Sturgeon in the Sacramento - San Joaquin Watershed. New insights to support conservation and management.

March 3rd 2015


The Delta Science Program and the Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture are pleased to announce a seminar.

Video of this seminar is now available at the following link...


Green and White Sturgeon, two distinct species with disparate life histories, reside in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Watershed and pose different challenges related to conservation and management . Green Sturgeon, a more marine species, migrates in spring to spawn in the headwaters of the Sacramento River before returning to the estuary during the fall. After their eggs hatch, the larvae are transported downstream with juveniles rearing within the Delta and San Francisco Bay. Adults migrate out the Golden Gate and travel northward along the continental shelf to the waters off Washington and Canada. By contrast, White Sturgeon appears to spawn exclusively in the lower Sacramento River watershed and remain within the San Francisco Estuary throughout their lifespan.
These coarse and contrasting life history descriptions provide the context for this day-long symposium that will present new information about biology and natural history of these two species. Considerable research has been undertaken to understand the physiology, behavior, and ecology of these species. The goal of this symposium is to shed light on current unknowns, some of which are currently being addressed by new electronic tracking technologies and physiological techniques, and to help guide enhanced management and conservation efforts within the Sacramento/San Joaquin watershed.

Tentative Agenda

9:00 – 9:10 - Welcome and Introduction
Dr.Rainer Hoenicke, Depty Executive Officer Delta Science Program

9:10-9:35 - An introduction to green and white sturgeon in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Watershed
A. Peter Klimley, Adjunct Professor. – University of California, Davis

9:35-10:00 - Long-term trends in the size of the green and white sturgeon populations determined from historical fish surveys – Are either species populations declining?
Marty Gingras, Fisheries Biologist – California Department of Fish and Wildlife

10:00-10:25 - Physiological and Behavioral Studies of Sturgeonin the Sacramento-San Joaquin Watershed- Implicationsfor Conservation and Future Studies
Joseph Cech, Emeritus Professor, and Nann Fangue, Assistant Professor – Uni. of Calif, Davis

10:25-10:45 – Break

10:45-11:10 - Timing of Green and White Sturgeon Movements in the San FranciscoBat, Delta and Sacramento River
Emily Miller, Ph.D. Candidate – University of California, Davis

11:10-11:35 - The Size and Spatial Distribution of SDPS Adult Green Sturgeon in the Sacramento River Compared to the Klamath and Rogue Rivers -- an Aggregated Species Vulnerable to Exploitation.
Ethan Mora, Ph.D. Candidate -- University of California, Davis

11:35-12:00 - An Overview of What We Think We Know About Green Sturgeon and White Sturgeon in the Feather River Alicia Seesholtz, Fisheries Biologist – California Department of Water Resources

12:00 - 1:10 – Lunch

1:10-1:35 - White Sturgon in the San Joaquin River-When,Why,and What We Are Going To Do About It? Zachery Jackson, Fisheries Biologist – United State Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

1:35-2:00 Those Crazy Jumping Suwannee River Sturgeons-What's It All About?
Kenneth Sulak, Fisheries Biologist US Geological Survey

2:00-2:25 - Integrating Sensory Ecology and Behavior with the Management of Juvenile Green Sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris)."
Jamilynn Poletto, Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Researcher – University of California, Davis

2:25 – 2:50 – Break

2:50-3:15 - Is Recovery of Green Sturgeon Possible?
David Woodbury, Green Sturgeon Recovery Coordinator, National Marine Fisheries Service

3:15-3:40 - Empirical and Modeling Studies of Spawning Habitat Preferencees in Green Sturgeon

Megan Wyman, Postdoctoral Researcher, UC Davis (on behalf of Michael Thomas Staff Researcher UC Davis)

3:40-5:00-Panel Discussion:

What Biological and Physical Information Do We Need to Best Manage and Conserve Green and White Sturgeon Populations in the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Watershed?
Panelists: Joseph Cech (UCD), Nann Fangue (UCD), Marty Gingras (CDFW), Zachery Jackson (USFW), Emily Miller (UCD), Ethan Mora (UCD), Jamilynn Poletto (UCD), Andrea Schreier (UCD), Alicia Seesholtz (CDWR), Kenneth Sulak (USGS), David Woodbury (NMFS)Megan Wyman (UCD), Moderator: Pete Klimley (UCD)

5:00 - Closing A. Peter Klimley Adjunct Professor, UC Davis

This seminar is free and open to the public.