From declining native fish populations to competing claims for water, water issues affect everyone. Stillwater Sciences specifically tackles issues related to river, estuary, and watershed ecology; most of our projects have the overall objective of restoring and maintaining healthy, sustainable, native fish populations and aquatic ecosystems. This includes:
In addition to our comprehensive understanding of fish ecology, we also focus on how aquatic organisms interact with their physical environment by examining the linkages between habitat structure and the physical processes shaping this habitat. This approach allows us to provide sound solutions to complicated aquatic management problems, including challenges related to climate change, and to develop effective management strategies at scales ranging from small urban streams to large valley watersheds and deltas.
Stillwater Sciences holds a NMFS Section 10(a)(1)(A) permit authorizing take of ESA-listed Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast coho salmon, Central California Coast coho salmon, California Coastal Chinook salmon, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, Northern California steelhead, Central California Coast steelhead, Central Valley steelhead, South-central California Coast steelhead, and Southern California steelhead associated with various Bay Area, Central Valley, and southern California coastal watersheds. Stillwater biologists also hold a USFWS Section 10(a)(1)(A) permit authorizing take of ESA-listed tidewater goby.
Our work includes field-based sampling of aquatic habitats and the species found there, as well as fish population modeling, diet tracking, and food web analysis.
Site-specific habitat conditions—including abundance of prey, predators, and cover/habitat—naturally affect fish behavior, distribution, and density in any given reach. To increase confidence in the results of our fish sampling efforts, we compare results generated by different sampling methods such as electrofishing, daytime snorkel surveys, and nighttime snorkel surveys. On Rock Creek, OR and the McCloud River, CA, we have initiated nighttime snorkel surveys in many of our long-term projects. This diversity of approaches helps ensure that the most scientifically robust results are used in analyzing population dynamics.