Salmon Snapshot Goals

Chinook hiding out in the Mattole River © Thomas Dunklin   

A rotary screw trap is used to monitor juvenile fish on their outmigration.

Timber companies like Green Diamond Resource Company restore instream habitat on their lands.
© Pacific Watershed Associates

Snapshot Goals

Provide a Clearinghouse for Population Data

Annual population data for coho salmon, Chinook salmon, and steelhead are presented for our monitored salmon 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.

New! - We just expanded the Snapshots to 18 of California's interior Central Valley monitored Chinook salmon streams, including the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River watersheds. Monitoring programs of Chinook salmon returning to spawn in the Central Valley have existed since the early 1950s, and while the programs continue to evolve, there are dedicated adult escapement monitoring programs comprising the comprehensive Central Valley Chinook Adult Escapement Monitoring Plan.

The current set of 37 coastal Salmon Snapshots present the California coastal watersheds that have already engaged in or are initiating long-term dedicated monitoring programs for adult migration following the California Coastal Monitoring Program or are already engaged in other long-term monitoring programs, such as the Klamath-Trinity Restoration Program. We intend to grow the number of Salmon Snapshots as more watersheds engage in the California Coastal Monitoring Program.

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 Salmon Snapshots highlight the on-the-ground restoration work that these organizations do to help Californians better understand the innovations going on in their back yard and help agencies focus resources where salmon and steelhead need them most.