California Water Science Center

Aquatic Ecosystems

Aquatic ecosystems information and data is neccessary for many California water management decisions including preservation of California's natural resources. The California Water Science Center conducts interdisciplinary research from aquatic species behavioral, population and community ecology, to the effects hydrologic extremes and climage change on ecosystems.  

Filter Total Items: 67
Date published: August 27, 2019
Status: Active

Mercury studies at Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine and Clear Lake, California

The abandoned Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine on the shores of Clear Lake in Northern California has been designated as a "Superfund Site" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This means that the EPA has determined that the area is contaminated by hazardous waste and requires cleanup...

Date published: July 24, 2019
Status: Active

Organic Matter Research Laboratory

The USGS California Water Science Center's Organic Matter Research Laboratory provides laboratory services and support to regional and national projects in the analysis of organic matter using the latest methods in absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy along with standard measurement of total dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen concentration.

Date published: March 13, 2019
Status: Active

Neonicotinoid Seed Treatment Study

Neonicotinoids are a new class of insecticides chemically related to nicotine. Like nicotine, they act on receptors in the nerves and are generally much more toxic to insects, than they are to mammals and other higher organisms. Their use has increased rapidly over the last decade, driven in large part by their use for seed coating. Seed coating is when a seed is treated with an insecticide...

Contacts: James Orlando
Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

SGMApy: An open source platform for computing sustainability metrics and visualizing MODFLOW data

Climate change and demographic changes have underscored the need to improve effectiveness of managing valuable water resources for sustainability. In 2014, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) established a framework for sustainable, local groundwater management. SGMA requires groundwater-dependent regions to halt overdraft and bring basins into balanced levels of pumping and...

Date published: December 20, 2018
Status: Active

California's Central Valley

Competition for water resources is growing throughout California, particularly in the Central Valley. The Central Valley's population is expected to increase to 6 million by 2020. This population growth, along with anticipated reductions in Colorado River water deliveries, drought, and the ecological crisis in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, have created an intense demand for water. The...

Contacts: Claudia C Faunt
Date published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Occurrence of Current-use Pesticides in Suisun Bay and Potential Effects on Phytoplankton

Suisun Bay is an area identified as critical habitat for the threatened Delta Smelt. Several important changes in the pelagic food web of this area have been documented over the last two decades indicating that food for Delta Smelt and other threatened fishes is in short. 

Contacts: James Orlando
Date published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Development of a spatially explicit ecosystem model to explore physiochemical drivers of step changes in POD species abundance and distribution in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Bay

Prior to 2000, the four most abundant resident pelagic fishes in the study area included two native species, delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) a federal listed endangered species, and longfin smelt (Spirinchus thaleicthys) a state listed endangered species, and two introduced species, threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense) and age-0 striped bass (Morone saxatilis). 

Contacts: Larry Brown
Date published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Evaluation of Exposure and Vulnerability of Selected Inland National Wildlife Refuges in the Pacific Southwest to Water Resources Constraints in the Face of Climate Change using Downscaled Climate Change Modeling

As competition for water is growing, a major challenge is to ensure that sufficient quantities of good quality water are available for fish, wildlife, and plants. Competition for a limited supply of water with adequate water quality to support National Wildlife Refuges are a dominant threat for many National Wildlife Refuges across the U.S. and is only heightened during times of drought and in...

Date published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Mapping Sturgeon Spawning Habitat in the Lower San Joaquin River

The spawning of adult white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) in the lower San Joaquin River was documented recently by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) (Gruber and others, 2012; Jackson and Eenennaam, 2013). Streamflow on the San Joaquin River has been modified by State and Federal water project operations, and there are a variety of questions regarding the...

Contacts: Scott A Wright
Date published: December 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Imaging 3D mammal burrow structure at 2 infested levee site with Ground-Based Tripod LiDAR

In advance of the US Army Corps of Engineers new policy enforcement that prohibits trees within 15-feet (4.5 meter) of levees and floodwalls, DWR, SAFCA, the US Army Corps of Engineers, University of California Berkeley, the University of California Davis, and USGS are studying the biological process (trees and mammal burrows) that have the greatest impact on levee integrity.

Date published: December 18, 2018
Status: Completed

Pesticide Studies in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay Estuary

The objectives of this specific study are to characterize the mixtures of current-use pesticides and pesticide degradates entering the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta from its two main river sources over a period of 12 consecutive months. 

Contacts: James Orlando
Date published: December 18, 2018
Status: Completed

Understanding Juvenile Salmon Entrainment and Survival in the South Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta Through the Use of Acoustic Telemetry and Hydrodynamic Measurements

This study will use the release-recapture information derived from the 2012 receiver array to populate a mark-recapture model based on a Cormack-Jolly-Seber model in combination with a route-specific survival model of Skalski et al. (2002) to derive maximum likelihood estimates and standard errors of reach specific survival and entrainment rates at important junctions, similar to what was used...

Contacts: Jon Burau