer!" Those instructions began the recent annual two-day survey for the endangered Antioch Dunes evening primrose (Oenothera deltoides var. howellii) at the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Antioch, the only place in the world naturally-occurring populations of the plant species is found. Story

November 18, 2015
Red Bluff Fish and Wildlife Office Plays a High Profile Role Monitoring Anadromous Fish Numbers in California

Red Bluff FWO staff check rotary screw trap for juvenile fish monitoring, Steve Martarano USFWS

Red Bluff FWO staff
checking screw trap
Steve Martarano, USFWS

Every day – rain, or shine, and even holidays – the Red Bluff Fish and Wildlife Office collects data on the Sacramento River that provides critical information on how well the state's crucial anadromous, i.e. salmon, fishery is doing. Utilizing a set of four rotary screw traps located at the base of the Red Bluff Diversion Dam on the Sacramento River, a crew of two or three biologists from the Red Bluff FWO methodically checks each trap on a daily basis, clearing out the space capsule-looking device of all fish and debris it collects, and then counting and eventually logging the information online. Story

August 21, 2015
Restoration Efforts Paying Dividends for Two Key San Francisco Bay Area Endangered Species

Salt marsh harvest mouse survey team, photo: Steve Martarano USFWS

Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse
Survey Team
Steve Martarano, USFWS

In 2003, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife acquired approximately 15,000 acres of former commercial salt ponds from the Cargill Salt Company with the goal of restoring the area for a variety of native species – including endangered salt marsh harvest mouse and California clapper rail, recently renamed Ridgway's rail. In 2006, Pond A21 was breached as part of the Initial Stewardship Plan of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. Efforts started to pay off last year in a big way, when the first Ridgway's rail was spotted in A21 in July 2014 by staff with the Invasive Spartina Project. Then, during the first surveys for salt marsh harvest mice on July 22 this year, biologists heard the call of the first breeding pair of Ridgway's rails. Story

September 10, 2014
2014's Gravel Replentishment Program in Nimbus Basin Continues Successful Run

Gravel replacement below Nimbus Dam

Gravel replentishment below Nimbus Dam
Steve Martarano, Bay-Delta FWO

Work began on the American River August 4 for its yearly project to restore quality spawning and rearing habitat for harmed species such as Chinook salmon and steelhead. The tremendously successful program, officially called the 2014 American River Salmonid Spawning and Rearing Habitat Restoration Project, wrapped up its seventh year, despite yearly roadblocks, such as the current drought. Story

November 15, 2013

Caprini low-flow crossing on the Calaveras Rivrer, Steve Martarano, USFWS

Caprini low-flow crossing
Steve Martarano

The Caprini low-flow crossing, which was originally built decades ago by the current landowner's grandfather to facilitate access for agricultural equipment to family property located on both sides of the river. The historical crossing consisted of three small culverts embedded in a large concrete slab which created fish passage problems at all but the very highest flows. At low flows fish were not able to make the leap into the culvert to continue upstream. The final design consisted of six modular pre-cast concrete box culverts placed in three rows, each two boxes wide, which ultimately functions as a bridge. Story