Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: California
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

California Project

Tracking Coho Salmon using eDNA

March 2018 - December 2019


Participating Agencies

  • Save the Redwoods League

Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) populations in northern California are valuable ecologically and culturally and they comprise a fundamental component of redwood forest ecosystems. Coho Salmon populations within northern California have been listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act (NMFS, 2011). Recovery of these populations requires effective management actions that are dependent on the collection of reliable and timely survey information on Coho Salmon abundance and distribution. Further, the success of restoration efforts is contingent upon the ability to effectively measure the response of salmon populations post-restoration. In this project, we will examine the potential of using a new monitoring method to assess salmon populations, which could be used to improve population management and assess the effectiveness of restoration efforts. Our goal is to use the availability of existing fish monitoring infrastructure in Prairie Creek to compare daily measurements of abundance and biomass of out-migrating Coho Salmon with eDNA concentrations taken from water samples at the trap site.