New project gives ‘snapshot’ of CA’s wild salmon populations

Bay Nature

California’s salmon serve as an indicator of the health of watershed and coastal ecosystems. But since peaking in the early 20th century, wild populations have been in decline with seven out of 10 of California’s coastal salmon and steelhead species now federally threatened or endangered.

One of the first steps in fish recovery is simply figuring out how many are left and where they are — which is the goal of a new project by the The Nature Conservancy.

“Salmon Snapshots” compiles data provided by state and private agencies to centralize salmon information and offer a summary of population numbers and restoration efforts across the state.

“The snapshots demonstrate how important steelhead and salmon are to so many people,” said Kevin Shaffer, environmental program manager at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “These reports provide useful and accessible information that will allow the public to both track the progress of conservation and to appreciate the great diversity of places where these fish and people exist together.”

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