MARIN COUNTY (KCBS) — Environmentalists in Marin County say a centuries-old species of Coho salmon is facing outright extinction due to the current drought.
These Coho salmon are unique to two watersheds in Marin—the Redwood and Lagunitas creeks. Fishery biologists have worked for years to restore those waterways by clearing and widening streams and creeks but the drought has dried up many of them.
Coho salmon were already in trouble. At one time there were hundreds of thousands of them. But now they have dwindled to just few hundred.
Once Plentiful Coho Salmon In Marin County Face Extinction Due To Drought
In the case of the Redwood Creek watershed, baby fish can't get to sea to become adults. Adults, meanwhile, can't get to spawning grounds to lay their eggs.
"There are no other options," Todd Steiner, founder of the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN), told KCBS.
He said the National Park Service determined that the situation was so dire that drastic action was needed.
"It was such an emergency, they had to move some of those fish into a hatchery and let them mature there. Then they'll release those adults back to the stream and hope that they'll progeny will survive," Steiner said.
The hope is that enough rain will fall over the next couple of years to allow those juvenile fish to thrive in the wild again.
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