Update on the "USBR Striper Stomach Contents Contract" post below..
Posted by Mike McKenzie on 2013-10-03 21:10:50
|Some of the important questions around the proposed study are as follows|
"Stomach samples from previous studies conducted where? When? etc. Taking a bunch of samples from previous studies and then trying to interpret it in a manner that will get you to understanding food habits of predators is a stretch to put it mildly"
"In addition, it depends on what methods they plan on using to identify the stomach contents. The only way to really get at stomach contents from old samples with any accuracy (or new samples) would be through DNA assays of the tissues or to analyze otoliths. Likely samples from previous studies would have been fixed using formalin and and/or have been stored in ethanol. In that case the DNA would be compromised and analysis not possible (or extremely tenuous) as well as the otoliths would likely be compromised."
And so on...All valid questions not answered in the solicitation...
What I have found out in the limited amount of time I've had to deal with this issue is that the "samples" were collected at sites all through the Delta and some of the tributaries. The samples all have the data of where and when they were collected and I am told the the samples were flash frozen to ameliorate DNA damage. So, it seems to be OK so far.
It now depends on who does the studies. Given that the IEP, See here: http://www.water.ca.gov/iep/
or any other gov. agencies are not funding any proposed studies this year by anyone, the question then remains who will be funding this study.
While funding is not available through state or federal agencies (so I've been told) it seems that the water contractors have millions of dollars to spend on them.
I think most of you can figure out what will happen if their money gets used for any studies, the outcome will say what they want it to say.
When I know more I'll post more
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