fish trawl techniques
diagram of fish net trawl

Fish monitoring surveys in the San Francisco Estuary net different numbers of different fish species depending upon when and how they sample.

According to a new study published in San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, even surveys that target the same part of the water column can come up with significantly different catches. The study’s authors analyzed decades worth of data from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fall Midwater Trawl, which spans from San Pablo Bay to the upper Delta; CDFW’s San Francisco Bay Study midwater and otter trawls, covering the South Bay to the central Delta; and the UC Davis Suisun Marsh Fish Study, also an otter trawl. The two midwater trawls, which sample the middle of the water column, were found to be generally more successful at catching pelagic (open-water) fish like Delta smelt and American shad...
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