[env-trinity] Marin IJ 3 28 10

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Mon Mar 29 11:02:18 PDT 2010


This is an interesting article that speaks to the value of improving
watersheds and creeks (tributaries in the case of the Trinity) in improving
Coho populations.  Steelhead and Coho both spawn principally in tributaries
or small creeks (rivers), so this also speaks to increasing Steelhead
populations.

 

State spends $730,000 to help coho salmon

Marin Independent Journal-3/28/10

By Mark Prado

 

Marin organizations will receive nearly $730,000 from the state Department
of Fish and Game to help ailing salmon on the brink of extinction.

 

A series of grants announced by the state agency last week comes at a time
endangered central California coho salmon in West Marin and in other coastal
counties are fighting for survival.

 

"People in Marin had some projects that were good enough to be funded," said
Patty Forbes, a state fisheries restoration grants program manager.

 

The Forest Knolls-based Salmon Protection and Watershed Network was awarded
two grants to help protect and restore coho habitat in the San Geronimo
Valley.

 

The largest grant for $282,934 is to help landowners make improvements to
dirt roads not maintained by the county to reduce sediment that runs off
into creeks.

 

"We are delighted to receive this grant to help local landowners fix their
dirt roads and help protect coho salmon simultaneously," said Todd Steiner,
biologist and director of SPAWN.

 

The second grant of $48,492 is to put woody debris structures in San
Geronimo Creek that will restore refuge habitat for both winter and summer
juvenile coho and steelhead trout.

 

"This woody debris grant addresses a key limiting factor for coho salmon in
San Geronimo Creek, where we have lost so much flood plain habitat to
development," said Paola Bouley, biologist and conservation director of
SPAWN. "For years, woody debris has been removed from the creek as a regular
practice with agencies and 

 

landowners not realizing its critical importance to salmon survival. This
project in partnership with landowners in the valley will start the process
of repairing past damage and restoring a balance for salmon survival."

The state gave other grants to Marin groups to help protect coho salmon.

 

The Marin County Open Space District received $147,452 to reduce sediment in
Spring and Montezuma creeks by implementing 22 road-to-trail conversions and
erosion-control measures within the Giacomini Open Space Preserve.

 

The Marin Municipal Water District received $129,882 to conduct an
assessment of how to increase winter habitat for coho and steelhead in
Lagunitas and lower Olema creeks.

 

Trout Unlimited's North Bay chapter received $71,667 to develop fish passage
designs for the Dixon Weir on San Geronimo Creek.

 

And the Marin County Department of Public Works received $49,400 to develop
fish passage designs and plans for two barriers impeding juvenile and adult
coho at Larsen and San Geronimo creeks.

 

Marin's coho population is in dire straits. For the third straight year the
number of coho egg nests - which spawn the next generation of fish - was
down significantly.

 

The Lagunitas Creek watershed has one of the largest remaining populations
of wild coho salmon in Northern California, but the fish nearly vanished
last year. While this winter's migration from the ocean was slightly larger
than last year's run, it was still well below average.

 

Coho salmon were once abundant in the tributaries along the central
California coast, from Aptos Creek near Santa Cruz in the south to Punta
Gorda above Fort Bragg in the north. Historical records estimate populations
were as high as 125,000 as late as the 1940s.

 

But as human population and development increased along the desirable
coastal areas, coho numbers plummeted to fewer than 6,000. The federal
government listed the species as threatened in October 1996 and in June 2005
it was re-listed as endangered.

 

Earlier this month the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's
Fisheries Service published a plan in the Federal Register that will serve
as a road map for restoring coho to coastal rivers and streams along the
state's coast.

 

The ambitious plan aims to restore coho over 50 years and would cost $3
billion to $5 billion.

 

 

Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land/fax (call first to fax)

415 519 4810 mobile

 <mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net> bwl3 at comcast.net

 <mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org
(secondary)

 <http://fotr.org/> http://www.fotr.org 

 

 

 

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