Juvenile Coho To Be Released In Bay Area Creek(s)

Warms Springs Hatchery juvenile coho photo courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.



Venerable San Francisco Chronicle outdoors writer Tom Stienstra reports that a tributary of the Bay Area’s Russian River  will receive a release of juvenile coho salmon as part of a plan to revive the sporadic population of silvers in Northern California’s coastal rivers.

Here’s Stienstra with some details:

In a special moment Monday, 6,000 juvenile coho salmon are being released in a coastal creek in Sonoma County.

It is part of the release of 140,000 coho salmon this fall in a public-private partnership to restore coho, or silver salmon, in 10 tributaries that feed into the Russian River.

The result of restoration efforts in the Bay Area and beyond has turned salmon watching into a spectator sport.

 With fall rains, the prospects are promising in the coming six weeks to see returning coho salmon at Lagunitas Creek in Marin. Some years, 450 salmon are counted.

The best spots include the Leo T. Cronin Fish Viewing Area near Shafter Bridge and the small waterfalls at the Ink Wells, located along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Other good spots in the Lagunitas Creek watershed include Roy’s Pool in San Geronimo and Devil’s Gulch in Samuel P. Taylor State Park. …

Monday’s fish release is the result of cooperation between farmers, conservationists and the government. The Gallo Winery and MacMurray Estate, both of which are supporting the project and providing access, are working with conservationist volunteers, with oversight by scientists with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The juvenile coho are about 9 inches long, provided by the Warm Springs Hatchery near Lake Sonoma. Once trucked to the site, the fish are netted and placed in water-filled glass jugs in backpacks, and volunteers then transport the fish to creek’s edge for release.