California Coast Coho Salmon Continue to Decline

As the 2008/09 coho salmon spawning season nears an end, a survey of monitoring projects on the California coast indicate that the decline in adult coho salmon returns was worse this year than last year (2007/08), when there was a 73% reduction relative to their parental returns in 2004/05. Reports from eight coastal streams, from the Trinity River to Scott Creek, found an 85% decline in spawner returns compared to parental returns in 2005/06.

Of note, Scott Creek, with the smallest coho salmon population of the eight reporting, experienced the least decline in returning adults (55%). This may indicate that the captive broodstock operated by the SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division and the Monterey Bay Salmon & Trout Project is providing a modest benefit to the Scott Creek coho salmon population.

(March 9, 2009)