Science Spotlight

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Recent accomplishments of CDFW's scientific community


CDFW Documents Statewide Impact of Recent Drought on Fish and Aquatic Species

Collage of three different images. Top image is rocky, barren dirt area in front of small lake amongst trees and mountains. Bottom left photo is two women on rocks in front of water and large walls of rock. Bottom right photo shows three people pulling and pushing metal boat over shallow riverbed with trees in background.
One silver lining to emerge from the severe drought that impacted California earlier this decade was that it whetted an appetite to study the event and compile data designed to help fish and aquatic species better weather future droughts.

Junction Reservoir Back to Raising Backcountry Trout

Concrete structure in stream with slatted metal gates and chutes. Man wearing camo waders, beige long sleeved shirt, gray call cap and black rubber gloves standing behind gate holding hammer.
Junction Reservoir in Mono County is CDFW’s brood lake for the Kamloops rainbow trout, a hard-fighting strain originally from the Kamloops region of British Columbia.

CDFW Biologists Confirm Green Sturgeon Spawn in Yuba River

Underwater photo of a green sturgeon swimming along rocky river bottom.
CDFW biologists have been taking a new approach to looking at reproduction in one of the oldest fish species in existence. Green sturgeon, which are listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act, are in effect a living fossil, having swam in both the fresh and ocean waters from California to Alaska for more than 200 million years.

Creel Survey Keeps Tabs on Quality at Crowley

Crouching man in brown and beige uniform and ball cap on boat with pencil and chart on clipboard next to open cooler filled with fish.
Mono County’s Crowley Lake is a destination fishery that attracts trout anglers of all kinds – bait fishermen, lure casters, trollers and fly anglers – throughout the state during its open season.

Lobster Fishers: We Need Your Data!

Several lobsters crowded together in rock crevice underwater next to sea urchin
The April 30 deadline to turn in California spiny lobster report cards is fast approaching – and CDFW needs your catch data! The information collected from these is enormously helpful to CDFW scientists who monitor the harvest, amount of fishing effort and the gear used in the recreational fishery

Identifying the Oily “Fingerprint” at CDFW’s Petroleum Chemistry Laboratory

Man wearing white lab coat, clear safety goggles, and green gloves holding graduated cylinder with clear fluid in laboratory setting
You've seen television forensic dramas where sleuths use science to help find a killer. What many don’t know is these same types of similar techniques like fingerprinting can help investigators track down the source of an oil spill.

Biologists Work to Restore Kirman Lake’s Trophy Trout Fishery

Small green and brown spotted fish held in hands
It’s a question that has been asked by more than a few eastern Sierra trout anglers: What happened to the fishing at Kirman Lake?

New Issue of CDFW’s Scientific Journal Dives Deep into Marine Studies

Book cover with photo of orange fish and text that reads California Fish and Game Conservation of Wildlife Through Education Volume 105 Winter 2019 Number 1 Published Quarterly by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife
The latest issue of California Fish and Game, Vol. 105, Issue 1, focuses on marine species, bringing new insights and understanding of several fish species found off the California coast.

Counting Lizards: New CDFW Study Confirms a Better Way to Survey Reptiles

Small brown, gray, and blue speckled lizard on man's hands
One might say that a groundbreaking new study conducted by two CDFW scientists and their research partners provides a leap forward in lizard research.

Remotely Operated Vehicle Gives Scientists an Underwater View into California’s MPAs

Three men on boat wearing thick coats, life vests, and white hard hats. Two of the men are looking over side of boat at large green and black machine on crane above water. Third man holding gray metal box with large buttons.
Marine scientists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Marine Applied Research and Exploration (MARE) recently completed an unprecedented three-year survey of deep-water habitats off the California coast using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).