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Planting Coho in Porter Creek

19-Dec-2014

On November 20, 2014, the Russian River Wild Steelhead Society (RRWSS) participated in planting Coho smolt and seeding analog pellets with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The project took place on Porter Creek, a tributary located on the Russian River just above Wohler Bridge. The goal of this project was to plant 8,000 coho smolt and place 150 pounds of salmon analog pellets into the creek to provide nutrients for these new residents.

Up to the early 1900s, Coho were numerous in the Russian River and its tributaries (e.g. Porter Creek). Today these native salmon face innumerable challenges that threaten their survival. One of these challenges is the loss of nutrients once provided by decaying salmon carcasses left in the river after spawning. In an attempt to replenish these Marine Derived Nutrients (MDNs), RRWSS volunteers distributed salmon analog pellets to reintroduce this food source in Porter Creek.

RRWSS volunteers

Although Porter Creek has suitable habitat for salmon and steelhead, the drought had taken its toll and the upper portion of the creek was running dry. Fortunately, rains before and during the scheduled work day caused Porter Creek to resume flow throughout its reach. The restored flow bodes well for the newly planted Coho smolt (raised by the Coho Recovery Program located at Warm Springs Dam). This innovative program provides anglers, biologists, grassroots organizations, and residents an opportunity to aid in the recovery of a viable Coho population, Coho that carry genetics unique to the Russian River and Lagunitas Watersheds.

Porter Creek