This Project is necessary to better understand the role of C. shasta and other salmon diseases in Central Valley salmon and how management may reduce the impact of disease. The Project will need to build a scientific framework to describe host-pathogen-environment interactions. Mathematical models of disease transmission provide such a framework, have been used to understand disease dynamics in a number of settings, and can help identify key points of uncertainty. Funding for this Project will be to used to build a dynamic disease transmission model, which will simulate the health outcome for salmon (host) exposed to C. shasta (pathogen) while outmigrating to the Delta under different hydrologic and thermal regimes (environment).
University of California, Santa Cruz
The overarching goal of this Project is to develop, and share, a better understanding of the role pathogen exposure plays in salmon outmigration success through five main objectives:
1. Exposure landscape: Screen for the presence of 50 pathogens and concentration/genotype of C. shasta in the Sacramento and Feather Rivers over two years.
2. Salmon response to pathogens: Evaluate pathogen loads and immune response to pathogens in winter-run Chinook salmon outmigrating past Red Bluff Diversion Dam.
3. Disease transmission model: Build a model which can simulate/predict the probability/prevalence of infection and mortality, for salmon exposure to C. shasta.
4. Model evaluation: Compare model-based estimates of C. shasta mortality acoustic tagging estimates of all-cause mortality in order to assess disease transmission model predictions of mortality against field observed data and estimate of C. shasta attributable fraction of mortality.
5. Decision-Support-Tool: Adapt an existing website to incorporate the C. shasta disease transmission model
Monitoring, Research/Planning (including Science)
Project Benefits a Disadvantaged Community (or SDAC):