State officials are worried about salmon populations in foothill rivers after recent counts showed a mere fraction are returning to spawn in their ancestral spawning grounds.
KNTV: “The environmental consulting firm FishBio says just 1,158 adult salmon came back to spawn last year, compared with 5,672 fish in 2006.
Since 2000, salmon counts on the Stanislaus River have dropped from 8,498 fish to just 405 fish last year.
Experts are still trying to understand what is causing the salmon decline. The Department of Fish and Game reported last week that populations of delta smelt, longfin smelt and striped bass (pictured) are also dwindling.
The San Joaquin River originates in the Sierra Nevada and drains most of the area from the southern border of Yosemite, south to Kings Canyon National Park. The river’s tributaries include the Stanislaus River, Tuolumne River, Merced River, Calaveras River and Mokelumne River.”