Science Spotlight

Science Institute News

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Recent accomplishments of CDFW's scientific community


Science Spotlight: New Issue of Fish and Game Scientific Journal Now Available

Image of journal cover depicting a mallard duck taking off out of the water
California Fish and Game, Volume 104, Issue 2, is now available online! California Fish and Game is CDFW's official, quarterly, scientific journal devoted to the conservation and understanding of the flora and fauna of California and surrounding areas, and the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Science Spotlight: CDFW’s Annual Egg Take Results in Big Haul on the Little Truckee River

Woman wearing brown beanie cap, black puffy vest, flannel shirt, and camo waders standing in streambed holding a salmon
Each October, conditions permitting, CDFW staff and volunteers from the California Inland Fisheries Foundation, Inc. and Kokanee Power descend on the Little Truckee River, just upstream from Stampede Reservoir near Truckee, and get to work on the annual Kokanee Egg Take.

Science Spotlight: It’s Spawning Season for Salmon, Scientists Trying to Revive Extinct Central Valley Salmon Run

Man wearing long sleeved khaki shirt and pants with CDFW logo as well as yellow reflective vest and green safety hat while holding upside down fish. Scale made of PVC pipe and monitor in background.
Fresno County may seem an unlikely setting for salmon restoration and research, but some of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) most ambitious work with salmon anywhere is taking place in the heart of the parched Central Valley.

Science Spotlight: Warner Mountains Black Bear Project

Redhaired woman wearing blue shortsleeved shirt, khaki pants, and blue latex gloves holding tweezers in one hand near barbed wire fence and small manila envelope in other
California’s black bear population is healthy and growing, with an estimated 35,000 animals, up from an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 in 1982. But how do wildlife biologists determine these figures – and why are they important?

Banding Together: Two Pacific Flyway States Share Resources to Manage Geese

Woman with glasses and braided hair holding goose while second woman holds goose's head in one hand and measuring device in other.
Every September, California Department of Fish and Wildlife waterfowl biologist Melanie Weaver sets off on an unusual business trip. She packs up a trailer with huge nets, wire, rockets, crates and a number of VHF collars. She makes the seven-hour drive to Summer Lake, in southern Oregon’s high desert country, and settles in for a waterfowl capture project of indeterminate length.

Science Spotlight: Increasing the Genetic Diversity of White Abalone

Scuba diver underwater holding white board and mesh bag near rocky floor with kelp in background
At nearly 130 feet underwater, CDFW abalone researcher Dr. Laura Rogers-Bennett didn’t have much time. Her dive computer told her it was time to ascend, which meant that she would have to stop searching for the endangered white abalone hiding in the waving fields of red and gold gorgonians.

Science Spotlight: CDFW Biologist Gives Unlucky Sea Turtle a Second Chance

Green sea turtle laying in gray plastic kennel on top of blue pad while resting head on kennel opening.
CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Mike Harris is credited with the rescue of a green sea turtle that was unintentionally caught from a pier in Morro Bay. Harris and the Morro Bay Harbor Patrol responded to a report of the hooked turtle on Aug. 17, after Harris was alerted by a friend in the area.

No Cooling Off for Invasive Species ‘Hotline’ in Battle Against Nutria

Tiny brown and green speckled juvenile coqui frog sitting atop a penny
Six months after announcing the discovery of a breeding population of invasive nutria in the San Joaquin Valley, CDFW’s Invasive Species “hotline” continues to receive multiple reports each week of nutria sightings from the public.

Science Spotlight: The Fight to Keep Chronic Wasting Disease Out of California

Man wearing beige pants, blue scrub shirt, and black gloves hunched over black tarp covered table holding flesh over a black cutting mat, knife and forceps. Deceased deer laying on opposite end of table.
CDFW scientists, wildlife officers and other staff are pulling out all the stops to fight a wildlife disease of major concern from crossing state lines and infecting native deer and elk populations.

Science Spotlight: Oiled Wildlife Experts Make the Case for Rescue and Release Over Euthanasia

Oil covered duck held and soaped by orange gloved person wearing plastic apron
Scientists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and University of California, Davis have published an opinion essay that advocates rehabilitation and release, rather than euthanization, of animals injured by oil spills.