Salmon Update Feb 2009

Michael Reichmuth, fishery biologist for the National Park Service, had this sobering update about salmon spawning in the Point Reyes and West Marin area:

After performing surveys on Olema, Redwood, and Cheda Creeks last week both field staff and volunteers were disappointed by the lack of new spawning activity. No coho were observed in both Redwood and Cheda Creeks. One live coho and one coho redd was observed on Olema Creek. Steelhead and steelhead redds were observed on both Olema and Redwood Creeks.

This is the typical time of year for steelhead spawning so I was not surprised to find both steelhead redds and live adults. We are now past the typical window for coho spawning and I don’t expect to find any new coho spawning activity even after this last set of storms.Other regional monitoring programs have observed similar results for this year.

The total coho count for the season is very low with only 2 coho redds, 1 live coho, and 2 coho carcasses observed on Redwood creek and 2 live coho with only one coho redd on Olema Creek. For Olema Creek this is the lowest coho count on record.

We will conduct snorkel surveys this summer that will confirm if any coho spawning was successful from this winter.