Spawning Behavior

The FCCL is currently conducting studies to characterize and better understand Delta Smelt spawning behavior, of which very little is understood. While we have previously found that Delta Smelt generally spawn at night from February through May, spawning behavior has never been observed in the wild and has not yet been formally described. Furthermore, Delta Smelt eggs have never been found in nature. Thus, it is unclear how and where Delta Smelt naturally spawn. In our current experiments, we are conducting studies that characterize Delta Smelt spawning behavior under naturalistic conditions and examining spawning substrate preferences. The findings of these studies will be critical to continued recovery and conservation efforts.

Related Publications:

Tsai YJJ, Chase SN, Carson EW, Zweig L, Hung TC (2023) A qualitative comparison of spawning behavior between cultured and wild delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus), San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science 21(3), article 2.

Tsai YJJ, Chase SN, Carson EW, Zweig L, Hung TC (2022) Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) exhibit wide variation in spawning behavior: an investigation of substrate type, diel timing, and participants, Estuaries and Coasts 45, 1480-1489.

Tsai YJJ, Chase S, Carson EW, Zweig L, Hung TC (2021) Characterization of spawning behavior in cultured delta smelt, North American Journal of Aquaculture 83, 51-57.

Lindberg JC, Tsai YJJ, Kammerer BD, Baskerville-Bridges B, Hung TC (2020) Spawning microhabitat selection in wild-caught delta smelt Hypomesus transpacificus under laboratory conditions, Estuaries and Coasts 43(1), 174-181.

LaCava M, Fisch K, Nagel M, Lindberg JC, May B, Finger AJ (2015) Spawning behavior of cultured delta smelt in a conservation hatchery, North American Journal of Aquaculture 77(3), 255-266.


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