With a touch of reverence and awe, we can appreciate the struggle of the iconic salmon, returning to spawn and die in their natal streams and bring forth a new generation. While human beings did not set out to bring salmon to the brink of extinction, our actions have unintentionally done just that.
Dam-building, logging, roads and other human development have created severe impacts to salmon habitat. The coho salmon has become an endangered species. Where a single stream was once home to tens of thousands of individuals, now only one or two hundred rugged coho return to spawn.
The Mendocino Land Trust is reversing historic human practices in an effort to restore coho salmon to sustainable numbers. By removing fish barriers such as dams and culverts, we open up miles of prime spawning habitat to adult fish. By removing abandoned legacy logging roads and restoring these areas to natural conditions, we improve the chances that fertilized salmon eggs will produce live fish. By installing large logs with massive roots into streams that lack such complex habitat, we ensure safe, slow water for adult fish to rest on their epic journey, and we create hiding places for young fish to avoid predators.