Adult Monitoring


The number of returning adults is an important metric in coho salmon recovery, as these fish are the basis of future wild coho populations. NOAA Fisheries has established a recovery target of 10,100 adult coho salmon returning each winter to the Russian River basin.

Adult coho monitoring

2017/18 adult returns

This was the first winter that the Russian River CMP program surveyed steelhead habitat in the upper Russian River watershed.  Sonoma Water and Sea Grant crews surveyed 48 streams and observed a total of 228 redds (Chinook, steelhead or unknown salmonid species), most of which were steelhead species. 

The estimated total number of adult coho salmon returning to the Russian River Basin was 763. The vast majority of these fish (97%) were 2-year old jacks; more than in most years. 

See our Winter Monitoring Report for full details on adult sampling methods and outcomes. 

2016/17 adult returns

The estimated count of returning coho salmon for the winter of 2016/17 was 533, based on PIT-tag detections. We also observed live coho and/or coho redds in 23 out of 34 tributaries surveyed; more streams than we have ever observed coho spawning in since the Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Program began releasing fish in 2004! See our 2016/17 Winter Monitoring Report for more details.

And there is some exciting news on Mill Creek! As a result of a passage barrier remediation project implemented by Trout Unlimited, Prunuske Chatham Inc., NOAA Fisheries, CDFW, and Sonoma Water in the summer of 2016, adult coho are now able to access 11 miles of prime spawning and rearing habitat above a former flashboard dam. 

Check out these videos of salmon spawning in our local streams: