Coho Salmon Monitoring

Coho Salmon Monitoring

The Partnership is one of many collaborative efforts working to restore a viable, self-sustaining population of coho salmon to the Russian River watershed. Insufficient streamflow has been identified as a bottleneck to the recovery of local coho salmon and we are attempting to address this by improving flow for coho smolts migrating to the ocean in the spring and coho young-of-year (yoy) rearing in the streams through the summer months. In order to evaluate whether Partnership projects are improving conditions for fish, and to help establish meaningful objectives for streamflow improvements, CA Sea Grant (CSG) has been monitoring the oversummer survival of coho yoy in selected study reaches since 2010. 

This study compares survival to flow and environmental conditions, which helps us better understand how much water this vulnerable endangered species needs to survive the dry summer months. 

As it turns out, even a little water can make a big difference.

Our initial research found that coho were able to survive at flows of just a few liters per second, as long as pools remained connected. Of course, we’ll need more water than that to fully recover a thriving coho population, but it’s encouraging to know that even a small amount of water returned to the stream can have a big impact. 

Please visit CA Sea Grant’s website to learn more about our work with the Partnership and other salmon and steelhead monitoring efforts throughout the Russian River watershed. 

The Coho Partnership sincerely thanks the many private landowners whose support makes this research possible. 

1221 Farmers Lane, Suite F

Santa Rosa, CA 95405

707-569-1448 ext. 104

Images are made available for personal use only and may not be copied, reproduced, or used in any way. 

© 2009-2019 Russian River Coho Water Resources Partnership