Walker Creek Coho Salmon Research and Monitoring

Walker Creek Coho Salmon Research and Monitoring

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Project Goal:

Assess streamflows, water temperatures, habitat usage, and migration of adult and juvenile tagged coho salmon in Walker Creek to identify factors potentially limiting their recovery. We will use this data to inform ongoing management and future restoration demonstration in the watershed.

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Project Stages


Conceptual Design

Relationship Building

Estimated Completion Date:


Project Funders

Adobe Foundation

Mary A Crocker Trust

Private funds

Fish Affected:

Project Description

The Tomales Bay watershed is a stronghold for endangered Central California Coast coho salmon and is fed primarily by Lagunitas Creek and Walker Creek. Coho salmon in Walker Creek were considered extirpated several decades ago. Hatchery fish are now released by California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the US Army Corps of Engineers every year, yet it is unclear if the habitat conditions can sustain coho without this annual stocking. Understanding this question is key to ensuring coho salmon thrive again in Tomales Bay.

By partnering with key stakeholders, we continue to collect data to answer the questions. We are working with UC Davis to conduct a detailed water temperature and nutrient study in Walker Creek in partnership with Marin Water and Walker Creek Ranch Outdoor School. In addition, we are working with CA Sea Grant, CDFW, US Army Corps of Engineers, private landowners, and Walker Creek Ranch Outdoor School to understand spawning migration timing, location, and movement of juvenile and adult salmon and steelhead into and out of Walker Creek. This baseline of information will help inform future management and restoration approaches in the watershed.

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