James Creek Fish Barrier Modification

February 8, 2019

Habitat Restoration Project Yields Unprecedented Results for Coho Salmon

In late 2018, Mendocino Land Trust completed a lengthy coho salmon habitat restoration project on James Creek, a tributary in the upper reaches of the Big River watershed that runs along State Hwy 20. Excitement is running high as scientists and conservationists are already reporting the return of spawning coho salmon to the newly accessible habitat upstream from the project site.

Wildlife habitat preservation and restoration is an important component of Mendocino Land Trust’s mission, and coho salmon, in particular, have a special place in the hearts of northern California communities. Having once thrived in our streams and rivers, the coho salmon of California have been on the threatened/endangered species list for two decades. Seeing them benefit from habitat restoration projects like this one gives hope for eventual population recovery.

From the press release:

“Scientists and conservationists are thrilled to report the return of spawning coho salmon to the upper reaches of a tributary of Big River, thanks to a four-year habitat restoration project led by Mendocino Land Trust in partnership with California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Jackson Demonstration State Forest.

Initial post-restoration informal surveying has already shown increased coho salmon spawning activity, demonstrated by several coho salmon nests (known as redds) and coho salmon carcasses upstream from the restoration site. “The transformation is blowing my mind,” CDFW environmental scientist Scott Monday said of the exceptional early results. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Read the full press release here: James Creek Press Release

Mendocino Land Trust’s Conservation Project Manager, Nicolet Houtz examines and documents coho carcasses.