National Fisherman

Salmon and rice go well together on the dinner table, and it turns out they may be good partners in the watershed as well. That's according to a recent set of studies by researchers at UC Davis, who looked at how well young salmon fare in flooded rice fields. Fisheries biologists with UC Davis are hoping rice fields in the Sacramento River Delta can help promote recovery of California's struggling Chinook salmon runs. So far the results seem to be promising.
The studies took place in the Yolo Bypass area, familiar to Interstate 80 travelers as that long stretch of floodplain west of Sacramento. In February, about 4,500 juvenile Chinook salmon were released into nine simulated flooded rice fields, and their daily growth charted. The idea was to see if rice fields might offer a suitable feeding grounds for baby salmon. researchers also looked at how fish move between different agricultural habitats, and at ways to change flooding schedules to benefit fish.
The most exciting result: juvenile fish in the rice fields grew at record rates, adding up to an inch in length every two weeks during their biggest growth spurts. That's faster than any salmon growth previously recorded in the state of California.
Read the full story at KCET>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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