UC (University of California) Coho Salmon and Steelhead Monitoring Report: Summer 2019
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UC (University of California) Coho Salmon and Steelhead Monitoring Report: Summer 2019

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    In 2004, the Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Program (Broodstock Program) began releasing juvenile coho salmon into tributaries of the Russian River with the goal of reestablishing populations that were on the brink of extirpation from the watershed. California Sea Grant at University of California (UC) worked with local, state and federal resource managers to design and implement a coho salmon monitoring program to track the survival and abundance of hatchery-​released fish. Since the first Broodstock Program releases, UC has been closely monitoring smolt abundance, adult returns, survival, and spatial distribution of coho populations in four release streams: Willow, Dutch Bill, Green Valley, and Mill creeks. Data collected from this effort are provided to the Broodstock Program for use in adaptively managing future releases. Over the last decade, UC has developed many partnerships in salmon and steelhead recovery and our program has expanded to include identification of limiting factors to survival, evaluation of habitat enhancement and streamflow improvement projects, and implementation of a statewide salmon and steelhead monitoring program. In 2010, we began documenting relationships between stream flow and juvenile coho survival as part of the Russian River Coho Water Resources Partnership (Partnership), an effort to improve stream flow and water supply reliability to water-users in five flow-impaired Russian River tributaries. In 2013, we partnered with the Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to begin implementation of the California Coastal Monitoring Program (CMP), a statewide effort to document status and trends of anadromous salmonid populations using standardized methods and a centralized statewide database. These new projects have led to the expansion of our program, which now includes over 40 Russian River tributaries. The intention of our monitoring and research is to provide science-based information to all stakeholders involved in salmon and steelhead recovery. Our work would not be possible without the support of our partners, including public resource agencies, non-profit organizations, and hundreds of private landowners who have granted us access to the streams that flow through their properties. In this seasonal monitoring report, we provide preliminary results from our summer and fall Broodstock Program and CMP snorkel surveys, including relative abundance and spatial distribution of juvenile salmonids in Russian River tributaries. Additional information and previous reports can be found on our website.
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