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Fish & Wildlife

The San Joaquin River abounds with fish and wildlife. Read on to discover some of the many species that make up the river ecosystem, and how we can act to protect their habitats along the river.

Sacramento Pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus grandis)

The Sacramento pikeminnow is a native species common in the larger
intermittent and permanent streams of the Sierra Nevada foothills. They spend
much of their time in deep, well-shaded pools of clear streams. They are a
member of the Transition Zone community and are commonly associated with
hardhead and Sacramento suckers.

Kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka)

Kokanee are the non-anadromous form of sockeye salmon and have been
stocked in lakes and reservoirs within the Basin. Kokanee prefer cool, welloxygenated
water. In the late fall though spring, kokanee will inhabit the surface
waters of lakes and reservoirs as long as the temperature remains in their
preferred range or colder. In the summer months, when the surface water of
lakes begins to warm, kokanee move into deeper water.

Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)

Brook trout were introduced into California waters in the 1890’s and have
become established throughout most of the waters in the Sierra Nevada
mountain range.

Brown Trout (Salmo trutta)


Brown trout are a popular gamefish introduced into most of the waters in the
Basin. They inhabit the Basin’s large reservoirs and streams.

For most of the year (when they are not spawning), brown trout remain in small
home ranges, rarely moving more than a few meters from an area.

Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Rainbow trout are the most abundant widely distributed species of western trout.
Their wide distribution is, in part, the result of their popularity as a gamefish and
their adaptable biology and life history patterns. Rainbow trout typically require
cool water temperatures to complete their life cycle, but are tolerant of warmer
temperature differences.

Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle (Desmocerus californicus dimorphus)

DESCRIPTION:Longhorn beetles (family Cerambidae) are characterized by somewhat elongate, cylindrical bodies with long antennae, often more than 2/3 of the body length. Valley elderberry longhorn beetles (Desmocerus californicus dimorphus) are stout-bodied.

Males range in length from about 1/2 to nearly 1 inch (measured from the front of the head to the end of the abdomen) with antennae about as long as their bodies.

Hairy Orcutt Grass (Orcuttia pilosa)

DESCRIPTION:Hairy Orcutt grass (Orcuttia pilosa) is a small, tufted annual in the grass family (Poaceae). The plant has several stems 2-8 inches tall, each stem ending in a long, spike-like inflorescence. Foliage is grayish, with soft, straight hairs.

This species and slender Orcutt grass (O. tenuis) grow together over a portion of their respective ranges but are readily distinguished.

Hoover's spurge (Chamaesyce hooveri)

DESCRIPTION:Hoover's spurge (Chamaesyce hooveri), also known as Hoover's sanmat, is a prostrate, tap-rooted, annual herb in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). It forms mats from a few inches to a few feet across.

The flowering structure is a small, highly simplified cup-like "cyathium," as in all other spurges (Chamaesyce and Euphorbia). The flowering structure in Hoover's spurge has petal-like glands that are red to olive in color.

Fleshy/Succulent owl's clover (Castilleja campestris ssp. succulenta)

DESCRIPTION:Succulent owl's-clover (Castilleja campestris ssp. succulenta), also known as fleshy owl's-clover, is an annual herb in the snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae). Its stems are erect, generally 2-10 inches tall, and may be branched or unbranched.

Hartweg's Golden Sunburst (Pseudobahia bahiifolia)

DESCRIPTION:Hartweg's golden sunburst (Pseudobahia bahiifolia), also called Hartweg's pseudobahia, is a slender, woolly annual in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It has one or a few stems 2-6 inches tall, with mostly narrow, undivided leaves.

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