The State of Salmon in California: Once tremendously abundant, California wild salmon are now on the brink of extinction

Mar 11, 2020 at 4:15pm

Chinook, coho and steelhead were once tremendously abundant in most of California’s major rivers and streams. As recently as the 1960s, salmon and steelhead were so plentiful in streams that horses would get spooked trying to cross.

Due to water damming and diversions, habitat degradation and more, salmon and steelhead populations have declined dramatically. They have even completely disappeared from many streams.

But there is hope. Wildlife and river restoration groups throughout the state are working together to change this trajectory.

The State of Salmon in California presents the problems salmon are facing and their population trends in the state’s major rivers and streams, as well as the transformative solutions that could bring these species back from the edge.

Restoration From Headwaters to the Sea
Coho salmon, Chinook salmon and steelhead depend on all aspects of stream health during their lifecycle. From watershed headwaters to river’s mouth, salmon and steelhead rely on stream well-being for survival and reproduction.

The salmon conservation community includes people working in non-profit conservation organizations, federal, state, and local resource agencies, water agencies, tribes, and private entities, such as timber companies. Over 100 organizations around the state are listed below that are involved in salmon recovery and habitat restoration efforts.

Read more of the original full article and see infographics here.