The FCCL puts significant effort toward research. Every year we spawn fish designated for research purposes. We are interested in conducting experiments that yield information on the basic biology of the smelts, as well as applied experiments useful for improving culture techniques. We do research on a variety of topics, including: reproduction, behavior, larval response to turbid environments, growth at temperature, and we are doing collaborative work with the Genomics Variation Lab, with the Aquatics Health Lab (both at UC Davis), and others.
With the production of fish each year, we have enabled research to move forward by making Delta Smelt of all ages and Longfin Smelt of certain ages available for various research projects. We provide thousands of Delta Smelt for research studies each year, and the fish are available for both on-site and off-site research upon approval from the facility’s director.
We have attempted to rear Longfin Smelt as a new culture species, as their wild population becomes more compromised. There are still some problems to culturing the Longfin Smelt at present; therefore, the availability of Longfin Smelt to researchers is highly variable from one year to another. Generally speaking, young Longfin Smelt are more available at the FCCL at this point.