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Fine-scale habitat preference of green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) within three spawning locations in the Sacramento River, California

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

By:
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https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2017-0072

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Abstract

Vast sections of the Sacramento River have been listed as critical habitat by the National Marine Fisheries Service for green sturgeon spawning (Acipenser medirostris), yet spawning is known to occur at only a few specific locations. This study reveals the range of physical habitat variables selected by adult green sturgeon during their spawning period. We integrated fine-scale fish positions, physical habitat characteristics, discharge, bathymetry, and simulated velocity and depth using a 2-dimensional hydraulic model (FaSTMECH). The objective was to create habitat suitability curves for depth, velocity, and substrate type within three known spawning locations over two years. An overall cumulative habitat suitability score was calculated that averaged the depth, velocity, and substrate scores over all fish, sites, and years. A weighted usable area (WUA) index was calculated throughout the sampling periods for each of the three sites. Cumulative results indicate that the microhabitat characteristics most preferred by green sturgeon in these three spawning locations were velocities between 1.0-1.1 m/s, depths of 8-9 m, and gravel and sand substrate. This study provides guidance for those who may in the future want to increase spawning habitat for green sturgeon within the Sacramento River.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Fine-scale habitat preference of green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) within three spawning locations in the Sacramento River, California
Series title:
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
DOI:
10.1139/cjfas-2017-0072
Edition:
Online First
Year Published:
2017
Language:
English
Publisher:
NRC Research Press
Contributing office(s):
National Research Program - Central Branch
Country:
United States
State:
California
Other Geospatial:
Sacramento River