1B Historic Conditions
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(From the Friant Water Users Authority Web Site: http://www.fwua.org/Restoration/histcond.htm)






            Area   3

            Hydrology and Climate   3



            Native Americans   5

            American Immigrants   6

            Mining   7

            Navigation   7

            Agriculture and Irrigation   7



            Natural Communities   8

             Palustrine Wetlands   9

            Permanent fresh emergent wetlands   9

            Seasonal fresh emergent wetlands   9

            Vernal pools

            Valley foothill riparian woodland 10

            Valley-Foothill Hardwood 10

            Valley oak woodland 11

            Blue oak woodland 11

            Valley grasslands 11

            San Joaquin saltbush scrub 11

            Riverine systems 12


Wildlife resources 12

            Native Fishes 13

            Introduced Fishes 13

            Anadromous Fishes 14

            Salmon 16

            Spring Run 16

            Fall Run 17

            Late Fall/Winter Run 19

            Steelhead 19

            Striped bass 19

            Sturgeon 20

            American Shad 21

            Birds 21

            Mammals 21

            Invertebrates, Reptiles and Amphibians 26









The San Joaquin Valley, measuring approximately 280 by 115 miles, encompasses some 20.5 million acres and collects all precipitation falling between the divides of the Sierra Nevada and the Coast Range on the east and west, respectively.  The Cosumnes River and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta form the boundaries on the north with the Tehachapi and the San Emigo mountains forming those on the south.  The valley floor accounts for some eight million acres, or about 39% of the total area, with 4.3 million of that in the San Joaquin Basin and the balance in the Tulare. 


The region (synonymous here with the San Joaquin watershed) comprises the southern portion of the Central Valley of California. This principle hydrologic region is subdivided into two separate basins, the San Joaquin and the Tulare, by a rise in the valley floor resulting from an accumulation of alluvium between the San Joaquin River and the Kings River fan called the Sanjon de San Jose.  Historically, this rise was breached by a slough which drained Tulare Lake into the San Joaquin during high water years. 

Hydrology and Climate


The climatic regime of the San Joaquin Valley is characterized as semi-arid to arid with hot, dry summers and mild winters.  Summer temperatures often exceed 100 degrees for extended periods and highs of 115 degrees are not uncommon.  Winter temperatures on the valley floor fall below freezing only occasionally.  Significant precipitation can be expected anytime from about mid-October to approximately mid-May with the greatest proportions accumulating between January and April.


The region averages only 25 cm of annual rainfall.  The winter snowpack, which accumulates above the 3-4000 feet line, supplies the vast majority of the basins' water.  The westside streams contribute little to the water totals in the valley.  The Coastal Range is too low to accumulate a snowpack and is subjected to a rain shadow phenomenon, therefore producing only seasonal runoff.  The snowmelt fed streams originating in the Sierra Nevada, however, are permanent and constitute the principle sources of water for the entire region.  


Prior to the construction of Friant Dam extreme temporal fluctuations in water availability were diagnostic of the hydrology of the San Joaquin Valley.  Significant inter-annual variation characterized the extended precipitation pattern of the region with drought cycles that lasted years. Biologically significant variations also occurred in diel, seasonal and intra-annual cycles.  Daily temperature variations generated peaks in snowmelt that altered streamflows on a daily and even hourly scale.  High elevation winter rains, which increase the rate of snowmelt, are common in the region and often result in significant if shortlived increases in streamflow.  On December 11, 1937 a shortlived surge of 37,900 cfs was recorded at Friant on the Upper San Joaquin and on February 18 and 19, 1986 flows of 20,838 and 33,514, respectively, were recorded entering Millerton Lake behind Friant Dam (Mike McKown, pers. comm.). 


Greater variations followed an annual regime.  Peak snowmelts resulted in very high late spring and early summer flows that declined over summer to reach minimum flow levels in the fall and early winter.  Lower elevation  winter rains and diurnal snowmelt combined to maintain a secondary high flow period that completed the annual hydrologic cycle.


Historically, the major water bodies in the San Joaquin watershed were the San Joaquin River and the Tulare Lake assemblage.  The main stem of the San Joaquin could have been catagorized as both a coldwater and a warmwater river at different times and locations.  The San Joaquin was fed by snowmelt at its headwaters in the Mt. Lyell/Minarets region of the Sierra Nevada Range and was joined by the major eastside tributaries (the Merced, Tuolumne, Stanislaus, Mokelumne, and Cosumnes rivers) plus numerous smaller and/or seasonal streams.  Due to the snowpack source of San Joaquin river water and snowmelt associated flows, late spring water temperatures remained fairly low even as air temperatures rose into the high 90 and low 100 degree range (Report, 1856).  However, late summer and early fall water temperatures have been recorded in excess of 70 degrees at Friant and even higher on the lower river reaches (Clark, 1942; Commission of Fisheries, 1888).


In the foothills the river cut through a basalt capped plateau resulting in a relatively restricted, gravel bottomed channel (Smith, 1939) that emerged onto the valley floor from a narrow granitic gorge.  For several miles below the Sierra foothills were ledges of rotten granite covered to a considerable depth by sand and gravel. The channel here was 300-500 feet wide, one of the widest reaches on the entire river. (Giffen, 1939; Reports, 1856).


Due to the rivers origin in the granitic foothills and the stability of the banks, the river did not carry a high sediment load and was not a rapid land builder. Downstream of the Merced confluence the elevation of the banks was only slightly greater than that of the surrounding landscape.  As a result the river would periodically spread out over the valley floor creating extensive permanent and seasonal freshwater marshes.  These wetlands occurred on both sides of the main channel. 


From Hamptonville to Herndon the San Joaquin fell 89 feet in 20 miles  (USGS, 1899) and another two feet per mile from Herndon to Mendota. From Mendota to Hill's Ferry the river slope averaged only one foot per mile and less than one foot per mile thereafter to the confluence to the delta.   From Las Juntas to the head of the Old River channel is 146 miles.  In this region the average width was 400 feet and its depth was 12 to 18 feet.  The bottom here was mostly sand bars with firm clay veins occasionally exposed.  River banks were of firm alluvial material with little tenancy to cave.  The banks were lined with willows, cottonwoods and occasional oaks (USGS, 1899).


The Tulare Lake assemblage, christened "vale de los Tules" (Valley of the Rushes) by early Spanish explorers.  The assemblage consisted of four shallow lakes formed from depressions in the valley floor.  These once collected water from the Kings, Kaweah, Tule and St. Johns rivers plus various minor and intermittent streams.  The largest of the lakes, Tulare Lake, was the second largest freshwater lake on the continent in terms of surface area, varying with the mean hydrologic cycle from around 450 to over 800 square miles. The lake was only 30 to 40 feet at the deepest point and is believed to have evaporated completely during severe drought periods.  Kern, Buena Vista and Goose Lakes completed the Tulare Basin assemblage of interconnected terminal lakes.  In addition, a 125 acre lake known as Summit Lake, created by outflow from Tulare Lake, was just north of the Kings River fan (Moore, 1990).  The valley floor in this region was a miasma of interconnecting natural sloughs, canals and marshes.


Tulare Lake had no perennial surface outlet. However, during high water periods, when the lake surface level would rise above 207 feet elevation, it would flow through a slough that cut the Sanjon de San Jose and drain into Summit Lake.  Once Summit Lake filled it, in turn, spilled into Fresno Slough and thence into the San Joaquin River.  In addition to this surface flow, historic accounts suggest that underground seepage from the Tulare Basin may have doubled the river's volume and maintained the its flow during the dry summer and fall months (Moore, 1990).


With its masses of waterfowl, freshwater mollusks, plentiful turtles and many species of deep-bodied fish the Tulare Lake assemblage supported a large Native American population.  During early European times, thriving market hunting and commercial fishing industries were supported by the lake's abundant resources (Smith, 1963).





Native Americans


The extremely rich natural resources of the San Joaquin valley supported the densest population of non-agrarian Native Americans  on the continent.  The aboriginal peoples were provided shelter and material resources by the riparian groves on the banks of its rivers, sloughs and lakes and fished in its waters.  Large game was plentiful as the plains and grasslands teemed with herds of elk, deer and pronghorns and the wetlands provided a cornucopia of waterfowl, fish and plant based food resources.


The San Joaquin Valley was home to the Yokuts, a cultural group of peoples with distinct tribal names, dialects and territories, and the Miwok peoples who inhabited the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range and whose groups were divided principally by elevation.  Up to 50 Yokut subgroups occupied the San Joaquin basin, numbering somewhere between 10,000 (Almanac) to 50,000 individuals (Moore).  An additional 19,000 are estimated to have inhabited the Tulare Basin or visited it on a seasonal basis.  This group comprised the densest non-agricultural population of indigenous people in North America (Moore). 


However, Spanish soldiers forced the Native American population from their villages on the banks of the San Joaquin and removed them to the Mission San Juan Bautista.  In 1832-33 the Yokuts fell victim to epidemics of malaria and cholera that eliminated approximately 75% of the population.  Later, a genocidal campaign by the Mariposa Militia, spurred by the mass immigrations of gold seekers during the 1850's and aimed at both the Miwoks and the remaining Yokuts, reduced the Indians to a few scattered bands.  In 1856 two reservations were created in the valley and by the end of the Mariposa Indian Wars in the early 60's the last 1300 Yokut Indians were resident upon them.  By 1910 only 600 remained.


American Immigrants


Compared to the coastal regions of California neither the Spanish nor the Mexicans left any relatively lasting historical or cultural legacy in the San Joaquin Valley.  Lieutenant Pedro Fagas and a small band of soldiers first explored the San Joaquin region in 1772.  In 1804 and again in 1806, survey expeditions explored the region looking for mission sites but few were reported and no mission was ever successfully founded.  However, after the forced emigration of the Northern Yokuts from the banks of the San Joaquin River, the Spanish military returned to and permanently occupied the site of their most important village, situated at the confluence of the San Joaquin River and Fresno Slough, which came to be known as Pueblo de las Juntas (Inventory, 1940: San Joaquin River hist. data, 19__)


In 1822 a party led by Jedediah Smith spent a season trapping beaver on the San Joaquin and in 1829 another band of trappers, including Kit Carson, would return to the area (Smith, 1939, Inventory, 1940). The first land grant was awarded to a Mexican rancher who settled in the San Joaquin Valley in 1836 and soon thereafter a homestead was claimed by a European settler on St. John's River near present day Visalia. Over the following decade 30 more land grants were deeded in the valley by the Mexican governor. However, the region remained only sparsely populated by non-aboriginals until the Gold Rush years. 

In 1847 Don Benito Wilson drove a herd of cattle from his Riverside ranchero through the San Joaquin Valley to Stockton and reported seeing not a single white man.


The end of the Mexican-American war in 1848 brought a hundred  families, most of them recent immigrants to the United States, to settle in the Valley in three permanent settlements, Kingston City on the Kings River, Millerton on the Upper San Joaquin and Fresno City on Fresno Slough (Almanac, 1956).  In 1849 some 80,000 immigrants descended upon the valley, lured primarily by the promise of gold (Smith, 1939, Inventory, 1940) but also populating lumber towns, ranches and town sites.  During and after this period the white population continued to increase.


The development of a white population in the San Joaquin Valley can be correlated with certain economic activities which lead in importance during given periods: Mining 1849-64, lumbering 1852-present, ranching 1864-1874, grain and dairy farming 1874-1882, viticulture and irrigated agriculture 1882-present (Inventory, 1940).




Though mining brought tens of thousands of goldseekers into the San Joaquin Valley it did not directly impact the regions natural resources to the extent that the nothern mines did in the Sacramento Valley.  Most mining on the upper San Joaquin consisted of placer mining as the gold was of a very fine texture mixed with the sand and gravel bottom.  Very little, if any, hydraulic mining took place in the region as was common in the Sacramento basin.  Still, placer mining operations upstream and dredging on the tributaries could disrupt or destroy the spawning beds of chinook salmon and steelhead and sometimes loaded the river with impurities (Report, 1853-4).  During the Gold Rush period over $13,000,000 in gold was taken from the Upper San Joaquin River area known as the Southern Mines (Inventory, 1940).




Navigation was initiated on the San Joaquin River soon after the discovery of gold in the Sierra foothills.  The first documented voyage  of a vessel of any size resulted from the sale of a bark  brigantine, an ocean going sailing ship, to a group of would be miners trying to reach the gold fields.  These men managed to sail the ship as far as San Joaquin City at the confluence of the Stanislaus and San Joaquin rivers.  However, shallow draft side-wheelers and barges were the only feasible commercial vessels of any size on the river.


The first commercial shipping venture on the San Joaquin was the California Steamboat Company.  The Stockton Record, in a Jan. 24, 1853 edition, reported the ship Marysville running routes as far as Fort Miller, the legal head of navigation and now the site of Millerton Reservoir.  The established head of navigation, operable at both high and low waters,  was Sycamore Point at present day Herndon.  It was possible at one time for a ship to load passengers and cargo on the upper river and unload at Red Bluff without ever leaving fresh water, a trip of well over 600 miles (Macmullen).  Shipping operations remained viable and profitable economic entities, engendering much competition,  until irrigation diversions had so lowered the river levels that  ships could not get through (Cheney).  By the turn of the century commercial navigation on the river was unfeasible and the last run to Herndon was made in the flood year of 1911 (Almanac).


Agriculture and Irrigation


The San Joaquin Valley is uniquely situated in the state relative to other agricultural sectors.  The Coast Range to the west of the valley inhibits cool air from blowing in from the sea, resulting  in higher temperatures earlier than in other regions.  Crops grown in the San Joaquin will sometimes mature three to four weeks earlier, allowing producers to market them first for premium prices.  This quality helped drive the rapid agricultural development of the area despite the lack of easily accessible water (Inventory).


The development of irrigation in the San Joaquin Valley started with the establishment of "agricultural colonies" for the express purpose of pooling the capital of a number of people for the large scale development of irrigation.  During the post-Civil War period settlers emigrated in large numbers from the southern states.  The influx of these immigrants and their cumulative resources drove the expansion of the agricultural communities into fully operative water and irrigation companies.


Early irrigation practices consisted of little more than shallow ditches dug by crude horse drawn plows and dredges and filled with water drawn from the river by hand pumps. In 1867 the Fresno Irrigation District Company attempted the first large scale water conveyance project strictly for irrigation purposes, later known as the Centerville Ditch, to divert water from the Kings river.  The project was completed in 1874 (Inventory) and by 1880 over 188,000 valley floor acres were irrigated. 


In 1880 the Upper San Joaquin Irrigation Company attempted the first large scale water storage facility in the Valley.  The project was designed to irrigate 250,000 acres with water diverted from the San Joaquin River.  An 800 foot long rock dam designed to raise the river six feet was constructed downstream of Millerton on about the present dam site.  The dam was destroyed by spring floods and the project was abandoned by 1882.  However, the impetus for major engineering projects for the purpose of irrigation was created.  By the turn of the century over 350,000 acres were irrigated in the San Joaquin Basin with another half million in the Tulare Basin.(USBR, 1986)


An important component of the irrigation scheme in the valley was the installation each year of the Sack Dam, literally a dam built of sacks filled with sand and soil.  This dam was installed in the San Joaquin River just downstream of the Temple Canal intake when the river levels fell below those required to satisfy local agricultural needs, usually in late summer or early fall, and remained in the channel until removed or allowed to wash out in the winter flows.


The most extensive early agriculture, and therefore irrigation, in the San Joaquin took place in what is now Fresno County.  Grains grown by dry farm methods were the first agricultural products from the region and in 1856 about 1620 acres of grain were in cultivation in Fresno county.  In the late 1850's grape vines were planted and in 1874 cotton and citrus fruits were introduced to the region.  Soon thereafter alfalfa also became a profitable crop.  In 1890 Fresno shipped over 400,000 pounds of table grapes annually and by 1910 the county had surpassed Spain as the leading supplier of raisins to the Western hemisphere.





Historic Natural Communities of the San Joaquin Valley


Natural communities are commonly described by the structure of their vegetation and the plant species present. Twenty common terrestrial community types occur in the San Joaquin watershed. Of these, 17 occurred in the San Joaquin Basin while 15 occurred in the Tulare Basin.  The natural communities include: alpine dwarf shrub, subalpine conifer, red fir forest, montane chaparral, wet meadow, montane mixed conifer forest, montane riparian forest, montane hardwood-conifer forest, montane hardwood, pinyon-juniper woodland, juniper woodland, mixed chaparral, chamise-redshank chaparral, valley foothill hardwoods, saltbush scrub, valley foothill riparian, Valley grasslands, palustrine wetlands. (PEIS, Mayer and Laudenslayer 1988, Moore 1990).  Riverine, lacustrine and estuarine habitats harbored the aquatic communities. 

Annual grasslands dominated by exotic species have replaced most of the native California perennial grasslands and significant areas of former lacustrine and palustrine wetland habitats and now form an extensive vegetative community throughout the Central Valley ( Barbour 1987, Mayer and Laudenslayer 1988)


On the valley floor, valley foothill riparian woodland, valley foothill hardwoods, valley grasslands, palustrine wetlands, saltbush scrub and riverine and lacustrine systems are the primary natural communities (Moore 1990, Mayer and Laudenslayer 1988, Raines 1992).


Palustrine Wetlands

These wetlands include any nontidal wetlands not classified as lacustrine, estuarine or riverine associated and have no deepwater habitat associations.  In the San Joaquin Valley this classification includes both permanent and seasonal fresh emergent wetlands.


Permanent fresh emergent wetlands


Emergent wetlands are typically inundated for most of the year such that the roots of vegetation have evolved to thrive in an anaerobic environment.  Characteristic floral species are erect, rooted hydrophytes dominated by perennial monocots such as the common tule (Scirpus acutus), cattail (Typha latifolia), various sedges (Carex spp.) and spike rushes (Eleocharis spp).  Permanent wetland habitat can occur on virtually any slope or exposure that provides a saturated depression.  In the San Joaquin Valley the topography is generally level or gently rolling.  Wetlands follow basin contours or occur in conjunction with riverine or lacustrine environments.  Subtypes of permanent emergent wetlands are generally classified by species presence and/or association with specific terrestrial habitats.


Seasonal fresh emergent wetlands

A broad brush description of a seasonal wetland would include any area that ponds water during the wet season.  Vegetation may vary from Italian rye grass (Lolium multiflorum) in the driest areas to spike rush in the wettest.  Cattail species are conspicuously absent from seasonal wetlands as they are indicative of permanet wetlands.  These wetlands were historically comprised of vast areas that, though inundated only periodically, provided crucial seasonal habitat for many wildlfe species, most conspicuously for waterfowl and other migrants.  They can occur as a subtype in almost any community.  In the San Joaquin Valley they most often occurred in grassland and saltbush areas.


Permanent and seasonal wetlands associated with the Tule lake assemblage provided the largest single block of wetland habitat in California.  Tules in the area sometimes rose twenty feet around the surrounding landscape.  Estimates of historic wetland acreages in the Central Valley range from 500,000 to 4,000,000.  Of that about 1,100,000 acres occurred in the San Joaquin Valley


Vernal pools

Vernal pools are seasonal wetlands that form in shallow depressions underlain by a substrate near the surface that restricts the percolation of water.  They are characterized by a barrier to overland flow that causes water to collect and pond.  These depressions fill with rainwater and run off from adjacent areas during the winter and may remain inundated until spring or early summer, sonetimes filling and emptying during the wet season.


Vernal pools undergo four distinct annual phases: wetting, inundation, drying and drought. Each phase can be crucial to the life cycle of the species of plant and animal that have evolved in a given pool type.  Although the vegetation composition of vernal pools varies as a result of pool type, land use practices, annual rainfall and temperature variation, the vegetation in relatively undisturbed vernal pools is typically characterized by native annual species, many of which are endemic to vernal pools or vernal pool-swale systems and many of which are obligate symbiotes.  Annual grasses are conspicuously absent as a descriptive species of vernal pools.

Prior to the era of the plow in the Central Valley, two forms of vernal pool were historically wide spread in the grassland and saltbush regions of the San Joaquin basin.  The "valley" pool was typically found in areas with saline or alkaline soils such as basins or low lying plains.  "Terrace" pools were common in the neutral or slightly acidic soils of the more upland grasslands of the California prairie.  All vernal pools are considered at least category two habitat while rock outcrop pools are considered a category one habitat.



Valley foothill riparian woodland

Valley foothill riparian woodlands represent a diverse and productive plant community dependent on a consistent surface water supply or accessible water table.  Riparian woodlands typically display four phreatophytic vegetative layers: a canopy, a subcanopy, an understory and an herbaceous layer.  A mature canopy reaches around 100 ft in height with anywhere from 20% to 80% cover.  Characteristic trees of the canopy include such winter deciduous species as cottonwood, sycamore and valley oak.  The subcanopy is mainly composed of white alder, Oregon ash and boxelder.  An understory layer of California blackberry, wild rose, wild grape, elderberry, willow and other lianas and shrubs can form a nearly impenetrable mass on the forest floor.  The herbaceous layer of grasses, sedges, and a variety of forbes constitutes approximately 1% of total cover.  Salt cedar (Tamarix spp.) is an agressive exotic phreatophyte that has colonized many of the remaining riparian habitats in the San Joaquin, especially those areas that have been modified or in some manner disturbed.


Valley foothill riparian habitats are found in valleys bordered by sloping alluvial fans, dissected terraces and lower foothills.  Valleys tend to provide deep alluvial soils and a high water table.  Virtually all rivers, sloughs, streams and lakes in the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra foothills were lined by riparian forests of varying density and extent.

the Historical extent of riparian woodlands in the San Joaquin Valley range from 254,000 to 400,000 acres.



Valley-Foothill Hardwood


Valley oak woodland

Valley oak woodland varies from open savanna to relatively dense forest-like stands depending on water availability and soil fertility.  Denser stands are generally found along natural drainages while more openly structured stands are characteristic of upland areas.  In the absence of grazing the associated vegetative community consists of a fairly well developed shrub layer in the lowland sites that transitions to grasses and forbs under the more open stands.  Canopies of these woodlands consist almost exclusively of valley oaks (Quercus lobata).  However, in the Central Valley, other valley oak canopy associated species include sycamore, balck walnut, boxelder and blue oak with bird disemenated species such as poison oak, toyon, blackberry and coffeeberry in the understory.  Various sorts of graminoid and forb species make up the ground cover.


These woodlands usually merge with grasslands, border agricultural lands or, in the foothills, integrade with blue oak woodlands.  Near major stream courses this community type intergrades with valley-foothill riparian vegetation.  These woodlands provide important food and cover for many animal species.  A least 30 bird species which utilize oak woodlands are known to treat acorns as a prey item and the range of at least 80 mammal species includes oak woodlands.


Valley oak woodlands were historically extensive along the 100 year floodplain of the Valley's riverine systems.  The largest and densest stands were found along the Kings and Kaweah rivers of the Tulare Basin.  The estimated acreages of former valley oak woodlands in the San Joaquin Valley run in excess of 500,000 acres.


Blue oak woodland


These woodlands are characteristic of the lower Sierra Nevada foothills and higher elevation regions of the San Joaquin Valley.  They typically exhibit an overstory of scattered Blue Oaks (Quercus douglassii) with an understory of equally scattered but dense stands of shrubs.  The ground cover is commonly composed of annual grassland species.  Like valley oak woodlands the structure and density of blue oak woodland is dependent on water availabilty and soil type (Mayer and Laudenslayer 1988).



Valley grasslands

Grasslands are open habitats composed primarily by annual plant species.  The original grassland of California's Central Valley was dominated by dense stands of perennial bunch grasses that had evolved to withstand and even benefit from the occasional grazing of large wandering herds of herbivores.  The native grasslands of the San Joaquin Valley likely consisted of climax stands of perennial bunch grasses such as purple needlegrass (Stipa pulchra), nodding needlegrass (S. cernua), wild rye (Elymus spp.), pine bluegrass (Poa scabrella), three awn (Aristida spp.), June grass (Koeleria cristata), and deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens).  These species contributed approximately half the cover of the native grasslands with a great variety of annual and perennial grasses and forbs comprising the balance.  On the drier upland sites and in the foothills native annuals may have constituted most of the climax community.  Cumulatively these grassland communities once covered over 5 million hectares or 13% of the land area of California.


Overgrazing by domestic livestock in conjunction with drought and the introduction of hundreds of species of exotic weedy annuals probably eliminated the native perennial grasslands of the state as a distinct habitat.  Today, introduced annual grasses such as wild oats (Avena spp.), foxtails (Hordeum spp.), and bromes (Bromus spp.) and forbs such as filaree (Erodium spp.) dominate the grassland community.  Experimentation has shown that the presence of these agressive non-native annuals effectively blocks the reestablishment of native perennials into their former range, even in those areas where grazing has been eliminated.  Most botanical experts consider the introduced annuals to be naturalized and dominant to the extent that they are effectively "the new natives" and treat them as such for the purpose of study and management.


San Joaquin alkali desert scrub

The alkali scrub found in the San Joaquin Valley is a subset of  a heterogeneous habitat comprised of alkali tolerant plant communities whose composition varies along gradients of moisture, salinity, elevation and microtopography.  This community occurs on poorly drained but generally dry alkaline soils in the southern and western regions.  It can be characterized by open stands of ever-green or deciduous shrubs and is dominated by the shrubby species typical of the Atriplex genera such as arrowscale (A. pyllostegia), San Joaquin saltbush (A. joaquiniana) and polycarpa (A. polycarpa).  A variety of xerophytic subshrubs and herbaceous annuals complete the community composition.   


Riverine systems

A riverine system is characterized by intermittent or continually running water.  Lotic habitats often occur in association with a number of terrestrial habitats. In the San Joaquin this association is generally limited to riparian woodland and fresh emergent wetland but does transition to lacustrine in limited areas on the valley floor and behind dams on the upper San Joaquin River and its tributaries and to estuarine at and beyond the confluence with the Delta.


The lotic ecosystem of any given stream or river reach exists within structural classes that are based on water depth and velocity.  Open water is defined as greater than two meters in depth or beyond the reach of rooted plants and does not involve substrate.  The submerged zone is that area between open water and the shore.  Finally, the shore is defined as the area flooded only by wave wash or water level fluctuations and having less than 10% canopy cover.


The heterogeneity of physical characteristics within riverine systems is reflected in the biotic communities found there.  Macroinvertebrates make up the majority of riverine species.  They act as the link between the trophic extremes represented in stream systems by a variety of algal and meiofaunal species and the lotic vertebrate classes such as jawless and bony fishes.  In fast moving, cold water streams macroinvertebrates are generally found in the cobble and gravel substrate of riffles.


The primary or limiting characteristic of the upper reachs of a riverine system is probably its gradient.  The greater the slope, the higher the water velocity and the greater the streams ability to suspend and transport material.  These reaches are often marked by riffle-pool sequences.  Typical species of the riffle are the nymph stages of mayflies (), caddisflies (), alderflies (), and stoneflies ().  In pools the dominant insects are burrowing mayfly nymphs (), dragonflies (), and water striders ().  Water mosses and filimentous algaes utilize rock surfaces, often exhibiting a zonation influenced by current and depth.


In the slower moving, warmer water conditions found in the lowland reaches, the river loses its ability to transport materials and tends to drop its suspended sediment load, resulting in a substrate of sand and silt.  In this reach abundant decaying matter deposited on the river bottom supports the growth of planktonic organisms.  Mollusks and crustaceans replace insects as the dominant macroinvertebrates, aquatic vegetation floats on the surface and emergent vegetation may utilize the banks.



Lacustrine system


Lacustrine systems are inland depressions or plugged riverine channels containing bodies of permanently standing water of almost any size.  In most cases these ponds and lakes support fish life.  Subtypes within the lacustrine system may range from shallow water with rooted plants to open water habitats too deeps for plant growth (> two meters).


A variety of organisms exploit lacustrine systems.  In the littoral areas the community structure may closely resemble that of permanent wetlands.  The deeper, open water habitats are dominated by planktonic communities upon which all limnetic life depends. 


At least 140 vertebrate species are dependent on lacustrine systems.  The Tulare lake assemblage and the natural sloughs constituted major lacustrine systems on the San Joaquin Valley floor. 

Wildlife resources


Native Fishes

In its upper reaches the San Joaquin was once a cold swift mountain stream (Cone, 1973) that cut through impassable mountain gorges (CDFG vol 7)* and the valley portion of the river was once characterized by warm, meandering waterways with sluggish river channels, oxbow and floodplain lakes, marshes and sloughs (Moore, 1990).  At their historic peak, when aboriginal peoples were

the only humans dwelling on their banks, the waters of the Sacramento-San Joaquin system teamed with fish.  Thirty-four native species, seventeen of them endemic to the system, thrived in there.  At least 19 and possibly as many as 23 of those species historically existed in the San Joaquin drainage and 12 of those were endemic.  The Kern Brook lamprey (Lampetra hubbsi), three subspecies of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss whitei, O.m. aquabonita, and O.m. gilbertii) and a number of distinctive populations of California roach (Lavinia symmetricus) are unique to the San Joaquin drainage (Brown and Moyle, 1993, Brown  et. al.,, 1992).


The climatic and hydrologic extremes of the San Joaquin Valley presented harsh conditions to aquatic organisms. Those species that had evolved or adaptively radiated in a regime of alternating flood and drought conditions and widely fluctuating temperatures were uniquely adapted to the region's variable environments and were quite successful there.  Nine species were thought to be abundant throughout the region and two others were common or locally abundant.  Before water mining and the subsequent modifications of its rivers, sloughs and wetlands, there were four principle freshwater fish communities or associations in the San Joaquin Valley that were spatially separated by clinal or other environmental characteristics.


The rainbow trout association occurred in clear, cold, high-gradient streams.  The squawfish-hardhead-sucker association utilized the mid-elevation streams of eastside tributaries and the Upper San Joaquin.  The California roach association was found in the smaller, intermittent warmwater streams of the foothills and the westside.  The deep-bodied fish community once dominated the lakes, sloughs and rivers of the valley floor (Moore, 1990, Brown and Moyle, 1993).


The San Joaquin system supported large populations of anadromous fishes which utilized the rivers to varying degrees. (Anadromous is defined here as fish species with both freshwater and oceanic life stages.)  By far the most abundant and widely distributed of these were the chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), though steelhead (Onchorynchus mykiss) and white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) were reported in the system as far as the Kings river and Tulare Lake.  The green sturgeon (A. medirostris) also  utilized the San Joaquin river but is not known to have occurred upstream of the confluence with the Delta.  During high water anadromous fish would move into the lake in numbers great enough to supply an important food resource to the inhabitants of the region (Moore, 1990, Hanson, 1994). The pacific lamprey also utilized the river, its tributaries and Tulare Lake (Moyle, 1976, Moore, 1990)


Introduced Fishes


In the early 1870's a transplant program was initiated by the Commission of Fisheries to improve the game fish situation in California inland waters.  Livingston Stone, a noted fisheries biologist of the day, was contracted to introduce the game fish of the eastern and southern states to the Sacramento-San Joaquin system (Comm. of Fish., 1882).  Other introductions were made to provide a forage species for the exotic game fish.  Some were possibly made to provide culturally important and familiar food fish for immigrant populations and others were probably accidental.


The introduced species were very successful in colonizing the San Joaquin system, especially disturbed or artificially created aquatic habitats, though native species still tend to be abundant in unaltered waters.  Two anadromous species, the striped bass (Morone saxatilis) and the American shad (Alosa sapidissima) were introduced into the system and were immediately successful in inhabiting the San Joaquin and its Delta.  Both were highly prized for their sport and food values and became the nexus for commercial fisheries. 

Anadromous Fishes




Due to the commercial and cultural importance of the chinook salmon to the Central Valley, more was recorded about the historic aspects of this species than any other.  In its pristine state the Sacramento-San Joaquin drainages' production of chinook salmon rivalled southern Alaska's. In the San Joaquin system alone the escapement ran upwards of 300,000 to 500,000 chinook annually (Brown and Moyle, 1993, Smith, 1992) with at least two and possibly three separate runs: a spring run, a fall run and a late fall run. 


Like the native fresh water fishes, the salmon of the San Joaquin were unique races that evolved and radiated to withstand and even thrive in environmental extremes experienced by no other salmon race on earth.  Fall water temperatures in excess of 80 degrees were recorded by a state survey station, under unimpaired flow conditions, near the lower spawning grounds in 1880-1882 (Hall, 1880,'81,'82).  In the last century the Commission of Fisheries recognized and was so impressed by the extraordinariness of these salmon in "the warmest portion of California, at the hottest season of the year...at so high a temperature of both air and water" that they recommended transplanting San Joaquin salmon into the warm lowland rivers of the southern states (Comm. of Fisheries, 1888).


table:macrohabitat conditions


Cumulatively, even after the initiation of agricultural diversions and dam construction, the San Joaquin runs supported a strong commercial fishery and cannery operations in the south Delta (Bureau of Marine fisheries, 1949).  Catch records and tagging efforts show that they contributed from 10% (Leidy) to as much as 50% (Warner, 1991,John Wullschleger, pers. comm.) to the total salmon biomass produced by the Central Valley. 


The decline of the salmon fishery of the Sacramento-San Joaquin system after 1910 was evident to biologists by the 1920's and probably to fishermen a decade earlier.  In 1910 the commercial river catch alone exceeded 10,000,000 lbs for the first time since 1880 (588,000 fish at 17 lbs /fish: Leidy) and continued to decline until commercial river fishing was abolished in 1957.  By 1918 the total state catch, river and ocean harvests combined, had fallen to 5,000,000 pounds (294,000 fish).  Even with increased effort and improved technology that catch was surpassed only once the rest of the century (Leidy).  The industry targeted the largest fish, which are also the most successful spawners, and by the 1920's the age composition of the population had also begun the shift away from a preponderance of older, larger spawners in the four and five year age classes to younger, smaller fish in the two and three year age classes (Clark, 1929).


Over harvesting in the rivers and ocean and poor regulatory control of the fishery were important proximate factors in the loss of these once great fisheries.  Ultimately, however, the blockage of spawning grounds and the destruction of spawning and rearing habitat by water diversions, riparian development and channel modifications caused the most negative impacts on the San Joaquin chinook populations.  The loss of fish to pollution and predatory fish was also a known factor (Clark, 1929).


tables:catch by year,conversion,contribution by San Joaquin,dollar value


Spring Run


The spring run was the largest of the San Joaquin salmon runs, with hundreds of thousands of fish entering San Francisco Bay each spring and running up the main river and its tributaries.  These runs were so large that "Because of its location along the banks of the San Joaquin River, the sleep of the townspeople of Millerton was disturbed each year by the tremendous numbers of salmon which came up the river to spawn.  Their leaping over the sandbars created a noise comparable to a large waterfall (Giffen, 1939, Inventory, 1940).  In 1946, just three years before their total extinction and two years after the filling of Friant began, the sport catch records show a take of at least 20,000 chinook attributable to the Upper San Joaquin alone.  A 1987 USFWS report estimated inland harvest in the estuary and the San Joaquin tributaries at less than 10% of the total adult harvest (Moore, 1990)*. 


Spring run chinook spawn at the highest elevations of all salmon.  Exactly how high their former spawning grounds reached is unknown though they may have occurred as high as the Yosemite Valley on the Merced river (Snyder, 1993).  The granitic composition of the Sierran river gorges and the crumbling basaltic plateaus of the foothills coupled to a high gradient provided long stretches of swift-water, pool and riffle gravel beds, ideal spawning habitat for chinook.  Also, the characteristic of high elevation spawning kept the spring run fish spatially separated, and thus genetically distinct, from those of the fall run.  They entered the rivers on the snowmelt and oversummered in deep pools until the fall, when lowering temperatures or early winter rains would induce them to spawn.  And by utilizing the river at a different time than the winter run they were at least temporally and possibly spatially separated, and thus distinct, from any late fall/winter run fish.


However, the very characteristics that contributed to the success of the spring run chinook in the San Joaquin drainage also led to their early decline on the tributaries and later on the San Joaquin itself.  In the mid-1800's the high country spawning beds on the tributaries were fouled by mining and timber operations. Access to the higher elevations was blocked by dams built to divert water for mining, agriculture and mills.  In 1888 the Commission on Fisheries announced the demise of the salmon runs on the Tuolumne and Stanislaus rivers, which it described as once being among the premier salmon streams in the state, due to obstruction of fish passage by dams.


Also,in order to lay over a whole summer in possibly less than optimal conditions these fish, unlike the fall fish, had to enter the rivers and reach the spawning grounds in prime condition.  For this reason the spring run fish was prized for canning and even more so by the fresh fish industries.  Much of the effort of the commercial fleets went to capturing these prized fish (Stone, 1887, Frank Fisher,pers. comm.) 


By 1928 eleven dams had been built on the San Joaquin system and another 35 on the Sacramento.  Over 80% of the spawning beds were inaccessible.  By this time the spring runs on the San Joaquin

tributaries were nearly extinct.  For the southern runs only the San Joaquin river's the upper reach spawning grounds were intact and accessible.  Three weirs for the diversion of irrigation water from the main channel probably influenced the size of the spring run but their primitive fish ladders allowed enough salmon to pass that the run remained relatively strong (Warner, 1991, Clark, 1929). But when Kerchoff power dam was built in 1920 it blocked off about one-third of the estimated 39 miles of spring run spawning area and dewatered 14 miles of channel during the summer and fall (Calif. Div. of Fish and Game, 1921).  However, the remaining 12 miles of spawning beds proved sufficient to maintain a viable population.


In 1939 construction of Friant Dam on the main channel of the San Joaquin began. This dam, built to divert San Joaquin water to agricultural uses, was completed in 1942 began filling in 1944 and blocked all access to the high elevation spawning beds. No fish passage facilities were incorporated into the design because the reservoir behind it inundated most of the remaining beds.  Spring run salmon are known as "stream type" fish because after emergence the young characteristicly spend the first year in the cool water of the upper rivers and the lower reaches of their associated mountain streams.  Friant Dam also destroyed these spring run nursery areas.


There is evidence that southern chinook salmon were a behaviorally and physiologically resilient species.  With the loss of their upper spawning grounds, the spring run chinook of the San Joaquin began spawning in the 14 miles of low elevation spawning beds that were formerly utilized by the fall run fish.  In order to accomplish this they had to oversummer in the pools immediately downstream of the dam in an area where summer water temperatures commonly reached over 80 degrees.  Clark (1945) observed some 5000 spring run fish oversummer in these pools, in temperatures that had already reached 72 degrees by July, from late May until September when they began spawning in the beds downstream of Friant. 


However, when Friant became completely operational the decision was made not to release any water for fish and wildlife purposes. Though approximately 52,000 acre feet was released for downstream riparian users the flow ceased after Gravelly Ford.  This decision effectively dewatered some 62 miles of channel downstream of this point (Raines, 1992).  Despite the efforts by state and federal agency personnel to get salmon past the dry reaches, the lower beds were unreachable to the spawning salmon.  The runs continued to return and die in the river until 1949.  After that the San Joaquin chinook was extirpated in its southernmost range.


Fall Run


The fall run, though apparently not of the proportions of the spring run, was still considerable.  In 1940, after years of habitat modification and degradation, the fall run escapement on the Tuolumne river alone was estimated at 122,000. Some early accounts estimate runs in excess of 50,000 fall run salmon upstream of the Merced confluence (F.Fisher, pers.comm.)  Fall run fish enter the bay and the river in late summer and fall with the cooler temperatures and freshets of the early rains and spawn immediately upon arrival on the spawning beds.  They typically utilize the lower elevation beds of the main river and the tributaries, rarely spawning over 500 feet in elevation.  On the tributaries the fall run remained viable until recently due to artificial propagation and because the some lower beds were both accessible and, though often fined or disturbed by stream side development, still relatively unimpacted.


On the San Joaquin, however, the sack dam at Dos Palos, which was often allowed to remain in the channel until washed out by winter floods, effectively blocked the fall run from reaching its spawning beds downstream of Friant.  Thus the San Joaquin fall run, which at one time numbered in the tens of thousands (Frank Fisher, pers. comm.) was reduced to near extinction by the 1940's.  Its possible that this run was extinct even earlier and that the few fall fish in the San Joaquin were actually strays from the tributaries.  In extremely high water years fall run strays do occasionally reach the upper San Joaquin.  In 1969 chinook fry of San Joaquin origin were identified in the Kings River (Moyle, 1970) and in 1988 2300 chinook were entrained in the Los Banos trap upstream of the Merced confluence.


Late Fall/Winter Run


The historic existence of a late fall (or winter) run in the San Joaquin is problematic but likely (Frank Fisher, pers. comm.). Colonel John Fremont, in his "Geographical memoir upon Upper California", reported capturing salmon on the Tuolomne river on February 4th.  Clark described a late fall run in the Merced and the Mokelumne in 1929 and one on the San Joaquin in 1945.  The California Division of Fish and Game reported a late fall run passing Dos Palos on the upper San Joaquin in late November (CDFG, 1945).  Also, the Calaveras river, a lower eastside tributary, still supported a remnant winter run as the late 1980's (Moore).  If a late fall or winter run did in fact occur in the San Joaquin, then the drainage must have supported a year round adult population of chinook salmon that was subjected to every environmental variable of the system, as does the Sacramento river system to the north.


river and run table here




The steelhead is a native anadromous race of rainbow trout.  This fish spawns in rivers and coastal streams from Southern California to Alaska.  Due to extensive plantings of this species in the last century the natural range of steelhead is unknown.  However, historical accounts suggest that there was in fact a natural spawning population as far south as the upper reaches of the  San Joaquin and Kings rivers (Brown and Moyle, 1987).*  Historical population numbers are unknown but reliable counts of sixty-six and five were made in October of 1940 and 1942, respectively, at Dennet Dam on the Tuolomne River (Loudermilk, 1993).  Adult steelhead are still caught in the Mokelumne and Cosumnes rivers (Moore, 1990). 


The San Joaquin race of steelhead is another species which would have had to evolve a special hardiness to occur under the fluctuating conditions of that river.  Because of its life history the steelhead is usually very sensitive to environmental flux.  Steelhead generally spawn in the colder, swifter waters of high gradient streams.  They require higher dissolved  oxygen concentrations for incubation and lower water temperatures in all life stages than chinook.  Steelhead fry will spend up to two years in the natal stream before emigration and may return to spawn as many as five times.  These characteristics  make the steelhead extremely susceptible to habitat alterations and the population was probably heavily impacted by dams and other modifications of the San Joaquin system.  A 1972 California Department of Fish and Game report estimated the San Joaquin River steelhead population at the closing of Friant Dam as less than 500 adult fish per year.


Striped bass


Striped bass were introduced into the Sacramento-San Joaquin system from the east coast of the United States as part of the Livingston transplant program.  Two plantings, in 1879 and 1882, totaling 435 fish, proved so successful that a commercial fishery was established in 1889.  By 1899 approximately 1.2 million pounds of striped bass were being harvested annually and in 1915 nearly 2 million pounds were marketed (Scofield, 1930). 


One of the most important game fish now inhabiting the San Joaquin, striped bass sport fishing is estimated to produce $45 million annually for local economies (Moore, 1990).  However, the populations have declined up to 75% from 1960 levels.  Causes of this decline include entrainment losses of eggs and larvae, reduced outflows through the Delta, reduced flows and water quality in the San Joaquin river (low DO and high TDS), reduction of prey populations, water pollution, dredging and spoils disposal, and the introduction of exotic competitors (Moore, 1990). 


Striped bass spawn in the spring months in water that is no more than slightly saline with salt contents of no more the 180 ppm.  These conditions existed in the lower San Joaquin such that one third to one half of the historic Sacramento- San Joaquin population spawned there (Scofield, 1930; Moore, 1990). With increasingly modified system the striped bass spawning habitat has been limited to an area on the main river between Stockton and Antioch that is compromised by degraded conditions. 




White sturgeon are the most abundant of the two species found in the Sacramento-San Joaquin system while green sturgeon have historically been relatively uncommon (Moyle et. al., 1994).  Both fish move into fresh water in winter and spring to spawn and then move downstream when spawning is completed.  A large commercial sturgeon fishery during the latter part of the last century nearly decimated the Central California populations of both species.


White sturgeon spend most of their lives in estuaries although specimens have been caught as far inland as Tulare Lake.  They are believed to have spawned at the mouth of the Stanislaus River (Wullschleger, pers.comm) and possibly as far as the Merced.  However, spawning success in the San Joaquin is believed to have been reduced or entirely unsuccessful due to poor water quality and low river flows (Moore, 1994).


Green sturgeon are more marine than white sturgeon.  They rear in estuaries and migrate to sea by their second year.  They probably only re-enter estuaries to spawn. Green sturgeon utilize deeper, faster waters for spawning and probably once found appropriate conditions in the channels of the lower San Joaquin river (Moyle  et. al., 1994). 


American Shad


The American shad, another species of the east coast rivers, was introduced into the Sacramento-San Joaquin system as part of the transplant programs of the 1870's and 80's.   With the striped bass fishery and the salmon fishery in decline, post-World War One inland and Delta fisherman turned for a while to the shad to sustain a commercial fishery (Scofield, 1930).  However, it was probably of greater economic value as a sport fish in the rivers upstream of and north of the Delta.  Millerton Lake behind Friant Dam supports the only known landlocked population of American shad.


Most shad spawning takes place in the Sacramento River and its tributaries though substantial spawns may occur in the Mokelumne and Stanislaus Rivers.  Spawning occurs during the spring and summer and the emergent and young fish require acceptable water quality and flows to survive and to migrate to the Delta and the Bay (Moore, 1990).  For this reason sub-optimum upstream conditions may have had an especially severe impact on the San Joaquin shad.





The richness and variety of habitats associated with the San Joaquin and Tulare basins allowed a myriad of birds to use the area as either visitors or residents.  Seventy percent of all bird species in the Central Valley are riparian dependent.  Millions of resident and migratory waterfowl and shorebirds would use the riparian and wetland habitats from the fall to the early spring months.  In an account of his visit to Tulare Lake, James "Grizzly" Adams described the bird life of a small wooded island as "... incredible in number,- ducks, geese, swans, cranes, curlews, snipes and various other kinds, in all stages of growth, and eggs by the thousands..."(Moore, 1990).  The waterfowl population in particular supported a "for market" harvest for many years. 



Beavers, river otters and mink were common residents of the river and waterways of the San Joaquin and Tulare basins.  The resource was rich enough to lure trappers out of the Sierra's and even the Rocky Mountains.  Twenty years of fur-trapping (Smith, 1939; Inventory, 1940) failed to seriously affect the beaver population of the basins as attested to by Adams's account of seeing "beaver's works in every direction" around Tulare Lake (Moore, 1990).  Mink once occupied the streamside riparian forests and wetlands from the Delta to the southern end of the valley and the river otter once occurred in the lakes of the Tulare Basin and the San Joaquin River and its tributaries.


Striped and spotted skunks occurred in dense, woody sites while raccoons were common in riparian forests, wetlands and valley oak woodlands.  Ringtails occurred along the upper San Joaquin and its tributaries, preferring foothill brushland slopes but staying close to water.  Badgers generally were restricted to the open prairie.


Tule elk, which preferred marsh and riparian-oak woodlands, may have numbered 500,000 in the Sacramento-San Joaquin valley with the largest population in the San Joaquin and Tulare Basins.  Pronghorn were most abundant in the prairies and oak and riparian woodlands of the valley and were common up to the lower elevations of the foothills.  Mule deer migrated annually from the high country as low as the valley floor and were especially abundant in those areas burned by the local tribes.


Grizzly bears once inhabited the San Joaquin corridor and the Tulare Basin in large numbers and black bears were common where they did not share a range with the grizzly.


Wolves were numerous along the San Joaquin drainage and near the lakes and rivers of the Tulare basin.  Coyotes, however, were the dominant predator, inhabiting of all the indigenous habitats of the region.  The San Joaquin kit fox, a plains dweller, may once have had a population density of one per square mile in the valley and the grey fox was widely distributed but preferred the densely covered habitat of chaparral and the riparian forest.


Mountain lions were found in the riparian and valley oak woodlands where big game and cover was available while bobcats, more generalist in their foraging habits and prey preferences, had possibly the most continuous and widespread distribution of any carnivore in the state.


Invertebrates, Reptiles and Amphibians


Little is known of the historic proportions or species compositions of these groups.  Historic accounts tell of incredible swarms of mosquitos in the marshes and of tarantulas that inhabited the open grasslands.  Both freshwater clams and the western pond turtle are known to have been important food items for the indigenous people of the San Joaquin Valley and both were numerous enough to have supported harvests on a commercial scale.









Plant Species of the San Joaquin Drainage



Aquatic plants


Elodea (canadensis)            Water weed

Typha latifolia            Cattail

Juncus ssp.            Rush

Scirpus ssp.            Tule

Lemna ssp.            Duck-weed

Ludwegia ssp.     Yellow water weed




Russula brevipes            Short-stocked white Russula

Gyromitra infula            Saddle-shaped false Morel

Helvella lacunosa            Fluted black Helvella

Coprinus atramentarius            Alcohol Inky

Coprinus comatus            Shaggy Mane

Astraeus hygometricus            Barometer Earthstar

Geastrum sauatum            Rounded Earthstar

Lactiporus sulphureus            Chicken Mushroon

Inocybe fastigiata            Straw-coloer fiber head

Agaricus californicus            California Agaricus

Agaricus campestris            Meadow Mushroom

Volvanella speciosa            Smooth Volvariella

Pleurotus ostreatus            Oyster Mushroom


Grasses and Forbs


Avena futua            Wild oat

Avena barbata            Slender oat

Agrostis exarata            Spike bent

Phleum ssp.            Timothy

Cynodon dactylon            Bermudagrass

Sisyrinchium bellum            Blue-eyed Grass

Foeniculun vulgare            Sweet Fennel

Lotus corniculatus            Bird's Foot Trefoil

Heterotheca grandiflora            Telegraph plant

Sorghum halepense            Johnsongrass

Dantonia californica            California oatgrass

Bromus inermis            Smooth brome

Bromus tectorum            Downy brome

Dactylis glomerata            Orchardgrass

Trifolium ssp.            Clover

Orthocarpus erianthus            Owl's Clover, Johnny Tuck

Vicia americana            Vetch

Festuca idahoensis            Idaho fescue

Stipa colubiana            Columbia needlegrass

Agropyron smithill            Western wheatgrass

Agropyron trachycaulum            Slender wheatgrass

Elymus cinereus            Basin wildrye

Erodium botrys            Broadleaf filaree

Erodium cicutariumi            Redstem filaree

Hovdeum murinum            Foxtail

Centaurea solstitialis            Star Thistle

Silybum marianum            Milk Thistle

Cirsium vulgare            Bull Thistle

Matriccaria matricarioides            Pineaplle Weed

Raphanus sativus            Wild Radish

Montia perfoliata            Miner's lettuce

Lactuca serriola            Prickly lettuce

Ephedra virdis            Mormon Tea

Grindelia camporum            Gum Plant

Chlorogalum pomeridianum         Soap Plant

Phoradendron tomentosum            Misletoe

Cucurbita foetidissima            Calabazilla




Allium campanulatum         Wild Onion

Brodiaea pulchella            Blue Dick

Eschscholtzia californiiiiica            California Poppy

Datura stramonium            Jimson Weed

Brassica ssp.            Mustard

Oenothera hookeri            Hooker's Evening Primrose

Zauschneria california            Califonria Fuchsia

 ssp. latifolia

Mimulus guttatus            Common Monkey-flower

Mimulus cardinalis            Scarlet Monkey-flower

Castilleja miniats            Paint Brush or Painted Cup

Ranunculus aquatilis            Water Buttercup

Sambucus caerulea            Elderberry

Tillaea erecta            Stonecrop

Phacelia cicutaria            Phacelia

Phacelia imbricata            Phacelia

Delphinium polycladon            Larkspur

Mentzelia laevicaulis            Giant Blazing Star

Oenothera hookeri            Evening Primrose

Trichostema lanceolatum            Blue Curls

Montia perfoliatsa            Miner's lettuce

Brodiaea lutea ssp.            Golden Brodiaea


Clarkia williamsonii            Farewell-to-spring

Clarkia biloba Two-lobed Clarkia

Clarkia unguiculata            Elegant larkia

Epilobium angustifollium            Fireweed

Menthassp.            Mint

Nemophila menziesii            Baby Blue Eyes

Triteleia laxa            Wally Basket, Ithuriel's Spear

Dichelostemma volubilis            Snake of Twining Lily

Collinsia heterophylla            Chinese pagodas

Ranunculus californicus            California Buttercup

Ranunculus muricatus            Prickle-seeded Buttercup

Limnanthes alba    White Meadows Foam

Arabis glabra            Tower Mustard

Stellaria media            Common Chickweed

Amsinckia intermedia            Fiddleneck

Dudleya cymosa            Lax Dudleya

Sedum ssp.            Sedum

Triteleia scabra            Pretty Face, Harvest Brodiaea

Thysano carpus curvipes            Fringe Pod, Lace Pod

Thelypodium lasiophyllum            California Mustard

Vinca major            Periwinkle

Plagiobothrys nothofulvus            Popcorn Flower

Solidago occidentalis            Western Goldenrod

Aster adscencens            Aster

Lasthenia chrysostoma            Gold Fields

Taraxacum officinale            Dandelion

Triteleia hyacinthina            White Triteleia


Principal Shrubcover


Adenostoma fasciculatum            Chamise

Heteromeles arbutifolia            Toyon

Rosa californica            California Wild Rose

Rubus vitifolius            California Blackberry

Ceanothus cuneatus            Buck Brush

Ceanothus leucodermis            Chaparral Whitethorn

Ribes aureum            Golden Current

Cercis occidentalis            California Redbud

Lotus scoparius            Deer Weed

Lupinus polyphyllus            Blue-pod Lupine

Nicotiana glauca            Tree Tobacco

Sambucus caerulea            Blue Elderberry

Vitus californica            California Wild Grape

Dendromecon rigida            Bush Poppy

Rhus diversiloba            Poison Oak

Pimpinella anisum            Sweet Anise

Rhamnus californica            California Coffeeberry

Artistolochia californica            Dutchman's Pipe Vine

Baccharis pilularis            Coyote Bush

Cephalanthus occidentalis            Button Bush

Chrysothamnus naeseosus            Rabbit Brush

Salix lasiandra            willow

Salix laevigata            Smooth Red Willow

Salix hindsiana            Hinds Willow

Quercus dumosa            California Scrub Oak




Pinus sabiniana            Digger or Gray Pine

Salix lemmonii            Lemon Willow

Salix gooddingii            Gooding Willow

Populus fremontii            Fremont Cottonwood

Alnus rhombifolia            White Alder

Quercus wislizenii            Interior Live Oak

Quercus lobata Valley Oak

Quercus agrifolia            Coast Live Oak

Quercus douglasii            Blue Oak

Juglans hindsii            Black Walnut

Juglans californica            California Black Walnut

Platanus racemosa            California Sycamore           

Acer negundo (californicum)           Box Elder

Aesculus californica            California Buckeye

Fraxinus ssp.            Ash



            Native Fishes of the San Joaquin Drainage


Lampetra tridentata            Pacific lamprey

Lampetra hubbsi            Kern brook lamprey

Acipenser transmontanus        White sturgeon

Acipenser medirostris            Green sturgeon

Onchorynchus tshawytscha            Chinook salmon

Onchorynchus mykiss            Rainbow trout

Onchorynchus mykiss            Steelhead

Hypomesus transpacificus          Delta smelt

Hypomesus            Longfin smelt

Orthodon microlepidotus            Sacramento blackfish

Gila crassicauda            Thicktail chub

Rhinichthys osculus            Speckled dace

Mylopharadon conocephalus            Hardhead

Lavinia exilicauda            Hitch

Lavinia symmetricus            California roach

Pogonichthys macrolepidotus            Splittail

Ptychocheilus grandis            Sacramento squawfish

Catostomus occidentalis            Sacramento sucker

Gasterosteus aculeatus            Threespine stickleback

Archoplites interruptus            Sacramento perch

Hysterocarpus traski            Tule perch

Cottus asper            Prickly sculpin

Cottus gulosus            Riffle sculpin


Introduced fish of the San Joaquin Drainage



Dorosoma petenense            Threadfin shad

Alosa sapidissima            American shad

Morona saxatilis            Striped bass

Salvelinus fontinalis                   Brook trout

Salmo trutta            Brown trout

Cyprinus carpio Carp

Carassius auratus            Goldfish

Pimephales promelus            Fathead minnow

Notemigonus chrysoleucas            Golden shiner

Cyprinella lutrensis            Red shiner

Ictalurus puntatus            Channel catfish

Ameirus catus   White catfish

Ameirus melas Black bullhead

Ameirus nebulosus            Brown bullhead

Ameirus natalis            Yellow bullhead

Gambusia affinis            Western mosquitofish

Menidia beryllina            Inland siverside

Micropterus salmoides            Largemouth bass

Micropterus dolomieu            Smallmouth bass

Micropterus punctulatus            Spotted bass

Micropterus coosae            Redeye bass

Lepomis cyanellus            Green sunfish

Lepomis macrochirus            Bluegill

Lepomis microlophus            redear sunfish

Pomoxis nigromaculatus        Black crappie

Pomoxis annularis            White crappie

Lepomis gulosis            Warmouth

Acanthogobius flavimanus            Yellowfin goby

Tridentiger trigonocephalus            Chameleon goby

Percina macrolepida            Bigscale logperch



Birds of the San Joaquin Drainage


Cinclus mexicanus            American dipper

Molothrus ater            Brown-headed cowbird

Coccyzus americanus            Western Yellow billed cuckoo

Bubulcus ibis            Cattle egret

Aechmophorus clarkii            Clark's grebe

Aechmophorus occidentalis            Western grebe

Podiceps nigricollis            Eared grebe

Pelecanus erythrorhynochos            American white pelecan

Podilymbus podiceps pied-billed grebe

Ardea herodias great blue heron

Nycticorax nycticorax black-crowned night-heron

Egretta thula snowy egret

Botaurus lentiginosus American bittern

Butorides striatus green-backed heron

Casmerodius albus great egret

Grus canadensis            Sandhill crane

Branta canadensis Canada goose

Branta canadensis leucopareia Aleutian Canada goose

Branta canadensis minima Cackling Canada goose

Aix sponsa wood duck

Anas acuta northern pintail

Anas americana American wigeon

Anas strepera gadwall

Anas platyrhynchos mallard

Anas cyanoptera cinnamon teal

Aythya collaris ring-necked duck

Aythya valisineria canvasback

Bucephala clangula common goldeneye

Aythya affinis lesser scaup

Bucephala albeola bufflehead

Oxyura jamaicensis ruddy duck

Lophodytes cucullatus hooded merganser

Mergus merganser common merganser

Cathartes aura turkey vulture

Pandion haliaetus osprey

Accipiter cooperii Cooper's hawk

Accipiter striatus sharp-shinned hawk

Buteo swainsoni Swainson's hawk

Buteo jamaicensis red-tailed hawk

Buteo lineatus red-shouldered hawk

Circus cyaneus northern harrier

Elanus caeruleus black-shouldered kite

Aquila chrysaetos golden eagle

Haliaeetus leucocephalus bald eagle

Falco sparverius American kestrel

Falco mexicanus prairie falcon

Falco pereginus anatum peregrine falcon

Phasianus colchicus ring-necked pheasant

Callipepla californica California quail

Oreortyx picta             Mountain quail

Fulica americana American coot

Gallinula chloropus common moorhen

Porzana carolina sora

Rallus limicola virginia rail

Charadrius vociferus killdeer

Himantopus mexicanus black-necked stilt

Recurvirostra americana American avocet

Phalacrocorax auritus double-crested cormorant

Tringa melanoleuca greater yellowlegs

Actitus macularia spotted sandpiper

Larus delawarensis ring-billed gull

Larus californicus California gull

Zenaida macroura mourning dove

Columba faciata             Band-tailed pigeon

Geococcyx californianus            Greater roadrunner

Tyto alba barn owl

Asio otus            Long-eared owl

Otus kennicottii/asio western screech owl

Bubo virginianus great horned owl

Strix nebulosa            great grey owl

Phalaenoptilus nutallii            Common poorwill

Aeronautes saxatalis white-throated swift

Archilochus alexandri black-chinned hummingbird

Calypte anna Anna's hummingbird

Selasphorus rufus rufous hummingbird

Ceryle alcyon belted kingfisher

Melanerpes lewis Lewis' woodpecker

Melanerpes formicivorus acorn woodpecker

Sphyrapicus ruber red-breasted sapsucker

Picoides pubescens downy woodpecker

Picoides nuttallii Nuttall's woodpecker

Picoides villosus hairy woodpecker

Picoides arcticus black-backed woodpecker

Colaptes auratus northern flicker

Contopus borealis olive-sided flycatcher

Contopus sordidulus western wood-pewee

Empidonax difficilis pacific slope flycatcher

Empidonax traillii willow flycatcher

Empidonax hammondii Hammond's flycatcher

Empidonax olberholseri dusky flycatcher

Sayornis nigricans black phoebe

Sayornis saya Say's phoebe

Myiarchus cinerascens ash-throated flycatcher

Tyrannus verticalis western kingbird

Eremophila alpestris horned lark

Tachycineta bicolor tree swallow

Tachycineta thalassina violet-green swallow

Stelgidopteryx serripennis            Northern rough-winged swallow

Hirundo pyrrhonota cliff swallow

Hirundo rustica barn swallow

Aphelocoma coerulescens scrub jay

Pica nuttalli yellow-billed magpie

Corvus brachyrhynchos American crow

Corvus corax            common raven

Psaltriparus minimus bushtit

Sitta carolinensis white-breasted nuthatch

Sitta canadensis red-breasted nuthatch

Certhia americana brown creeper

Thryomanes bewickii Bewick's wren

Catherpes mexicanus            Canyon wren

Troglodytes aedon house wren

Salpinctes obsoletus            Rock wren

Cistothorus palustris marsh wren

Regulus calendula ruby-crowned kinglet

Polioptila caerulea blue-gray gnatcatcher

Sialia mexicana western bluebird

Catharus ustulatus Swainson's thrush

Catharus guttatus hermit thrush

Turdus migratorius American robin

Ixoreus naevius varied thrush

Chamaea fasciata wrentit

Mimus polyglottos northern mockingbird

Anthus rubescens American pipit

Bombycilla cedrorum cedar waxwing

Lanius ludovicianus loggerhead shrike

Sturnus vulgaris European starling

Vireo solitarius solitary vireo

Vireo huttoni Hutton's vireo

Vireo gilvus warbling vireo

Vermivora ruficapilla Nashville warbler

Vermivora celata orange-crowned warbler

Dendroica petechia yellow warbler

Dendroica coronata yellow-rumped warbler

Dendroica nigrescens black-throated gray warbler

Oporornis tolmiei MacGillivray's warbler

Geothypis trichas common yellowthroat

Wilsonia pusilla Wilson's warbler

Pheucticus melanocephalus black-headed grosbeak

Passerina amoena lazuli bunting

Pipilo erythrophthalmus rufous-sided towhee

Pipilo fuscus California towhee

Toxostoma redivivum            California thrasher

Myadestes townsendi            Townsends's solitaire

Phainopepla nitens            phainopepla

Icteria virens            Yellow-breasted chat

Icterus galbula            Nothern oriole

Pooecetes gramineus vesper sparrow

Spizella passerina chipping sparrow

Chondestes grammacus lark sparrow

Passerculus sandwichensis savannah sparrow

Passerella iliaca fox sparrow

Ammodramus savannarum            Grasshopper sparrow

Melospiza melodia song sparrow

Melospiza lincolnii Lincoln's sparrow

Zonotrichia atricapilla golden-crowned sparrow

Zonotrichia leucophrys white-crowned sparrow

Junco hyemalis dark-eyed junco

Agelaius phoeniceus red-winged blackbird

Sturnella neglecta western meadowlark

Euphagus cyanocephalus Brewer's blackbird

Molothrus ater brown-headed cowbird

Piranga ludoviciana western tanager

Carpodacus purpureus purple finch

Carpodacus mexicanus house finch

Carduelis pinus pine siskin

Carduelis psaltria lesser goldfinch

Carduelis tristis American goldfinch

Carduelis lawrencei            Lawrence's goldfinch

Passer domesticus house sparrow

Puvialis squatorola                                 Black-bellied plover

Vireo belii            Bell's vireo

Sphyrapicus varius Yellow-bellied sapsucker

Pipilo chlorurus            Green-tailed towhee

Anas crecca green-winged teal

Anas clypeata northern shoveler

Aythya americana redhead

Buteo lagopus rough-legged hawk

Numenius phaeopus whimbrel

Tringa flavipes lesser yellowlegs

Numenius americanus long-billed curlew

Calidris minutilla least sandpiper

Calidris mauri western sandpiper

Larus argentatus herring gull

Sterna forsteri Forster's tern

Columba livia rock dove

Athene cunicularia burrowing owl

Regulus satrapa golden-crowned kinglet

Dendroica townsendi Townsend's warbler

Guiraca caerulea blue grosbeak

Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus yellow-headed blackbird



Mammals of the San Joaquin Drainage



Sorex ornatus            ornate shrew

Antrozous pallidus            pallid bat

Eptesicus fuscus big brown bat

Lasiurus blossevillii            western red bat

Lasiurus cinereus            hoary bat

Eumops perotis californicus            western mastif bat

Tadarida brasiliensis             mexican free-tailed bat

Ciliolabrum ymansensis            small-footed myotis

Myotis lucifugus            little brown bat

Myotis yumanensis            yuma myotis

Myotis lucifugus            little brown myotis

Myotis volans            long-legged myotis

Myotis thysanodes            fringed myotis

Myotis californicus            California myotis

Pipistrellus hesperus            western pipistrelle

Plecotus townsendii            Townsend's big-eared bat

Tadarida brasiliensis            Brazilian free-tailed bat

Lepus californicus            black-tailed jackrabbit

Sylvilagus audubonii            desert (Audobon) cottontail

Sylvilagus bachmani ripariaus Riparian brushrabbit

Spermophilus beecheyi            California ground squirrel

Sciurus griseus            Western gray squirrel

Thomomys bottae Botta's pocket gopher

Castor canadensis            beaver

Reithrodontomys megalotis western harvest mouse

Peromyscus maniculatus            deer mouse

Microtus californicus            California vole

Neotoma cinerea riparia            riparian wood rat

Canis latrans            coyote

Urocyon cinereoargenteus     gray fox

Procyon lotor            raccoon

Spilogale gracilis            Western spotted skunk

Mephitis mephitis            striped skunk

Lutra canadensis            river otter

Mustela frenata            long-tailed weasel

Mustela vison   mink

Lynx rufus            bobcat

Felis concolor            mountain lion

Odocoileus hemionus            mule deer



Reptiles of the San Joaquin Drainage



Diadophis punctatus            ringneck snake

Masticophis flagellum            coachwhip

Lampropeltis getulus californiae California kingsnake

Pituophis melanoleucus          pacific gopher snake

Thamnophis sirtalis            common garter snake

Thamnophis couchi            western aquatic garter snake

Coluber constrictor mormon            western yellowbelly racer

Thamnophis gigas  giant garter snake

Contia tenuis            sharp-tailed snake

Crotalus viridis oreganus            northern Pacific rattlesnake

Eumeces gilberti            Gilbert's skink

Eumeces skiltonianus            western skink

Cnemidophorus tigris            western whiptail

Gerrhonotus multicarinatus            southern alligator lizard

Sceloporus occidentalis            western fence lizard

Phrynosoma coronatum            coast horned lizard

Clemmys marmorata marmorata            northwestern pond turtle

Clemmys marmorata pallida            southwestern pond turtle


Amphibians of the San Joaquin Drainage



Bufo boreas            western toad

Scaphiopus hammondi            western spadefoot

Rana aurora draytonii            California red-legged frog

Hyla regilla            pacific tree frog

Ambystoma tigrinum californiense            California tiger salamander

Ensotina eschscholtzia plantensis            Sierra Nevada Salamander

Ensotina eschscholtzia xanthoptica            Yellow-eyed salammander

Historical Bibliography: San Joaquin Mainstem

(* signifies availability in FWS library)



Brown,L.R. and Moyle,P.B. 1993.  Distribution, ecology, and status of the fishes of the San Joaquin river drainage, California. Calif. Fish and Game vol 79(3) 1993.


Bureau of Marine Fisheries 1949. Commercial fish catch of California for the year 1947 w/an historical review 1916-1947. CDFG Fish Bull. vol 74

-catch totals

-gear and effort

-other anadromous species


Calhoun,A.J. and Woodhull,C.A. 1948.  Progress report on studies of striped bass reproduction in relation to the Central Valley Project. Calif. F&G vol 34(4) 1948.


CDFG vol.7(1)  1921.



-Merced dams


CDFG vol.8(1)  1922.

-Friant Dam

-Kerckhoff/summer mortality



CDFG vol 13(4) 1945.

-late fall run at Dos Palos


CDFG 1986. Memo to Charles H. Rich, SWRCB.

RE:Fish flow requirements below Don Pedro

-SJR basin contribution to total Sac-SJR salmon production

-critiques FERC fishery maintanence requirements

-Indices of annual abundance and ocean fishery impacts

-Flow/productions indices


*USFWS 1994.  Central Valley Project Improvement Act Programatic Environmental Impact Statement: Existing Conditions


Clark,G.H. 1929. Sacramento River Salmon Fishery. Calif. F&G vol 15(1) 1929

-good historical data

-high % 4 yr fish in spawning pops.

-spawning areas


__________ 1929. Sacramento-San Joaquin salmon fishery of California. Div. of F&G Fish Bull. vol 17 1929

-Historical and statistical review

-spawning grounds

-age determinations



__________ 1942.  Salmon at Friant Dam. Calif. Fish And Game vol 20(3)

-late fall run

-holdover spring run

-successful spawning


Cone, David 1973.  The Salmon Fishery of the San Joaquin River, California: Its history, its destruction, and its possible


-excellent historical reference

-San Joaquin contributions to total biomass

-projected restored pop. numbers

-list of docs. and legal history


Coot,Millard 1988. Letter to Rick Morat USFWS

-personal account of post war FWS effort on SJR. May 8


____________ 1988. Letter to Rick Morat USFWS

-pers. account w/ numbers from post war FWS effort on SJR. Feb 20


Corcoran,H.J. 1919.  Boating on the San Joaquin. Stockton Record, San Joaquin County  Jan. 25, 1919


Fresno County Centennial Committee  1956.  Fresno County Centennial Almanac.  Fresno, California  1956


Fremont,J.C. 1849.  Geographical memior upon Upper California addressed to the U.S. Senate.  Tippin and Streeper, Washington. U.S. Congressional Docs., 30th Cong. 2nd session.


Fry,Donald H. and Hughes,Eldon P. 1951.   The Calif. Salmon Troll Fishery. PMFC bull.2 1951

-history and effort

-comm. and sport take


-aging /weight-length relations


Fry,Donald H.,Jr. 1958. Letter to Wilmer Morse, Attorney at Law, Stanford, California. September 23

-Details of escapement estimates,SJR 1940's

-BOR withdrawal of funds from Dr. J. Moffett, Sac-SJR delta study


________________1957. Letter to Eldon P. Hughes, Marine Resources Operations, Stanford. November 3

-Methodology of flow estimates for restoration of Chinook in SJR Mainstem.

-Maintanence of production levels


________________1958. Testimony at SWRB Hearing on SJR        


________________1965. Relationship between stream flow and salmon spawning success with especial reference to the SJR

-Estimates SJR Mainstem contribution to total catch in lbs and $$

-H20 needs of SJR by run and lifestage

-Alternatives include using canals to bypass low flow areas


Elden H. Vestal 1958. Intraoffice correspondence to Eldon P. Hughes. March 3

-Rough draft of John Skinner paper relating decline in California salmon fishery to Friant operations


_____   1971.  An assessment of Federal water projects adverslely affecting California's salmon and steelhead resources. Part 2: Friant Dam

-RE:Senate concurrent resolution No. 64, 1971

-Historical account of fishery

-Assessment of damage to fish resources in SJR Mainstem


_____ 1964  Minutes of meeting of agencies discussing salmon passage in SJR. May 26


----- 1961  King salmon spawning stocks of the California Central Valley, 1940-1959.  Calif. Fish and Game vol 47(1) 1961*

-includes the famed Fry counts


Giffen, Helen   Fort Miller and Millerton: Memories of the Southern Mines.  Quarterly Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California.  March, 1939


Hall, W.H. 1880.  State Engineers Dept.: River Records field books.  SJR at C.P.R.R. bridge, Gauge 24  Dec.1878-Oct.1880 vol.97

-daily temps: use to establish macrohabitat conditions

-daily rods:   "         "          "           "


_________   1881.  State Engineers Dept.: River Records field books.  SJR at C.P.R.R. bridge, Gauge 24  Oct.1880-July 1881 vol.98

-daily temps.

-daily rods

_________   1882.  State Engineers Dept.: River Records field books.  SJR at C.P.R.R. bridge, Gauge 24  Oct.1880-Aug 1882

vol 99

-daily flows

-daily rods

_________   1882.  State Engineers Dept.: River Records field books.  SJR at C.P.R.R. bridge, Gauge 24  Sept. 1882 vol. 100


Hallock,R.J. and Van Woert,W.F. 1959.  A survey of anadromous fish losses in irrigation diversions from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers.  CF&G vol 45(4)*


Hanson,R.  1994.  Tulare Lake, A phantom lake in the desert.  (A video and slide presentation on the ecological history of Tulare Lake.)


Hatton, S.R.  1941.  Progress report on the Central Valley fisheries investigations,1939.  Calif. F&G vol. 26(4)*

-historic cond. of all anaddomous game fish

-evaluation: value and distribution of habitat


__________  1941.  Striped bass spawning areas in California.  Calif. F&G vol 28(1) 1942


Hatton,S.R. and Clark,G.H. 1942. A second progress report on the central valley fisheries investigations.  Calif. Fish and Game vol 28(2) 1942.


Hughes, Eldon P. 1958. Letter to E. Vestal in reply to March 3 memo

- critiques Skinner paper


Jacobs,D.  1993.  California's rivers: A public trust report.  California State Lands Commission, Sacramento.* 




Leidy, G.R. et al. 1984.

-Historical review of Sac. River

-depletion causes

-SJR contribution

-pop. estimates


Loudermilk,B. 1993.  Memo to G. Neillands and S.Baumgartner. 

RE:Steelhead on Tuolumne 1940 & '42.


MacMullen, J.  Beyond the Head of Navigation.  Paddlewheel Days in California.  Libsac B1570


Mclurg,Sue 1994. Saving the salmon: The struggle to restore salmon pops. continues to drive water manag. throughout Calif. and the PNW. Western Water July/August 1994

-background and perspectives on water/fish issues


_________ 1994. The San Joaquin River. Western Water Jan/Feb


-background and perspectives of SJR water developments

-water uses/quality

-F&W issues


Moore,S.B. et al. 1990  Fish and Wildlife resources and agricultural drainage in the SJV, Calif. vol. 1;  SJV Drainage Program


-historical reference

-endangered species


Morse,W/SWRB 1958. Interpretations used in answers to questions to be asked of Mr. Fry propounded by SWRB staff. December 2

-From W. Morse files   

-Includes Fry schedule of flow


Moyle, Peter B. 1970. Occurence of king (chinook) salmon in the Kings river, Fresno county.  Calif. F&G 56(4) :314-15 1970


--------------. 1976 Inland Fishes of California. University of California Press, Berkeley


Office of the Secretary of War  1856. Reports of Explorations and Surveys to Ascertain the most Practicable and Economical Route for a railroad from the Mississipi River to the Pacific Ocean. Vol 5.  Beverly Tucker, Printer. Washington D.C. 1856.


Pacific Marine Fisheries Commission 1948. Coordinated plans for the management of the fisheries of the Pacific coast. PMFC bulletin 1948

-discusses salmon fishery and associated problems


Raines, R. and Karp 1992. Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences. (Draft)

-Pre-Friant conditions


 -aquatic resources

 -terrestrial resources



Reavis,R.L. 1981. Summary of annual chinook spawning escapement for major tributaries in the Sac-SJR sytem for the years 1971-1980. CDFG Anadromous fisheries branch 1982

-% jacks

-SJR tribs.


Report of the Commissioners of fisheries 1870-1894.

-morphs of SJR

-air and water stats

-spring run obs.

-shad harvest


Rutter,C. 1907.  The Fishes of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Basin, with a study of their distribution and variation.

-literature compilation of native fishes

-historical account of native fishes


San Joaquin River Fish Doubling Team Draft Report (P.L. 102-575, Section 3406(b)(1)

-draft report from doubling team(final due in December)

-info on tributaries



Scofield,E.C. 1930.  The striped bass of California.  Division of Fish and Game of California Fish Bulletin No.29


____________. 1928.  Striped bass studies. Calif. F&G vol 14(1) 1928


Scofield,N.B. 1929. The status of salmon in California. Calif F&G vol 15(1) 1929

-discusses physical and management problems


____________  1910.  Notes on the striped bass in California.  Twenty first biennial report of the Board of Fish and Game Commissioners 1909-1910, Sacramento.


Skinner,John R. 1951. Fish and game problems of the upper SJR:

Potential values and needs.


State Lands Commission 1994. Mean daily flows SJR at Friant 1910-48


Smith,Felix E. 1991. A discussion: California's give away of the SJR and a step toward its restoration

-details legal and agency history of Friant diversions

-details legal and mitigation strategies for restoration


__________ 1942. Salmon at Friant Dam. Calif. F&G vol 29(3) 1943

-observations of spring run below Friant

-layover until fall spawn

-layover in pool at high Temp


__________ 1993. A discussion: Rice culture- Stubble decomposition/seasonal wetlands and water storage. Calif. SportFishing Protection Alliance 1993





-----------1988 A discussion: The Friant Division and Water Marketing


-legal history

-unimpaired flows

-restoration flows(lowest found)


Smith,Joe 1963.  The Fresno Bee; The Republican  Nov. 11, 1963


Smith, Wallace  1939.  Garden of the Sun.  Reprint; Mid-cal Publishers, Fresno Calif. 1939


Stone,L. 1887.  The best season for packing salmon on the Pacific coast.  Bulletin of the U.S. Fish Commission, vol.7(5) 1887. Washington D.C.


Snyder, James B. 1993. Memo to

Superintendent Mike Finley,NPS Yosemite

RE: Did salmon reach Yosemite Valley or Hetch Hetchy?

-Detailed historical data on Tuolumne

-Some historical data on Merced


State Land Commission  1976.  San Joaquin River Historical Data Book 1, parts 1&2.


Stone, Livingston 1887. Best season for packing salmon on the Pacific coast. Bureau of the U.S. Fish Comm.  vol 7 (5) 1887


Sypulski,J.L. 1974.  A history of river basin studies.  Unpublished manuscript*


US Army Corps of Engineers 1976.  Lower San Joaquin River, California aerial atlas. Corps of Engineers, Sacramento


USBR 1986.  Central Valley Fish and Wildlife Management Study (Draft): Evaluation of the potential of a comprehensive restoration program for the San Joaquin River salmon fishery, California.


-historic flows

-historic discharge vs escapement

-habitat estimates


USGS.  1899.  Water supply and irrigation papers. vol 19. 

Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 1899


USFWS  1994. Stanislaus River Habitat Evaluation Procedures Study: Plants, Fish and Wildlife of the Lower Stanislaus River


Van Cleve,R. 1944.  A preliminary report on the fishery resources of California in relation to the Central Valley Project.  Calif. F&G vol 31(2) 1945


Warner,George 1987. Remember the San Joaquin. California's salmon and steelhead: The struggle to restore an imperiled resource. ed.Lufkin,A. UC Press 1991

-problems include poaching, water quality etc.

-fish passage in canals

-details last days of spring run on SJR


Wash,R.M.  The Saga of Don Benito. The Fresno County Almanac. Fresno County Centenial Committee, Fresno California  1956


Wendler,H.O. 1960.  The importance of the ocean sport fishery to the ocean catch of salmon in the states of Washington, Oregon and California  CF&G vol 46(3)*


Woodhull,C. 1947.  Spawning habits of the striped bass (Roccus saxatilis) in California waters. Calif. F&G vol 33(2) 1947


Work Projects Administration 1940.  Inventory of the County Archives of California. vol 10. 1940.  The Northen California Historical records survey project. Division of professional and service projects.



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