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Drought Pushing Central Coast Coho Salmon To Extinction

NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center
 

NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center

The Central Coast coho salmon are on both the state and federal endangered species list. The few wild populations that remain are struggling to swim upstream this time of year to spawn.

 “We’re hyper-concerned about it,” says Stafford Lehr with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

He says water levels are so low that sandbars are preventing the fish from getting into rivers and streams.

“And those that have gotten into the streams, they’re habitat is shrinking as we speak," he says. "We’ve got a lot of people out on the ground monitoring the situation, and if we’ve got to rescue the fish, we’ll rescue them.”

Lehr says the state has some coho salmon in captivity that will be used to repopulate the waters, if necessary. 
 

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