2016 CDFW Aerial Kelp Canopy Survey Results Now Available Online

kelp canopy
Kelp depicted in Administrative Kelp Bed #208, White Rock (Cambria) State Marine Conservation Area, in 2016. CDFW image

The results of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW’s) 2016 aerial kelp survey are now available online. The 2016 survey covered both the full California mainland coast and the Channel Islands in Southern California.

Comparisons of the 2015 kelp canopy and the 2016 survey results show that both the south coast mainland and the Channel Islands experienced a decrease in kelp in 2016. The south coast mainland had almost half the canopy level surveyed in 2015, whereas the 2016 kelp canopy in the central through north coast Continue reading

A Bird’s Eye View: Aerial Surveys of Nearshore Waters Provide Important Information for Managing Coastal Pelagic Fishes

aerial view of sardine school
An unretouched aerial photo of a sardine school off Southern California

Since August 2012, CDFW’s Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Project and the California Wetfish Producers Association have been working together to develop a nearshore aerial survey program for southern California waters. The valuable data collected by the program may be used to set sustainable harvest limits and prevent overfishing of CPS, including Pacific sardine, Pacific mackerel, and northern anchovy. Continue reading