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

California Project

Prairie Creek Juvenile Salmonid (Smolt) Abundance Project

June 2013 - March 2017


Participating Agencies

  • California Department of Fish & Wildlife

The Prairie Creek sub-basin of Redwood Creek drains an old growth redwood forest and supports self-sustaining populations of coho salmon, Chinook salmon, steelhead trout and cutthroat throat. These salmonids, with the exception to cutthroat trout, are listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Prairie Creek is a stronghold for coho salmon production within the Redwood Creek basin, and produces more coho salmon than Redwood Creek and other tributaries to Redwood Creek combined. Salmon and steelhead trout within the Prairie Creek sub-basin are recognized as being important for recovery of coho salmon, Chinook salmon and steelhead trout within Redwood Creek. Recently Redwood Creek has been identified as a core stream for coho salmon by NMFS Draft Recovery Plan for SO/NCC coho salmon and implicit in this designation is that Prairie Creek is the core for production of coho salmon within the Redwood Creek basin. The project's objectives will be to 1. determine smolt population abundances for coho salmon, Chinook salmon, steelhead trout and cutthroat trout in Prairie Creek, 2. determine over-winter survival of juvenile coho salmon in Prairie Creek, and 3. incorporate data into Redwood Creek life cycle monitoring project.