Salmon Snapshots

Russian River

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2011/12 Population

Estimate of wild adult fish


Oncorhynchus kisutch


Oncorhynchus tshawytscha


Oncorhynchus mykiss

What we have 380 3,172 incomplete data
What we need 10,100§ 9,900+ 25,800+

Coho estimates are adjusted counts based on spawner surveys in combination with PIT tag detections, provided by the California Sea Grant's Russian River Coho Salmon Monitoring Program. Chinook and steelhead estimates are video counts taken at the Mirabel inflatable dam and represent minimum fish counts. Video counts cease in early-mid December prior to the end of the Chinook and steelhead runs. Chinook counts are often representative of the yearly magnitude of the run. Steelhead spawn through mid-April, so counts are considered incomplete. Data provided by theCalifornia Sea Grant and Sonoma County Water Agency.

§ Coho salmon in the Russian River are federally listed as endangered. Spawning adult fish recovery targets represent the biological conditions National Marine Fisheries Service would use to delist the species and remove them from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (50 CFR 223.102)(NMFS 2012a).

+ Chinook salmon and steelhead in the Russian River are federally listed as threatened, however, NMFS recovery targets are not yet defined. Spawning adult fish abundance numbers listed here are characteristic of the populations having high probability of long-term (>100 years) persistence (Spence et al. 2008; Spence et al. 2012). The abundance number for steelhead is the sum of Austin Creek (2,800), Green Valley Creek (1,400), Mark West Creek (5,400), Dry Creek (3,000), Maacama Creek (2,400), and Upper Russian River (10,800) populations. 

The 2011/12 snapshot is defined as fall 2011 to spring 2012, as per when salmon and steelhead return from the ocean to spawn. Fall Chinook spawning season is fall 2011. Coho season is fall through early January 2012. Steelhead season can start in fall 2011 but is primarily winter and spring 2012. Spring Chinook season is spring 2012.



National Marine Fisheries Service. 2012a. Final Recovery Plan for Central California Coast coho salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Region, Santa Rosa, California.

Spence, B. C., Bjorkstedt, E. P. , Garza, J. C. , Smith, J. J. , Hankin, D. G., Fuller, D. G. , Jones, W. E., Macedo, R., Williams, T. H., and E. Mora. 2008. A Framework for Assessing the Viability of Threatened and Endangered Salmon and Steelhead in the North-Central California Coast Recovery Domain. National Marine Fisheries Service. Southwest Fisheries Science Center. April 2008. 

Spence, B.C., Bjorkstedt, E.P., Paddock, S. and L. Nanus. 2012. Updates to Biological Viability Criteria for Threatened Steelhead Populations in the North-Central California Coast Recovery Domain. National Marine Fisheries Service. Southwest Fisheries Science Center. March 23, 2012.


fish images © Joe Tomelleri