Returns of endangered winter-run Chinook salmon this year will be the second lowest this century—according to the Bay Institute’s Jonathan Rosenfield, the final 2017 estimate is likely to be less than 1,000 fish total, of which more than 80% were hatchery-spawned. Returning fish represent the survivors of the 2014 incubation period, when the US Bureau of Reclamation did not provide adequate cold water, and poor juvenile outmigration conditions during winter-spring 2015 resulting from reduced Delta inflow and outflow standards. Despite all this, salmon continue to return to Northern California’s rivers; fall is the best time to witness this migration as water levels are at their lowest and the salmon are easiest to see. The Bay Institute, together with The Nature Conservancy and SalmonAID, has created an interactive map showing where to see fish in the wild as they prepare to spawn. A free hard copy of the map that also describes the life cycle and threats to salmon also is available from The Bay Institute (include name and postal address). CHT

The number of Chinook salmon returning to Central Valley rivers is near record lows as a result of water management decisions made during the recent drought.

Returns of endangered winter-run Chinook salmon this year will be the second lowest this century—according to the Bay Institute’s Jonathan Rosenfield, the final 2017 estimate is likely to be less than 1,000 fish total, of which more than 80% were hatchery-spawned. Returning fish represent the survivors of the 2014 incubation period, when the US Bureau of Reclamation did not provide adequate cold water, and poor juvenile outmigration conditions during winter-spring 2015 resulting from reduced Delta inflow and outflow standards. Despite all this, salmon continue to return to Northern California’s rivers; fall is the best time to witness this migration as water levels are at their lowest and the salmon are easiest to see. The Bay Institute, together with The Nature Conservancy and SalmonAID, has created an interactive map showing where to see fish in the wild as they prepare to spawn. A free hard copy of the map that also describes the life cycle and threats to salmon also is available from The Bay Institute (include name and postal address). CHT

About the author

Cariad Hayes Thronson covers legal and political issues for Estuary News. She has served on the staffs of several national publications, including The American Lawyer. She is a long-time contributor to Estuary News, and some years ago served as its assistant editor. She lives in San Mateo with her husband and two children.

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