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Status Review of Coho Salmon Populations in Scott and Waddell Creeks, Santa Cruz County, California
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    Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) are anadromous along the Pacific coast from Chamalu Bay, Mexico (Miller and Lea 1972), to Point Hope, Alaska, through the Aleutians, and from the Anadyr River, USSR, south to Hokkaido, Japan (Scott and Crossman 1973). In California, coho salmon historically used most of the accessible coastal streams from Monterey County north to the Oregon border (Hassler et al. 1991). However, coho salmon no longer occur in many streams and their numbers are greatly reduced in others (Brown and Moyle 1991). The California Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead Trout (1988) found that coho salmon run sizes have decreased by 80% to 90% from the 194O's. Moyle et al. (1989) listed coho salmon as a species of special concern in California. They classified coho salmon as a Class 3 species, meaning that it is currently an uncommon species throughout much of its natural range, but formally more abundant, with pockets of abundance within its range. The American Fisheries society listed 214 native naturally spawning stocks of anadromous salmonids that are declining, and rated their risk of extinction in the near future (Nehlsen et al. 1991). California coho salmon populations south of San Francisco Bay were rated at a high risk of extinction. Currently all streams south of San Francisco Bay have lost their natural spawning populations of coho salmon, except Scott and Waddell Creeks in Santa Cruz County (Brown and Moyle 1991, Marston 1992, Smith 1992, Nelson 1993), In response to indications that the populations within Scott and Waddell Creeks are declining, the Santa Cruz County Fish and Game Advisory Commission conducted a year of investigations and three local public hearings. At the request of the Santa Cruz county Fish and Game Advisory commission, the Santa Cruz County Planning Department prepared and on March 11, 1993 submitted a petition to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to list the coho salmon populations of Scott creek and Waddell creek as endangered (Santa Cruz County Planning Department 1993) under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA or Act) of 1973 as amended (U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). On 18 June 1993, NMFS published (58 FR 33605) its intent to conduct a status review of California coho salmon stocks occurring in Scott and Waddell creeks. This report summarizes this status review of coho salmon in Scott and Waddell Creeks conducted by the NMFS Southwest Region.
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