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Jonathan Ambrose, “Reintroduction of Imperiled Species”
November 25, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Reintroduction of imperiled species to historical habitats is a frequently used conservation tool for many terrestrial and avian species, however it is less commonly used for at-risk fish species (including anadromous salmonids during their freshwater life stage).
NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service has determined that reintroduction of Central Valley salmonids to historical habitats is a necessary action to conserve and recover these iconic species. In California’s Central Valley, most rivers feature high-head dams just above the valley floor. Every one of these dams lack fish passage facilities, thus preventing salmon and steelhead from accessing high quality spawning, holding and rearing habitats found at higher elevations. The consequence of this loss of access is that the overall viability of steelhead, winter-run Chinook salmon and spring-run Chinook salmon has been compromised and these species are now listed under the Endangered Species Act.
In the Pacific Northwest, unlike California, reintroduction above high-head dams is an ongoing fisheries management practice. California is finally in the beginning stages of trying to catch up to Oregon and Washington by initiating fish passage projects into currently inaccessible habitats above Shasta Dam and into the upper North Yuba River. I will describe the status of these projects, some of the challenges, and potential engineering solutions.
Jon Ambrose has worked for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service for 19 years and is the salmon Reintroduction Coordinator for the Central Valley Area Office. Preceding his transfer to Sacramento, Jon worked on Endangered Species Act implementation for coho salmon and steelhead in coastal streams south of the Golden Gate. His work included permitting, recovery plan development, permit streamlining, fish passage and water management issues, restoration projects, and enforcement actions with NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement.
Prior to NOAA, he worked for 10 years as head biologist for Georgia-Pacific’s 200,000 acres of timberlands in Mendocino County where he managed the company’s numerous fisheries and wildlife programs as well as ensuring timber operations were in compliance with applicable State and Federal laws regarding wildlife protection. He is a past president of the Lake County Land Trust and in his spare time he and his wife explore the hinterlands of the Great Basin. Jon has a degree in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State Univ. and now lives in Sacramento.