Steady Rain and the Coho Salmon

This year’s heavy rainfall has been good for more than the county’s reservoirs. For the first time in almost a decade, coho salmon’s numbers are climbing. In the watershed, 269 nests have been spotted so far, beating out last year’s mere 131. This almost 200 percent increase can be attributed to rain that stimulates salmon’s 33-mile migration inland. “Plentiful rains have allowed coho to spawn throughout the system, and in fact two-thirds of the spawning this season has occurred in tributary streams,” says Eric Ettlinger, an aquatic ecologist at the Marin Municipal Water District. “Folks in the San Geronimo Valley haven’t seen this many salmon since the run of 2006.” The prospect of the endangered species comeback is exciting to local salmon enthusiasts; however, it will take years, with double the already high numbers seen now, for the fish to make a full recovery.

Marin Magazine Coho Salmon

This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition under the headline: “Coho Comeback“.