More fish seem to be living in Napa River

2010-08-16T00:00:00Z More fish seem to be living in Napa RiverMIKE TRELEVEN Napa Valley Register
August 16, 2010 12:00 am  • 

The number of fish in the Napa River appears to be growing.

This year, about 33,000 fish — representing 25 species — were trapped and identified by the Napa County Resource Conservation District.

“I think this highlights the need to conduct this type of monitoring,” said Jonathan Koehler, a senior biologist with the Napa County Resource Conservation District. For two years, the local agency has been using a rotary screw trap monitoring system to get an idea of what is in the Napa River.

Compared to the year before, only 119 steelhead smolts and one Chinook salmon were identified in the Napa River. This year, however, the total catch of Chinook alone was about 1,371 in the Napa River.

The verdict is still out as to what these results mean.

Are the improved populations the result of a healthier river, or better monitoring of fish populations?

“I interpret this as a positive trend,” said Koehler. “Maybe we are doing a better job (monitoring)? I am not sure right now.”

Results have also uncovered three new species of salmon are living in the Napa River.

It appears the fish found in the rotary screw trap are Sockeye salmon. It is a species more commonly found in the Columbia River that divides Oregon and Washington.

And for the first time, it appears the Sockeye salmon discovered in the Napa River, which is a species more common to the Columbia River that divides the Oregon and Washington.

The local resource district sent pictures of the fish to experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle for analysis.

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(5) Comments

  1. Darkstar
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    Darkstar - August 16, 2010 10:32 am
    I used to see alot of brown trout near the Maxwell Bridge.
  2. Cowboy
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    Cowboy - August 16, 2010 3:18 pm
    I certainly wouldn't eat anything caught from the Napa river because of all the chemical runoff from the vinyards...
  3. crusherfan
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    crusherfan - August 16, 2010 4:56 pm
    there are no striper in the river eating....that would explain it
  4. Right
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    Right - August 16, 2010 4:58 pm
    If the survey results indicate a more diverse population of fish are visiting, residing in, or returning to the river, that could only be good news. It might mean that the water quality of the river is actually improving. The Resource Conservation District is mentioned in this newspaper pretty often and seems to be doing valuable and remarkable work, particularly with kids. We need more public agencies like this.
  5. MarkMiwords
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    MarkMiwords - August 17, 2010 10:48 am
    While they are often vilified, there are several environmental organizations in this area devoted to saving the Napa River. THEY are the ones getting my thanks.
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