We have some big news to share, courtesy of our partners at the San Mateo County Resource Conservation District: biologists recently spotted three spawning Coho salmon in Pescadero Creek!

To understand why we’re so excited, you have to first understand the Coho lifecycle. Coho salmon live in the Pacific Ocean for the majority of their lives, but swim inland to freshwater streams to spawn. California’s coastal streams once teemed with Coho salmon. The state boasted an estimated 500,000 Coho in the 1940s, but factors like overfishing and loss of habitat have reduced their population to only 5,000 today. Coho are an endangered species here on the central coast of California, so they are extra-rare in the area that POST works to protect. Plus, Coho salmon only spawn once, so this sighting was, quite literally, the event of a lifetime. It’s also exciting to see Coho returning to Pescadero Creek, which borders or crosses four POST-protected properties. The Creek was historically home to thousands of Coho and remains a critical habitat for the fish.

POST protects the land that surrounds the waterways where these fish live, but we are also preserving the quality of the streams themselves. Along with an array of private and public partners, we’re working to improve fish habitat and passage in Pescadero Creek and other waterways that pass through POST-protected land. On the San Mateo Coast, we’re increasing irrigation efficiency on farms in order to keep stream levels constant. In nearby Santa Cruz County on POST-protected San Vicente Redwoods, we implemented a variety of measures to ensure fish can safely navigate the trip upstream to spawn in San Vicente Creek.

We’re thrilled to see that projects like these are generating results even in the midst of our current drought. Most importantly, we are grateful that these iconic fish are returning, slowly but surely, to their ancestral habitat. To learn more about Coho salmon in our area, click here.

(c) Stacy Geiken 2015
Give Us Feedback on Our 2015 Lectures
(c) Dan DiVittorio 2005
Celebrate National Trails Day
(c) Ann Duwe 2012
Bike the Coast with POST
(c) William K. Matthias 2011
Notes from the Field: May

Upcoming Events

6-04  Pescadero Farmers Market Opening Day
6-06  National Trails Day
6-24  Hike at Purisima Creek Redwoods OSP (MROSD)
6-27  NextGen Community – Bike the Coast in Pescadero
6-27  Coyote Valley Preserve Grand Opening (SCCOSA)
7-11  Visit our booth at the Los Altos Art & Wine Festival
7-25  Walk with a Doc Hike at Windy Hill OSP (MROSD)
                    ♥ = Donor Only Event

 

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© POST 2015, All rights reserved
Peninsula Open Space Trust
222 High Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301
www.openspacetrust.org
(650) 854-7696

Photos: Coho Salmon, Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM); Daphne Miller © Stacy Geiken 2015;

Rancho Corral de Tierra © Dan DiVittorio 2005; Cyclist © Ann Duwe 2012; Pond © William K. Matthias 2011.

 

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