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California Water Science Center

The U.S. Geological Survey, California Water Science Center provides reliable, impartial, foundational data and scientific analysis to address water issues facing California today. We conduct hydrologic monitoring and investigative studies in partnership with tribal, federal, state, and local agencies to assist them in managing California's water resources.

News

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USGS provides easy access to Colorado River science with new online portal

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Physics to Fish

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USGS Supports Effort to Understand Impacts on Water Quality Caused by 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise, California

Publications

Determinants of spring migration departure dates in a New World sparrow: Weather variables reign supreme

Numerous factors influence the timing of spring migration in birds, yet the relative importance of intrinsic and extrinsic variables on migration initiation remains unclear. To test for interactions among weather, migration distance, parasitism, and physiology in determining spring departure date, we used the Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) as a model migratory species known to harbor diverse and
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Allison J. Byrd, Katherine M. Talbott, Tara M. Smiley, Taylor B. Verrett, Michael S. Gross, Michelle Hladik, Ellen D. Ketterson, Daniel J. Becker

An introduction to Criteria for Reporting and Evaluating Exposure Datasets (CREED) for use in environmental assessments

Risks posed by environmental exposure to chemicals are routinely assessed to inform activities ranging from environmental status reporting to authorization and registration of chemicals for commercial uses. Environmental risk assessment generally relies on two key values generated from exposure data and ecotoxicity data. Data sets of measured concentrations of chemicals in environmental matrices,
Authors
Graham Merrington, Lisa H. Nowell, Charles Peck

Pesticides in small volume plasma samples: Method development and application to smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) from the Chesapeake Bay watershed, USA

Nontarget organisms are exposed to pesticides following applications in agricultural and urban settings, potentially resulting in deleterious effects. Direct measurements of pesticides in biological tissues may aid in characterizing exposure, accumulation, and potential toxicity versus analyses in environmental media alone (e.g., water, soil, and air). Plasma represents a nonlethal sampling medium
Authors
Michael S. Gross, Vicki S. Blazer, Michelle Hladik

Science

Bay-Delta Catchability Study

Addressing catchability bias in fish surveys with catch-ratios In the scientific study of fish, "catchability" refers to the probability that a fish will be captured by a particular fishing gear or method. It is a measure of how effectively a fishing gear or method can capture fish. Catch data refers to information about the quantity and species composition of fish. Catch data is used by...
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Bay-Delta Catchability Study

Addressing catchability bias in fish surveys with catch-ratios In the scientific study of fish, "catchability" refers to the probability that a fish will be captured by a particular fishing gear or method. It is a measure of how effectively a fishing gear or method can capture fish. Catch data refers to information about the quantity and species composition of fish. Catch data is used by...
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Santa Ana River Native Fish Study

Native Fish Population and Habitat Study, Santa Ana River, California The Santa Ana River, the largest river in Southern California, flows through diverse landscapes, from the high desert to urban and suburban areas in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, stretching approximately 96 miles (154 km) from its headwaters in the San Bernardino Mountains to its mouth at the Pacific Ocean near...
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Santa Ana River Native Fish Study

Native Fish Population and Habitat Study, Santa Ana River, California The Santa Ana River, the largest river in Southern California, flows through diverse landscapes, from the high desert to urban and suburban areas in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, stretching approximately 96 miles (154 km) from its headwaters in the San Bernardino Mountains to its mouth at the Pacific Ocean near...
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Culturally Prescribed Fire

Culturally prescribed burning has been long practiced by the Yurok Tribe for a variety of reasons. This study explores using culturally prescribed fire as a land management tool for increasing the resiliency of streams and watersheds.
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Culturally Prescribed Fire

Culturally prescribed burning has been long practiced by the Yurok Tribe for a variety of reasons. This study explores using culturally prescribed fire as a land management tool for increasing the resiliency of streams and watersheds.
Learn More