Monitoring Salmon and Steelhead in the Russian River

SGEP Advisor Paul Olin and staff operate an ongoing monitoring program in the Russian River basin to document in-stream survival of juvenile coho, outmigration of smolts, and returns of adult fish. Efforts are primarily focused on  the Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Program. Rearing and stocking of Broodstock Program fish is conducted by program partners at the Warms Springs Hatchery and Sea Grant biologists conduct seasonal monitoring activities, following the coho salmon life stages:

Innovative PIT tag technology allows biologists to collect data on fish numbers, movement, and distribution at all life stages. This technology has been an invaluable tool for monitoring coho in the Russian River basin.

Additional projects

Dr. Olin and his staff are working collaboratively on additional projects and specialized research related to the status and biology of Russian River salmonids. See the following pages for more information:

The Broodstock Program monitoring effort is funded by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Additional studies are funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and California Department of Fish and Wildlife, with contributions from and the Sonoma County Water Agency. All of our work is made possible through the gracious support of hundreds of private landowners throughout the Russian River watershed.

Featured articles & media

Press Democrat, August 2015: Landowners along four Russian River streams to receive state order on water use
Press Democrat, June 2015: State regulators approve water restrictions to aid Sonoma County salmon streams
Press Democrat, April 2015: State seeks voluntary cut in stream diversions from Sonoma County landowners
Press Democrat, April 2015: A plea to North Coast to help coho salmon
ABC News, April 2015: Drought brings double dose of damage to coho salmon
Press Democrat, April 2015: Shrinking Sonoma County streams put young coho salmon in peril
Video, November 2014: Saving the Central Coast California Coho Salmon
National Fish Habitat Partnership video, August 2014: Grape Creek Collaborative Restoration


  • Mariska Obedzinski
    University of California, San Diego, University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography