Sonoma County
University of California
Sonoma County

Russian River Coho Salmon Recovery Program

A new $4 million building housing an innovative program to help bring coho salmon back to theRussianRiverwatershed was officially opened onMay 2, 2012.  Funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, the 25,000 square foot facility at the base of Warm Springs Dam will help sustain and improve the Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Program by expanding the restoration hatchery facilities used to spawn and rear broodstock program fish. 

The Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Recovery Program is a broad coalition involving the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, California Department of Fish and Game, National Marine Fisheries Service, Sonoma County Water Agency, California Sea Grant, UC Cooperative Extension, and hundreds of private landowners joining together to re-establish self-sustaining runs of coho salmon in the Russian River basin.

The Department of Fish and Game and Army Corps manages the hatchery component at the Don Clausen Warm Springs Hatchery, while UCCE and California Sea Grant scientists are responsible for monitoring juvenile and adult salmon in the wild, following their release. Tracking broodstock program and wild fish is a challenge and biologists use many methods, including PIT tag antennas, smolt traps, dive surveys, spawner surveys, electrofishing and PIT tag wanding surveys to accurately assess population status and fish distribution.

Learn more about the different monitoring activities at Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Program.

“As one of the organizations monitoring the success of Russian River coho recovery, University of California Cooperative Extension, California Sea Grant, and hundreds of cooperating landowners are thrilled that the coho broodstock program now has a permanent, protected building to conduct its groundbreaking work,” said Paul Olin, Aquaculture Specialist, California Sea Grant.

Olin is "hopeful that soon these fish will have recovered to the point where supplementation is no longer necessary and self-sustaining runs can perpetuate themselves into the future.” 

Read more about the Opening of the New "Nursery" for Endangered Russian River Salmon

Installation of a downstream migrant smolt trap on Green Valley Creek - Francis Hourigan, Patrick Hilton, Nick Bauer, Sarah Nossaman & Andrew Wilbur
Installation of a downstream migrant smolt trap on Green Valley Creek - Francis Hourigan, Patrick Hilton, Nick Bauer, Sarah Nossaman & Andrew Wilbur

Francis Hourigan and Nick Bauer working up coho smolts at the downstream migrant trap on Mill Creek
Francis Hourigan and Nick Bauer working up coho smolts at the downstream migrant trap on Mill Creek
 
Adult coho salmon captured in the Mill Creek trap on 12/16/2010.
Adult coho salmon captured in the Mill Creek trap on 12/16/2010.
 

About the Broodstock Program

The broodstock program was created in 2001, when coho in the Russian River were teetering on the brink of extinction. Some of the remaining Russian River coho were captured by California Department of Fish and Game biologists, in coordination with biologists from other agencies, and brought to the Don Clausen Fish Hatchery at Lake Sonoma, where they were raised to maturity and spawned based on a detailed matrix developed to maximize genetic variability.  The resulting fingerlings were released into historic coho tributaries in theRussianRiver watershed. This initial effort to save the last remaining Russian River coho led to the formation of a multi-agency broodstock program that built upon many years of work in the watershed to protect and restore salmon habitat.

Learn more about the Russian River Coho Salmon Monitoring Program.

University of California Cooperative Extension, Sonoma County
133 Aviation Blvd Suite 109, Santa Rosa, CA 95403  Phone: 707.565.2621  Fax: 707.565.2623
Office Hours:  M-F, 8am-Noon & 1pm-4pm

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