Sacramento pikeminnow and introduced striped bass in the middle Sacramento River eat a surprisingly similar diet, says a new study in San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science.

Both species have been implicated in the decline of vulnerable native species in the river, particularly juvenile Chinook salmon, says lead author Dylan Stompe, a PhD student and researcher at the University of California at Davis. For eight months in 2017, Stompe and fellow researchers with the California State University at Chico and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife surveyed a 35 kilometer reach of the river outside Chico for the two predatory fish. They baited hooks with with sardines, worms, and chicken liver and fished from an anchored boat. When they brought a pikeminnow or striped bass on board, the researchers performed a gastric lavage, in which pulses of pressurized water are directed into the fish’s esophagus, causing...
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