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FISHBIO: Our top stories of 2015

By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
12/28/15 -- As we continually meet new people and they hear the name FISHBIO, they will often tell us, "I read your Fish Report." This was particularly true at the American Fisheries Society Meeting in Portland Oregon and several other meetings we attended this year. It's gratifying for us to hear that the Fish Report is broadening its reach, and that people find it interesting and relevant. We want to extend a heartfelt thanks to you, our readers, for reading and sharing our stories, and sending us your feedback throughout the year.

Lake McClure, Fishbio
Lake McClure

As we count down to a new year and reflect back on 2015, we wanted to take a look at which of our stories from the past year garnered the most buzz. While we publish new stories on our website every Monday,Wednesday, and Friday, the Monday stories that also double as the Fish Report are typically the most popular. Once again, the analytics have are our most-read stories, all about very topical issues in California's Central Valley.

Pikeminnow predation, FISHBIO
Pikeminnow predation

#5 and #4: The Problem of Predation, and Can Predator Control Help California's Native Fish? We published a pair of stories about the issue of predation on native fishes (often from non-native, introduced predators) that both proved very popular. The first story examines predator control programs in other areas,

Striped bass predation, FISHBIO
Striped bass predation

including the Colorado and Columbia river basins, while the second addresses some of the concerns commonly expressed about removing predatory fish in California. The issue of predation has found some traction in pending legislation on Capitol Hill, and we will continue to follow this story with great interest.

Lake McClure low levels, FISBIO
Lake McClure low levels

#3: Historic Low: While not a Fish Report, this story still made our Top 5 and featured several gripping photos of Lake McClure at its lowest level since the lake was filled in 1967. The drought continues to be the defining water story of California, and few things communicate the stress and seriousness of drought than the sight of a drying reservoir. For similarly staggering photos, check out our Flickr album on the California drought

Striped bass catch, FISHBIO
Striped bass catch

#2: Striped Bass, the Central Valley's Most Popular Predator: Our website received an unprecedented number of hits this year when a link to one of our older stories about proposed changes to striped bass fishing regulations was posted on Facebook. We figured it was time for a follow up on the saga of this ever popular sportfish. In this story, we revisited the unsuccessful previous attempt to make it easier to fish for striped bass in California, and described the ongoing conversation around predator control.

California Hatchery, FISHBIO
California hatchery

#1: California Hatchery Concerns: Our top story of 2015 was one of the very first we released this year. In it, we discuss the origin of hatcheries and some of the challenges California' hatchery system has created for wild salmon populations, including decreased genetic diversity and reproductive success. We wrote a series of stories on this topic throughout the year, some of which were also among our most popular stories. Check out these other installments: Wagons, Trains and Airplanes: Hatchery History in California; In Search of Hatchery Solutions; and The Road to Salmon Collapse is Paved with Good Intentions.

We look forward to bringing you many more timely and relevant stories in 2016. If you're looking for some good reads in the meantime, check out our top stories of 2014 and 2013. Thanks for your support in 2015!

FISHBIO is a dedicated group of research scientists, engineers, and technicians that specialize in counting, tracking, and analyzing trends in fish and wildlife populations throughout the world. An expert staff, technical capacity, and state-of-the-art equipment make FISHBIO a trailblazer in aquatic research. For more information, please visit

Fishing Reports

A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
A Hot Summer's Day on Chico Creek, Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
07/25/16 -- I’ve been exploring Northern California’s streams -- above and below the surface -- for most of my life. One of my most memorable adventures took place on a hot summer’s day in 1964, not long after my sixteenth...Full Story
Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
11/14/15 -- Adjacent to both Lake Almanor and Mountain Meadows, between the towns of Westwood and Greenville, is a seemingly forgotten piece of backcountry; Keddie Ridge – aka Ridge World – where ancient rocks... Full Story
Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
05/04/15 -- OK, you went ocean fishing. If your fish is fresh or if you have processed, vacuum packed and frozen your catch properly, there are many ways to enhance your meals. Almost everything taken from the ocean is not... Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek.
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers,
Article and photos by Phil Akers
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story


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