• California Salmon Snapshots

    Chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead annual population data provides a comprehensive summary of the state of coastal California salmon. Learn more »

  • Monitoring Counts

    It is vital to demonstrate the value of measuring salmon and to advocate for a coast-wide monitoring program. Learn more »

  • An Iconic Species

    Salmon and steelhead are iconic fishes of California. They are ecologically, culturally, and economically important to California. Learn more »

  • Salmon in Your Backyard

    Learn how you can participate with your local watershed groups to help restore your watershed and be part of the solution to bring back the salmon. Learn more »

  • Healthy Estuaries, Healthy Salmon

    Salmon depend on healthy, complex, natural estuaries. Restoring our estuaries will unlock potential in an entire watershed. Learn more »

  • Putting Trees Back Into Streams

    Partnerships with timber companies help us to restore habitat on private land by putting logs back into the streams to recreate natural conditions. Learn more »

Salmon in Low Water Conditions About 50 Chinook were trapped in the lower Mattole River waiting for more rains to move upstream to spawn in late December 2013. Video by Thomas Dunklin.


Why Salmon Matter

In California, we are experiencing the steepest decline in salmon populations in the West with seven of the 10 coastal California salmon and steelhead species federally threatened or endangered. Our iconic salmon are imperative to California’s economic, recreational and environmental welfare.  Read More >>

How Many Salmon Return to Our Coastal Watersheds?

The Nature Conservancy’s California Salmon Snapshots is a collaborative information-sharing effort, critical to the on-going recovery of the state's salmon species. For the first time ever, population data — from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife and others — are compiled to show the number of salmon in our coastal California watersheds. This is the most comprehensive salmon information in California, and these snapshots will help guide state-wide salmon recovery to the places where we can have the greatest impact. 

Snapshot Goals

Provide a Clearinghouse for Population Data

Annual population data for coho salmon, Chinook salmon, and steelhead are presented for our coastal watersheds to provide Californians with a better understanding of how many fish return to rivers and creeks each year. Population trends can help decision makers, resource agencies, watershed groups and communities better understand where salmon and steelhead are thriving or declining.

Prioritize Monitoring

Monitoring is an essential part of understanding the effectiveness of restoration efforts and evaluating trends in the recovery of salmon and steelhead in coastal California watersheds. Currently, there is no comprehensive monitoring program in coastal California. We aim to encourage implementation and funding of the California Coastal Salmonid Monitoring Program to comprehensively track the status, trends and recovery of populations.  

Highlight Past & Target Future Watershed Restoration Efforts

Communities, conservation organizations, and state, federal and local agencies across California are coming together to restore our watersheds and see a return of salmon runs.  There is strong commitment to salmon restoration in California and since 2000 about 1,200 on-the-ground projects were completed in coastal salmon and steelhead watersheds, but there is much more to be done if recovery within our lifetime is to become a reality. The snapshots help Californians better understand the innovations going on in their back yard and help agencies focus resources where salmon and steelhead need them most.