Scientists Study Longfin Smelt Distribution in the Coastal Pacific Ocean

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USGS scientists have begun a project to estimate the marine distribution of longfin smelt (Spirinchus thaleichthys) along the North American Pacific coast.

Longfin smelt captured in San Pablo Bay, November 2018.

Longfin smelt captured in San Pablo Bay, November 2018.

The complex life cycle of the longfin smelt makes it vulnerable to threats in both freshwater and at sea. As a result of this vulnerability, the longfin smelt is listed as a threatened species by the state of California. Of special concern are how climate variability and global climate change are affecting the species.

In their research, scientists will collect and examine a variety of data sets to generate marine longfin smelt occurrence records. This information will then be used to develop species distribution models and integrate them with modeled oceanographic conditions. This will provide a better understand of the species’ sensitivity to oceanographic conditions and processes.

Learn more about this project>