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Delta Smelt Spawning Run – Record Low February 2018 Index

Despite three straight non-drought winters (2016-2018) the Delta smelt spawning run shows no sign of recovery based on the Kodiak Trawl Survey (Figure 1). The February 2018 survey brought a record low catch of only 4 adults (compared to 125-287 from 2011-2013). The March index was “1”. As in my last post, the prognosis for Delta smelt remains grim. The next check is the spring 20-mm Smelt Survey index to determine if this years spawning run production of juvenile smelt continues the pattern of four years of near record lows (Figure 2).

Figure 1. Kodiak Trawl Survey catch of Delta smelt in winter 2002-2018. Source: CDFW survey data.

Figure 2. CDFW 20-mm Survey Delta smelt index 1995-2017. Source: