Science Spotlight

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Recent accomplishments of CDFW's scientific community


San Mateo Lagoon Steelhead Restoration Shows Early Promise

A California Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologist holds a healthy juvenile steelhead from Pescadero Creek Lagoon Complex in coastal San Mateo county.
There’s a dichotomy in the way Pescadero Creek Lagoon Complex in coastal San Mateo County has both supported—and been detrimental to—steelhead trout for much of the past 25 years.

Pulse Flows Expected to Boost Brown Trout Fishery in Owens River Gorge

Two people laying on dirt ground looking into small white tray filled with water and unknown items while holding forceps. Also on ground nearby are a small cooler, metal clipboard, orange toolbox, cylindrical bottle with liquid, backpack, and ice tray.
From boom to bust to decades of angler indifference, few California fisheries have experienced such wild swings of fortune as Mono County’s Owens River Gorge.

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.

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.

Fisheries Biologists Showcase Delta Bass at International Sportsmen’s Expo

Man wearing blue and beige foul weather gear and orange life vest holding net with long pole leaning over boat railing on boat on water. Shipwreck in background.
Among the more popular attractions at the Sacramento International Sportsmen’s Expo each January is the Western Bass Aquarium Demo Tank.The 6,000-gallon aquarium displays dozens of trophy largemouth bass collected by CDFW biologists from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Science Spotlight: “Upcycling” Christmas Trees to Create Fish Habitat

Christmas trees submerged in body of water
Christmas can be the gift that keeps giving -- to anglers and fish alike. In the north state, CDFW fish habitat technicians oversee the collection of discarded Christmas trees, which will be used to build underwater habitat structures for local waterways. Long after they’ve brightened holiday homes, these trees will provide shelter for juvenile warmwater fish species -- and ultimately will create better fishing opportunities for anglers.

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.

Stacking the Odds to Stock California’s Waters

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The beginning of trout fishing season in Southern California is just around the corner, and CDFW biologists and hatchery staff are striving to maximize hatchery trout availability for the many anglers who will cast lines in coming weeks. Trout angling in lower-elevation waters of Southern California generally begins in November and continues through April, to correspond with colder water temperatures that can sustain stocked trout.

New Heritage Trout Production Program for Inland Fisheries

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For more than a century, CDFW’s Trout Hatchery and Stocking Program has been providing recreational fishing opportunities to anglers throughout California. Today, the trout hatchery program is composed of 13 hatcheries, which oversee 20 distinct fish production programs to produce 17 strains, species and subspecies of trout.

The Long Journey of Heenan Lake’s Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

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For generations, anglers in California’s eastern Sierra Nevada mountains fished for one of the most cherished fish in the west, the Lahontan cutthroat trout (LCT). These native beauties are prized for their size, with some growing as large as 40 pounds in the Tahoe Basin.