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Thanks for Making 2013 a Success!

December 31, 2013


In our final Fish Report of 2013, we wanted to round up a few of our favorite highlights of the year, many of which we have shared with you through our weekly updates in the Fish Report and our Field Notes blog. None of our projects would be possible without the support of the great partners and communities with whom we work, so we also want to take this opportunity to thank you, and hope you enjoy reflecting on our shared successes!


2013 was certainly a year for going big. The giant PIT tag antenna that we constructed and installed last fall performed successfully through the end of this year, reflecting a true feat of fiberglass fabrication. Our FABLAB crew also shone by building a pair of massive fyke traps that allowed us to conduct a pilot study of striped bass abundance on the San Joaquin River, laying the groundwork for future studies. In the north state area, we made our first snorkel survey of Big Chico Creek, which marked the creek's first fish assessment in more than a decade. We also purchased our first ARIS sonar camera to survey fish behavior around hydropower structures. Some of our work took us a bit off the beaten path: our survey of off-channel habitat use on the Stanislaus River found us wading through dense vegetation, and we also braved the Sierra snows to survey the south fork of the San Joaquin River.


Our international work in the Mekong River Basin also witnessed many exciting developments. We built and launched a website for the Mekong Fish Network, and also kicked off a pilot study for the MFN standard sampling program. This allowed us to work closely with several local fishers in Lao PDR, who we trained to record data on their fishing catches. In collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature, we tested the use of satellite tag technology on endangered Mekong Giant Catfish. We also joined the International Union for Conservation of Nature to establish fish conservation zones for the endangered Jullien's Golden Carp, work that we will continue next year. A number of new staff members joined our team, and we made our first ever visit to Myanmar at the invitation of Fauna and Flora International to discuss potential collaborations for fish research and conservation. Here's hoping that the new year will open many more doors!


We also continued our involvement with our local communities in 2013. This year saw our participation in two Salmon Festivals, four river and creek cleanups, and a visit to Sierra View Elementary School to speak at their Agricultural Day event. We also worked with River Partners to plant native species at two restoration events, joined their habitat tour, and even slogged through their Mud Blast fundraiser run! Interacting with our communities is one of the most rewarding aspects of our work, and we want to thank all of you for a great year. To continue our year-end reflections, be sure to check out our 2013 "stats," including number of fish passages recorded, number of countries visited, and number of jars of jelly produced! We wish you all a Happy New Year as we look forward to more shared successes in 2014!


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Recent Blog Posts

A year in numbers 

As 2013 draws to a close, we wanted to wrap it up with our own kind of countdown. Here's a look back at a few of our favorite FISHBIO "stats" from the past year:

  • 232,186 miles flown (nearly the distance to the moon!)
  • 221,000 fishes counted by 7 rotary screw traps
  • 172,948 miles driven in our work trucks
  • 80,000 hours worked
  • 30,5000 fish passages recorded by 4 weirs
  • 2,000 eggs collected from our chickens
  • 156 blog posts written
  • 100 jars of pickled peppers produced
  • 38 fish species encountered in rotary screw traps
 Read more >
IN THE NEWS: Recent stories you might have missed...
Salmon reintroduction to Canadian Columbia River recommended by U.S.
Revelstoke Times 

If all goes according to Bill Green's plan, the first reintroduced Columbia River salmon will cross the U.S.-Canada border in 2016, 78 years after the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam blocked their passage in 1938. The plan doesn't stop there. His organization's goal? "Let's restore the salmon in 100 years, by 2040," Green tells me in an interview from his office at the Cranbrook-based Canadian Columbia River Intertribal Fisheries Commission, where he serves as director, overseeing six staff... Read more > 

Delta tunnels plan's true price tag: As much as $67 billion 
Santa Cruz Sentinal   
For more than a year, Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has been describing his plan to build two massive water tunnels through the Delta as a $25 billion project. That would rank it as one of the largest public works plans in California history. But when factoring in long-term financing costs, the price tag actually ranges from $51 billion to $67 billion, according to new figures that emerged last month... Read more >
Coastal Ocean aquaculture can be environmentally sustainable   
The Fish Site

The study, led by scientists at National Ocean Service's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), evaluated the environmental effects of finfish aquaculture, including interactions with water quality, benthic habitats, and marine life across various farming practices and habitat types. "We did this study because of concerns that putting marine finfish farms in the coastal ocean could have adverse effects on the environment..." Read more > 

Fish-like underwater robots developed to protect the environment

Science World Report   

The group cognition of insects like fireflies and honeybees, and even organisms such as slime moulds, provide useful models for researchers developing autonomous systems. Teams of underwater vehicles can mimic these natural behaviours to monitor water pollution or search for debris on the seabed. The EU-funded SHOAL project has developed robots inspired by fish, but operating like ants... Read more > 

California to end year as driest on record

Accu Weather

With 2013 quickly coming to a close, it's shaping up to be one of the driest calendar years on record for many places in California. Almost all of the Golden State is under either a severe or extreme drought with no end in sight heading into 2014. This prolonged drought has contributed to the heightened risk of wildfires over the past several months and is raising major concerns in the agriculture industry... Read more >