North Coast Salmon Project

Project Motivation

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife launched the North Coast Salmon Project (NCSP) in 2018 as part of an effort to expedite and enhance recovery of endangered Coho Salmon in California. The NCSP is focused on developing strategies to be applied in four specific watersheds; these approaches will then be extended across the entire North Coast. The four initial watersheds are:

  • Lagunitas Creek
  • Russian River tributaries: Dutch Bill, Green Valley, Mill, and Willow creeks
  • Mendocino Coast streams: Noyo, Garcia, Ten Mile, and Navarro rivers, and Pudding Creek
  • South Fork and Lower Eel River

The Project is guided by an Advisory Team consisting of representatives from conservation groups and resource management agencies who work in the North Coast region. In addition, the Department has and will continue to seek input from local stakeholders in each of the four initial watersheds identified above.


The overall goals of the NCSP are to identify and implement actions that will enhance Coho Salmon recovery. The Project will assess the effectiveness of past actions by various Department programs, including the funding of restoration projects, the collection of population monitoring data, and the effect of permitting laws. The Department will also work with the Advisory Team and local stakeholders to develop ways to improve and integrate these programs to accelerate Coho Salmon recovery and expand fishing opportunities. The Department and Advisory Team have identified several specific objectives:

Adult coho salmon swimming with its back positioned towards the camera

Adult Coho Salmon in Walker Creek (CDFW photo by Manfred Kittel)

A large woody debris (LWD) restoration structure with multiple large logs in a section of river

Engineered cross-channel racking jam, part of restoration in South Fork Ten Mile River (CDFW photo by Chester Lindley)

Prepared by: Chester Lindley

Last update : 10/8/2021 1:53:11 PM

Map of California's North Coast with the initial watersheds highlighted in orange- link opens enlarged version in new window.
(CDFW map created by: Chester Lindley)

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