Delta Restoration

Watershed researchers share findings at Bay-Delta Science conference

UC Davis ecologist John Durand

Several scholars with the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences are presenting research at the Bay-Delta Science conference this week in Sacramento.

Ecologist John Durand is collecting data on fish populations in the nothern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to help determine the best way to restore wetlands favored by native fish such as tule perch and Sacramento splittail.

Through his research, Durand says he now favors a managed approach to wetland restoration similar to what has been developed by duck clubs in the nearby Suisun Marsh:

audio transcript

The north Delta research has also shown the drought’s impact on fish. Durand says the ratio of native fish to non-native fish has gone down under the drier conditions:

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Most scientists agree the Delta cannot be restored to look or function as it did at some idyllic point in the past – before the region was extensively drained for farming and became a hub for exporting massive amounts of water to distant cities and farms. Too much has changed for that to happen.

The discussions at Tuesday’s opening of the Bay-Delta Science Conference focused mostly on how to manage the Delta for both ecosystem and economic objectives.

On Wednesday, Durand and several other Watershed Sciences researchers will be presenting their latest findings on ecosystems in the north Delta and Suisun Marsh. The conference at the Sacramento Convention center continues through Thursday with more than 1,000 scientists, managers and policymakers attending.