Retaining water in Yolo Bypass on Sacramento River could help salmon

By on November 1, 2013

Flooded Yolo Bypass (Credit: Steven Gross, via Wikimedia Commons)

Researchers at UC Davis have found that more water in Sacramento’s Yolo Bypass would lead to more robust Salmon survival and migration, according to the Los Angeles Times. They used fish pens to see if juvenile Chinook salmon growing in water-rich areas would fare better than their free-ranging counterparts.

Thousands of salmon were released in areas of harvested rice fields in February. Growth and survival rates were monitored and the scientists found that the penned salmon did better, in terms of survival and growth.

Yolo Bypass is an important floodplain for the Sacramento River. Floodwaters quickly drain through the bypass, leaving little residual water for salmon. The researchers say the study proves the benefit of retaining water levels within the bypass, and say expanding rice fields, which hold water, could help.

Image: Flooded Yolo Bypass (Credit: Steven Gross, via Wikimedia Commons)

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