In an effort to reestablish coho salmon within the Russian River basin, the
Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Program
was initiated through a collaborative partnership with the Sonoma County Water Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NMFS, CDFG, and others. In 2001, the first wild coho salmon juveniles were collected and reared at Warm Springs Hatchery (NMFS 2010). To improve genetic diversity and the distribution and abundance of coho salmon, captive-reared fish were released into streams within their historic range starting in 2004 (Conrad et al. 2005). Since that time, coho salmon have been released into Russian River tributaries in the fall and spring at select locations.
In 2008, Salmon Creek was selected as an additional release site for captive-reared coho salmon. In December 2008, adults and advanced fingerlings were released into the watershed, and adults were released into the watershed again in December 2009 and each year thereafter. Releases included captive-reared fish from the Russian River Watershed and Olema Creek, a tributary to Lagunitas Creek in Marin County. The fish were selected from these two strains in an attempt to recreate the likely genetic composition of the historic Salmon Creek fishery.