Sears Point Tidal Marsh Restoration Fish Monitoring
HELIX designed and implemented seasonal fish monitoring at the Sears Point Restoration Project, a recently restored 1,000-acre tidal wetland in San Pablo Bay, Sonoma County that provides key habitat for endangered and native species and carbon sequestration. The project’s three main objectives were to: (1) use ARIS technology to perform transect surveys and determine fish use of several engineered habitat types, (2) identify the species using the habitats, and (3) interpret fish survey data from other restored wetland habitat restoration projects in the San Francisco Estuary and compare with the current project fish survey results, using a bio-statistical methodology. HELIX prepared a tandem fish monitoring design, in collaboration with Ducks Unlimited, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to relate the results from the Adaptive Resolution Imaging Sonar (ARIS) camera transects to actual species and life stage usage at each habitat type. The accompanying sampling effort was comprised of multiple gear types (e.g., otter trawl, round haul, seine, fyke net, and plankton net). This was designed to efficiently survey the five engineered habitat types during both spring and fall, describe fish species and life stage presence and food web relations, and to determine the health of the aquatic community. Data were collected, analyzed, and reported to inform and improve future wetland restoration projects.