Peter B. Moyle

Distinguished Professor, Emeritus
Office: 1369 Academic Surge
Phone: 530-574-6695


I have been studying the ecology and conservation of freshwater and estuarine fishes in California for over 40 years. My research team has documented the status of all native freshwater fish species in California, with special interest in salmon and other anadromous fishes. The interactions among native and alien species in environments with varying degrees of disturbance have provided a major basis for my ecological studies and have lead to management actions to improve conservation of native fishes.  My research team has developed large data sets on the status, distribution, and ecology of native and alien fishes of California, and have quantified potential impacts of climate change on each species. The team has also created data bases on California dams and their impacts on fishes, especially through altered flows. These data sets are a major source of publications.   Another research focus is the ecology and conservation of fishes of the San Francisco Estuary, that includes 35 years of monthly fish and macroinvertebrate sampling at multiple locations in Suisun Marsh.  Current research has extended the Suisun Marsh sampling to the North Delta.  We are especially interested in the impact of the current drought on both estuarine and freshwater fishes of California and in the impacts of new water management schemes on native fishes.

Education and Experience:

  • 1964 University of MinnesotaB.A. - Zoology
  • 1966 Cornell UniversityM.S. - Conservation
  • 1969 University of MinnesotaPh.D. - Zoology
  • 1969 - 1972  Assistant Professor, Biology, California State University, Fresno, CA
  • 1972 – present  Assistant to Full Professor, University of California, Davis, California
  • 1982 - 1987  Chair, Department of Wildlife & Fisheries Biology, University of California, Davis, California
  • 2002-present  Associate Director, Center for Watershed Science UCD

Selected Publications:

Author or co-author of over 220 peer-reviewed publications, including 10 books/monographs.

  • Moyle, P. B. 2002. Inland Fishes of California. Berkeley: University of California Press 502 pp.
  • Mosepele, K., P. B. Moyle, G. S. Merron, D. Purkey, and B. Mosepele. 2009. Fish, floods, and ecosystem engineers: aquatic conservation in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. BioScience 59:53-64
  • Lund, J., E. Hanak, W. Fleenor, W. Bennett, R. Howitt, J. Mount, and P. Moyle. 2010 Comparing Futures for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Berkeley, University of California Press.
  • Hanak, E., J. Lund, A. Dinar, B. Gray, R. Howitt, J. Mount, P. Moyle, and B. Thompson. 2011. Managing California's Water from Conflict to Reconciliation. San Francisco, PPIC. 482 pp.
  • Moyle, P.B., J. V. E. Katz and R. M. Quiñones. 2011. Rapid decline of California’s native inland fishes: a status assessment. Biological Conservation 144: 2414-2423.
  • Purdy, S.E., P. B. Moyle, and K. W. Tate. 2011. Montane meadows in the Sierra Nevada: comparing terrestrial and aquatic assessment methods. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. DOI 10.10078/s10661-011-2473.
  • Moyle, P. B. , W. Bennett, J. Durand, W. Fleenor, B. Gray, E. Hanak, J. Lund, J. Mount. 2012. Where the wild things aren’t: making the Delta a better place for native species. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California. 53 pp.
  • Jeffres, C.A. and P.B. Moyle. 2012. When good fish make bad decisions: coho salmon in an ecological trap. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 32:87-92.
  • Kiernan, J.D., P. B. Moyle, and P. K. Crain. 2012. Restoring native fish assemblages to a regulated California stream using the natural flow regime concept. Ecological Applications. 22:1472-1482.
  • Kiernan, J. D., and P. B. Moyle. 2012. Flows, droughts, and aliens: factors affecting the fish assemblage in a Sierra Nevada, California, stream. Ecological Applications 22:1146-1161.
  • Börk, K.S. J. F. Krovoza, J. V. Katz, and P. B. Moyle. 2012. The rebirth of California Fish & Game Code 5937: water for fish. University of California Davis Law Review 45: 809-913.
  • Carmona-Catot, G., P. B. Moyle, and R. E. Simmons. 2012. Long-term captive breeding does not necessarily prevent reestablishment: lessons learned from Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 22:325-342.
  • Katz, J, P. B. Moyle, R. M. Quiñones, J. Israel, and S. Purdy. 2012. Impending extinction of salmon, steelhead, and trout (Salmonidae) in California. Environmental Biology of Fishes. DOI 10.1007/s10641-012-9974-8
  • Thompson, L.C., M. I. Escobar, C. M. Mosser, D. R. Purkey, D. Yates, and P.B. Moyle. 2012. Water management adaptations to prevent loss of spring-run Chinook salmon in California under climate change. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 138: 465-478.
  • Moyle, P.B., J. D. Kiernan, P. K. Crain, and R. M. Quiñones. 2013. Climate change vulnerability of native and alien freshwater fishes of California: a systematic assessment approach. PLoS One
  • Quiñones R. M., M. Holyoak, M. L. Johnson, and P. B. Moyle.  2014. Potential factors affecting survival differ by run-timing and location: linear mixed-effects models of Pacific salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp.) in the Klamath River, California. PLoS ONE 9(5): e98392. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098392
  • Moyle, P.B., A. D.  Manfree, and P. L. Fiedler. 2014. Suisun Marsh: Ecological History and Possible Futures.  Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Moyle, P.B., R. M. Quiñones, J.V.E. Katz, and Jeff Weaver. 2015.  Fish Species of Special Concern in California.  Sacramento: California Department of Fish and Wildlife.