This study was conducted to better understand the habitat requirements and environmental limiting factors of Syncaris pacifica, the California freshwater shrimp. This federally listed endangered species is native to perennial lowland streams in a few watersheds in northern California. Field sampling occurred in Lagunitas and Olema creeks at seasonal intervals from February 2003 to November 2004. Ten glides, five pools, and five riffles served as fixed sampling reaches, with eight glides, four pools, and four riffles located in Lagunitas Creek and the remainder in Olema Creek. A total of 1773 S. pacifica was counted during this study, all of which were captured along vegetated banks in Lagunitas Creek. Syncaris pacifica was most numerous in glides (64%), then in pools (31%), and lastly in riffles (5%). According to logistic regression analysis, S. pacifica was mostly associated with submerged portions of streambank vegetation (especially overhanging vegetation such as ferns and blackberries, emergent vegetation such as sedge and brooklime, and fine roots associated with water hemlock, willow, sedge, and blackberries) along with low water current velocity and a sandy substrate. These seemingly favorable habitat conditions for S. pacifica were present in glides and pools in Lagunitas Creek, but not in Olema Creek.
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Vol. 29 • No. 4