Shasta Safe Harbor

Shasta Safe Harbor

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Project Goal:

Recover salmonid populations in the Shasta River, a key mid-Klamath River tributary and nursery, by restoring spawning and rearing habitat, in-stream flows, water quality, and other ecological processes and function. Achieve measurable objectives outlined in the Final Southern Oregon Northern California Coho (SONCC) Recovery Plan population targets of 4,700 spawners in the Shasta River.

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Project Stages

Relationship Building



Estimated Completion Date:

Project Funders





Bella Vista



Fish Affected:


Project Description

The Shasta and Scott rivers historically acted as nurseries supporting the entire Klamath River salmon population and generating the large majority of returning adults. A key strategy in this recovery is working with public and private landowners to secure flows during peak spawning periods in exchange for regulatory assurances.

In 2021, after more than eight years of negotiation and conflict resolution, NOAA Fisheries executed the Shasta River Safe Harbor Agreement securing voluntary participation from ten different private agricultural operators spanning more than 30,000 contiguous acres in the Shasta River watershed. CalTrout played a major role in bringing private landowners to the table to work with state and federal agencies on voluntary actions that will help restore habitat conditions for Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast coho salmon listed under the Endangered Species Act. The final agreement outlines more than 100 restoration actions to improve water quality and habitat conditions over 37 river miles in the next 20 years. The actions include removing fish passage barriers and improving irrigation systems so that cold water can remain in the stream.

These actions will advance recovery of coho salmon. CalTrout's key role in the context of Klamath Dam removal is to restore the most important salmon spawning and rearing tributaries in the Mid-Klamath.

With NFWF, we applied for and were awarded funding for a proposal to NRCS’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program to help kickstart the implementation of SHA water conservation projects. This is a 5-yr 8-million-dollar funding request that has a total combined potential to provide an estimated 12,059 acre-feet of water annually for instream benefit in the most important coho region of the Shasta.

Project Partners:

Siskiyou Farm Bureau

Siskiyou County

Cooperating Safe Harbor landowners (Shasta Water Conservation Group)


The Nature Conservancy

Scott River Water Trust

CA Department of Fish & Wildlife

US Fish and Wildlife Services


Shasta Valley/Siskiyou RCD

Coho Recovery Group

UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Watercourse Engineering Inc.