Monday June 20, 2022

SF Gate

An endangered species of salmon, once considered to be on the brink of extinction in the Bay Area, is showing a promising return.

Researchers at the Marin Municipal Water District said that significant rainfall totals late last year mitigated drought conditions and may have aided in bolstering the coho salmon population at Lagunitas Creek, a 24-mile stream in Marin County where the fish spawn every winter. 

Eric Ettlinger, an ecologist for the agency, told the Marin Independent Journal that the creek saw one of the largest salmon runs in a decade and that fish surveyors discovered 330 coho egg nests — the second-highest count recorded in that span of time. Three hundred and seventy nests were counted during the winter months of late 2018 and early 2019.

“For the public, it was an amazing year because [salmon] were all over the watershed,” Ettlinger told the outlet. “People were seeing them in popular spots like Devil’s Gulch and Leo T. Cronin Fish Viewing Area and spawning over an extended period of time. They said they had not seen so many salmon in years and that this year was the best viewing they had ever seen.” 

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