Wildlife Survey & Photo Service

Putah Cr.

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Surgery 2



Putah Creek Trout Telemetry Project

Initiated on April 19, 2014

CDFW has been studying the rainbow trout population in Putah Creek (InterDam Reach) for several years. The initial purpose was to consider the reach for a "Wild Trout Water" Designation. Scientific data will also be used to guide restoration projects.


File image shows DFW biologists and volunteers processing trout caught by electro-fishing in September 2013. The fish are measured, weighed, checked for general health and released.

To properly manage the InterDam Reach of Putah Creek, DFW Wild Trout Program initiated a Telemetry Project on April 19, 2014. Data will also be used to guide habitat restoration and enhancement of several sections of the creek.


On the 19th, anglers volunteered to catch trout and to assist the DFW staff with implanting transmitters in the "study fish." Putah Creek is a tough place to fish - it only allowed anglers to land 6 fish that were large enough to carry transmitters.


Image: Spawnng trout in InterDam Reach.

Recent years have shown a significant increase in trout spawning and population density. State scientists believe that one obstacle to increasing the trout population is lack of available refugia for juvenile trout. In other words, the little trout have limited areas for safe harbor from adult trout and other predators.


Side channel restoration / enhancement is one of the options under study by CDFW, Solano County Water Agency and Putah Creek Trout (non-profit). Enhancing the 154 Side Channel is a real possibility due to the ease of access and the limited amount of work necessary to create more refugia.

Image: DFW crew and volunteers operating on trout caught by anglers in that section. The largest was a 24 inch rainbow that will tracked by DFW and volunteers.


The California Fly Fishers Unlimited and the NCCIFFF purchased a telemetry receiver to allow club members to assist in this important scientific endeavor.

Shows angling volunteer Jeff Howard (CFFU) fishing in the Canyon Creek Public access section.


California Fly Fishers Unlimited, a Sacramento based club, purchased a Telemetry Receiver to assist DFW scientists monitor the 'tagged" trout. CFFU was awarded a $1500.00 grant from the Northern California Council Federation of Fly Fishers (NCCFFF) to help pay for the Telemetry Receiver.


CFFU had 8 volunteers assist with angling, surgical support, fish transport and recovery.

CDFW Environmental Scientists operating on a 14 inch trout, the first fish caught in the study. The biologists installed a radio transmitter. The fish was tranquilized, placed in a surgical sling, and kept hydrated by a water pump placed in its mouth. After suturing, the trout was placed in a in-creek observation tank. The tank allowed the fish to swim in a contained area before release.


Shows close-up of DFW scientists suturing the trout's abdomen where the transmitter was placed.


Look closely and you can see the transmitter antennae that will trail below the trout's abdomen.


Oh yeah, the 24 inch rainbow being released after the transmitter was installed. He swam by me and quickly swam toward the main channel.


I was highly impressed with the manner that the DFW staff and volunteers treated the trout. They took special care to handle, operate on, and carefully release the fish.


Lake Solano: Possibility that DFW will e-fish Lake Solano in the near future to catch more trout for the study.

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