in the Sacramento Valley
Collaborative Pilot Project
As part of an environmental initiative to help recover struggling salmon populations, California Rice has assembled a strong coalition of scientists, rice growers and project funding organizations. Our $1.4 million pilot project will test and refine rice farming practices to provide habitat and food for fish.
California Rice has successfully worked with partners to specifically manage its floodplain farm fields to benefit millions of birds. We now look forward to adding to this legacy of conservation by using our “surrogate wetlands” to help fish in the Sacramento Valley.
Our second-year goals for this initiative on salmon include the following:
Refine previous trials to grow salmon in winter-flooded rice fields into standardized management practices for use on farms near Sacramento River tributaries.
Insert micro transmitters into 900 young Chinook salmon to track their journey from the Sacramento Valley all the way out to the Pacific Ocean.
Determine the survivability of young salmon grown on highly productive winter-flooded rice fields in terms of the percentage of these fish successfully reaching adulthood.
A jar of zooplankton “bugs” from winter flooded rice fields. These are the bugs that the small salmon feast upon while in winter flooded rice fields to grow so quickly to prepare for their journey to the ocean.
The science elements of this project are being led by the renowned Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis in collaboration with California Trout. Essential to the program’s success is coordination with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service providing valuable scientific expertise and supplying the hatchery fish for the project.