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stefanoflo
07-19-2016, 10:35 AM
was reading an article on the Delta smelt and then on Minnows . I learned as we all know they are very delicate fish and pollution,breading, pumping and other issues contribute to the decline.I read that UC davis raises them, then plants them which is good. my question is when it becomes an issue when its just to much to handle to save them . can we not replace them with a more sturdy, more plenty full type of minnow , that will breed better and give more as a forage to the fish of the delta??to where pumping won`t be an issue???of destroying them.

dsa2780
07-19-2016, 11:41 AM
In my opinion, the delta smelt isn't a keystone species that they make it out to be. Most everything in the delta that's predatory eats threadfin shad. The smelt is important because it's a native species, threadfin aren't. So the smelt, along with salmon, are the vanguards against exploitation of the delta because they're on the federally endangered species list and are on the brink of extinction.

I really don't think smelt make up any sort of serious forage for predatory fish in the delta. Sure, they might get eaten every now and then, but shad, juvenile bluegills and crawdads are what most things, even birds like terns and egrets live off of.

Replacing them won't do anything but probably cause more issues.

Threadfin shad populations are at also at an all time low. Anyone who used to fish the North East delta sloughs in the late fall and winter can attest to that. The bait balls of shad just aren't what they used to be. The biomass has changed a lot and the fish (non native predators) have to adapt by eating bluegills, baby bass, crappie, squaws, crawdads and whatnot since the shad are declining.

That's the way I see it at least. You can still run into boils and find areas in Disco bay loaded with threadfin during the winter, but it's a fact that everything is on a huge downward spiral and decline.

CDK
07-19-2016, 12:21 PM
was reading an article on the Delta smelt and then on Minnows . I learned as we all know they are very delicate fish and pollution,breading, pumping and other issues contribute to the decline.I read that UC davis raises them, then plants them which is good. my question is when it becomes an issue when its just to much to handle to save them . can we not replace them with a more sturdy, more plenty full type of minnow , that will breed better and give more as a forage to the fish of the delta??to where pumping won`t be an issue???of destroying them.
I believe replacing them would be like placing a band aid on cancer.
Would do nothing to cure the growing problem.

redneckpunk
07-19-2016, 12:25 PM
can we not replace them with a more sturdy, more plenty full type of minnow , that will breed better and give more as a forage to the fish of the delta??to where pumping won`t be an issue???of destroying them.

There's the key problem. Pumping is an issue for every species in the Delta and although I'm not a fisheries biologist, I'm willing to state from 45+yrs on the water, there is a correlation between the decline in species populations and increased pumping. The answer is not to find a replacement species but an alternative to the pumping.


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LONO100
07-19-2016, 01:58 PM
many moons ago when i was in college i went to a symposium on the delta smelt that was being held at my school. what i picked up from that is that the delta smelt isn't so much a cornerstone or lynch pin type species of fish to the delta's food web, like say the threadfin shad, but that the study of populations and condition of the delta smelt were used as a "gauge" that could tell us much about what man's effect on the environment was having. Variables like pollution, the tunnels, the manpowered movement of water like aqueducts or canals, global warming, etc. so simply replacing them with another species would not really help the problem. i am a little fuzzy on this, it was like 15 years ago. somebody please elaborate or correct me if i am wrong.

Tifoso
07-21-2016, 03:46 PM
Following. :)

salmonid
07-21-2016, 03:53 PM
can we not replace them with a more sturdy, more plenty full type of minnow , that will breed better and give more as a forage to the fish of the delta??

An analogy:

Do you have any kids? Would you accept having one of your kids replaced with a smarter, stronger, more durable child?

Tifoso
07-21-2016, 04:18 PM
An analogy:

Do you have any kids? Would you accept having one of your kids replaced with a smarter, stronger, more durable child?

Depends. Will doing that help the striper population? :hellohello9il:

stefanoflo
07-21-2016, 07:58 PM
just read an article on fishbio.com that the state is spending 4.5 million to remove cover and vegetation which they feel will remove the striper and bass population , because thats the cover they need for protection and replacing it with sand and a sand bank because they feel thats will help reproduce more smelt ,because that is what they use to spawn in ?? .is that crazy or what???general fund is paying for it. you whould think they would use it for Salmon or more fish plants.

dsa2780
07-22-2016, 01:42 AM
Stripers also love sandbars, so if what you say is true, what they're doing is counter intuitive.

Tifoso
07-22-2016, 08:36 AM
Stripers also love sandbars, so if what you say is true, what they're doing is counter intuitive.
Good point!

redneckpunk
07-22-2016, 10:09 AM
Stripers also love sandbars, so if what you say is true, what they're doing is counter intuitive.

Shhhh....don't tell them


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Tifoso
07-22-2016, 10:14 AM
Shhhh....don't tell them


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:grin:

fishwrong2
07-24-2016, 12:48 PM
Have been conflicted about the issue. I've always viewed the endangered species list as a tool to maintain healthy native ecosystems. Difficult to define what that is, so an individual species is kind of a barometer.

On one hand I think it works, and while messy, it's a kind of a ledge to slow the slippery slope of habitat degradation. On the other it's prone to uninteded consequences, abuse, and dishonesty. I'm sure some folks get enjoyment out of an actual delta smelt, but I'll bet less than 1% of people could identify one, or know if there are millions or none. On the other side, it has been a reason pumping isn't more than it is, and I'm fairly confident we wouldn't be fishing salmon this year and many before except for the legal issue related to the delta smelt.

Mountain yellow legged frogs are another example. I generally think more people would enjoy catching non-native brook trout that have been netted out of many lakes vs seeing a frog that is likely to go extinct anyway. But it's also part of a system that keeps water in the Delta, Eagle Lake and the Owens river. In a perfect world folks would just be more honest about their arguments but that's not how it works.

Current big battle is bass and stripers. If things follows history, there will be no limit on bass and stripers in the delta within the next 5 years. Not what I want, but what I predict. On the good side, I'm wrong a lot.

All just my opinion.