The State of Salmon in California: Challenged

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For nearly 20 years, the South Yuba River Citizens League has been actively engaged in our Yuba Salmon Now campaign to help restore and strengthen native fisheries in the Yuba River watershed. 

The focus of Yuba Salmon Now relies on a multi-progged strategy that consists of four main tenants

  • Plan and implement active fish habitat restoration in the lower Yuba River watershed through projects such as Long Bar and Hallwood that remediate the effects of hydraulic mining and create more habitat for salmon and steelhead. 
  • Conduct outreach and education to increase awareness regarding Yuba Salmon restoration utilizing media, online platforms, and presentations at local venues to promote the importance of a healthy watershed and fisheries. 
  • Produce information and analysis necessary to develop supported actions for Yuba Salmon in the lower Yuba River watershed. Actions include finalizing important management reports such as the Lower Yuba River Restoration Action Plan. SYRCL also continues to monitor water temperature and other water quality parameters throughout the lower Yuba River. 
  • Advocate for volitional fish passage to restore the keynote anadromous fish to the historic reaches of their watershed to improve the overall health of the Yuba River watershed. 

Chinook, coho, and steelhead once thrived within California’s rivers and streams. The last number of decades, though, have born witness to a significant decline in their populations. This decline is attributed to a culmination of factors including water damming and diversions, habitat degradation, the impacts of climate change, and persistent drought conditions. Regrettably, this decline has led to the complete disappearance of these species from numerous streams. 

THE STATE OF SALMON IN CALIFORNIA, a new website created by The Nature Conservancy with input from SYRCL and other partners, highlights the many challenges confronting salmon and delineates their population trends within the state’s major rivers and streams.  

Equally significant, it presents an examination of the many collaborative projects between wildlife conservation groups and river restoration organizations such as SYRCL which hold the potential of bringing these species back from the brink of oblivion. 

Salmon Numbers in the Yuba river

Fall-run Chinook numbers includes Spring-Run Chinook numbers at this time

The current situation of salmon in California is characterized by challenges to their survival and notable shifts in their population dynamics within the state’s primary rivers and streams. Nevertheless, there exist transformative solutions that hold the potential to reverse this situation and reinvigorate these imperiled species. 

For further information and mapping, SYRCL recommends taking a look at the CDFW BIOS Viewer webpage, which you can find by CLICKING HERE.

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