Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 102, Issue 1, pp 27–40 | Cite as

Spatiotemporal occurrence of green sturgeon at dredging and placement sites in the San Francisco estuary

  • Eric D. ChapmanEmail author
  • Emily A. Miller
  • Gabriel P. Singer
  • Alex R. Hearn
  • Michael J. Thomas
  • William N. Brostoff
  • Peter E. LaCivita
  • A. Peter Klimley


We used acoustic telemetry to determine the spatial and temporal overlap between adult Green Sturgeon movements and areas affected by dredging within the San Francisco Estuary. Autonomous receivers were deployed for 3 years within the lower Estuary at priority locations to assess the potential for adverse effects on Green Sturgeon. Green Sturgeon were present at the designated placement sites during all months of the year but more were detected during two time periods (February–March and June–September). Of the 134 tagged fish detected in the estuary, 109 (81%) were detected at one or more dredged or dredged material placement sites. The median duration of residence at dredged material placement sites was 72.5 min near the Carquinez Strait, 141.1 min in San Pablo Bay, and 37.1 min near Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. The median duration of residence at the dredged San Pablo Channel was 77.5 min. Nine fish were detected with depth sensing transmitters. The majority of detections (95.2%) from these fish were at depths greater than five meters. Combined with information regarding the specific impacts of dredging on Green Sturgeon (e.g., suspended sediments, toxicity, entrainment, and behavior changes), these spatiotemporal data could be used to make recommendations for reassessing best management practices.


Green Sturgeon Acoustic telemetry Dredging Estuaries San Francisco Bay estuary Residence 



For permission to do these analyses using detections of fish they tagged we thank Alicia Seesholtz (California Department of Water Resources), Robert Chase (United States Bureau of Reclamation), Dave Vogel (Natural Resources Scientists, Inc.), Olaf Langness (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife), and Erick Van Dyke (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife). We are grateful to the members of the University of California Davis Biotelemetry Laboratory (Tommy Agosta, Ryan Battleson, Michele Buckhorn, Matthew Peterson, Anna Steel, Jamilynn Poletto, Myfanwy Rowlands, Phil Sandstrom, Denise Tu, and Megan Wyman) who helped maintain the array of receivers and tag fish. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Arnold Ammann, Cyril Michel, and Matthew Pagel who maintained the databases. We would like to thank Cynthia Fowler for providing comments on various drafts of the manuscript. Numerous stakeholders contributed in various ways to the success of this endeavor, including members of the LTMS and the Bay Planning Coalition. This project was conducted under numerous University of California Davis Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee protocols and funded by the Long Term Management Strategy through the United States Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric D. Chapman
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Emily A. Miller
    • 1
  • Gabriel P. Singer
    • 1
  • Alex R. Hearn
    • 1
    • 3
  • Michael J. Thomas
    • 1
  • William N. Brostoff
    • 4
  • Peter E. LaCivita
    • 1
    • 4
  • A. Peter Klimley
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California Davis Biotelemetry LaboratoryDavisUSA
  2. 2.ICFSacramentoUSA
  3. 3.Universidad San Francisco de QuitoQuitoEcuador
  4. 4.United States Army Corps of EngineersSan FranciscoUSA

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