20th Annual Coho Confab in the Mattole

August, 2017


Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF) is coordinating the 20th Annual Coho Confab that will take place August 24-26 in the beautiful Mattole River valley in Humboldt County. The Coho Confab is a field symposium to learn about watershed restoration and techniques to restore and recover coho salmon populations. The Confab provides an ideal opportunity to network with other fish-centric people and to participate in field tours that highlight innovative salmon restoration practices. This year, SRF is collaborating with several groups to produce this educational event including Sanctuary Forest, Mattole Restoration Council, and Mattole Salmon Group. This event is generously funded by California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program.

The Coho Confab will open Thursday evening, August 24, with a community dinner and inspiring keynote presentations from Carlos Garza of NOAA Fisheries who will address prospects for recovery and restoration of coho salmon in California. Sungnome Madrone, Executive Director of the Mattole Salmon Group, will present on landowner stewardship incentives. Tasha McKee, Program Director of Sanctuary Forest, and Elijah Portugal of Redwood Community Action Agency will give a presentation on what we can learn from beaver structures and apply towards salmon restoration planning.

Friday will start off with concurrent morning tours including a Mattole estuary tour featuring heliwood placement, terrace margin treatments, off-channel slough restoration, and riparian planting and bioengineering techniques. There will also be a Prosper ridge prairie tour to showcase grassland reclamation and fuels reduction in King Range coastal prairie systems. After the morning tours, we will all corral up at the historic Mattole Grange for afternoon concurrent workshops including Coho Recovery Planning from state, ESU (Evolutionary Significant Unit), and watershed level with coho recovery coordinator from the Southern Oregon Northern California Coast ESU, Julie Weeder, Geneticist Carlos Garza, and Sungnome Madrone. Since the Coho Recovery team is no longer meeting in person, this is a great opportunity to convene and brainstorm about recovery strategies that are effective, cost-efficient and applicable in the Mattole and other Northern California coastal regions.

Additionally, there will be a workshop focused on stewardship tools for landowners including road improvements, water conservation planning, resources, and rehabilitation. This workshop will feature several resource professionals including Matt Clifford, JD, of Trout Unlimited who can address water conservation planning, Tom Leroy of Pacific Watershed Associates to address Best Management Practices, and Cassie Pinnel, Executive Director of the Mattole Restoration Council. This is a great opportunity for landowners to participate in a constructive dialogue about stewardship opportunities. 

On Friday night in Confab tradition, we will share a farm to table feast, have a lively campfire, and an impromptu talent show or cabaret in the Mattole tradition!

The last day of the Confab will include two concurrent field tours including Beaver Dam Analogues  and Groundwater Recharge Planning in the Mattole Headwaters with Tasha McKee, Water Project Director,  and Elijah Portugal of RCAA’s Natural Resources Division, and a Lower Salt River Restoration tour in the Eel River estuary that will be co-led by fisheries biologist Ross Taylor, and Allen Renger of California Department of Fish
and Wildlife.

Registration fees cover field tours, workshops, meals, and camping. 

To register for the Confab or to view
the full agenda please visit our website: 




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