17th Annual Coho Confab: Implementing Recovery Strategies for Coho Salmon

August, 2014









The 17th Annual Coho Confab is a fisheries restoration symposium exploring coho salmon restoration techniques and strategies for the recovery of wild coho salmon populations in North Coast watersheds, that will take place August 22-24 at Rock Creek Ranch on the South Fork of the Smith River.

Salmonid Restoration Federation and Trees Foundation host this exciting educational event at Rock Creek Ranch on the South Fork of the Smith River. The event is also sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Coho Confab will open with a Friday evening community dinner and orientation presentations. Justin Garwood, Aquatic Specialist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, will give a talk titled “The Historic and Current Spatial Structure of Coho Salmon Populations in Northern California.” Will Harling, Executive Director of the Mid-Klamath Watershed Council, will present “Creating Coho Off-Channel Rearing Habitat in the Middle Klamath Sub-basin: Results and Lessons Learned (2010-2014)”, and Grant Werschkull of the Smith River Alliance will present on obstacles and opportunities for recovery in the Smith River watershed.

The weekend will include field tours and workshops focused on pioneering restoration techniques. Saturday morning field tours include “Fish Passage Projects in Smith River Tributaries: Vortex Weir Fishways, Roughened Channels, and Stream Simulation” presented by Mike Love and Associates. Engineer Travis James of GHD, Inc. and foresters with Green Diamond will also tour instream large woody debris projects and fish passage projects in Rowdy Creek and Dominie Creek. Geologist Rocco Fiori and Sarah Beesley from the Yurok Tribal Fisheries Program will lead a full-day tour titled “Reconnecting Stream & Floodplain Habitats in Lower Klamath Tributaries.” Saturday afternoon will include a Juvenile Salmonid Identification workshop in the Lower Smith River with Jesse Nolan and Jolyon Walkley of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Saturday will also feature an open forum on the release of the final Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Coho (SONCC) Recovery Plan and implementation strategies on the Smith River, facilitated by Julie Weeder, SONCC Coho Recovery Coordinator for NOAA Fisheries. This long summer day will culminate with a traditional salmon feast prepared by Yurok restoration tribal members, a lively campfire, a starlit concert with river troubadour Joanne Rand and film shorts with Thomas Dunklin including the Wild and Scenic Smith River video.

Sunday morning field tours include “Strawberry Creek Wetland Restoration: Coho, Beaver, and Invasive Vegetation” with fish passage engineer Mike Love and veteran restorationist Mitch Farro of Pacific Coast Fish, Wildlife and Wetlands Restoration Association; Lathrop Leonard of the National Park Service will lead “Watershed Restoration: Integrating Multi-disciplinary Restoration Priorities at the Landscape Scale” in Mill Creek; and HSU graduate fisheries student Marisa Parish will lead a tour of beaver sites and salmon population monitoring sites on the main stem of the Smith River.

To learn more about the Confab or to register, please visit www.calsalmon.org.