Species in the Spotlight: Priority Actions 2021-2025, Central California Coast Coho Salmon
The Species in the Spotlight initiative is a concerted agency-wide effort to spotlight and save marine species most at-risk of extinction. This plan focuses on priority actions needed in 2021-2025 for Central California Coast coho salmon.
In 2015, NOAA Fisheries launched the Species in the Spotlight initiative to provide immediate, targeted efforts to halt declines and stabilize populations of the species most at-risk of extinction in the near future. The priority action plans are part of a strategy to focus resources within and outside of NOAA, guide agency actions where we have discretion to make investments, increase public awareness and support for these species, and expand partnerships. The 2021-2025 Priority Action Plans outline actions that are needed in the next 5 years to address the most urgent threats to the species.
Central California Coast (CCC) coho salmon were first listed as a threatened species in 1996 and subsequently reclassified as endangered in 2005. At the southern extent of the species’ range, this unique run of coho salmon has teetered on the brink of extinction. Populations reached extremely low levels during the height of California’s recent extended drought (2011–2016), though some have rebounded in the past several years. Nevertheless, all populations remain depressed and well below recovery targets, particularly those in the most southern portion of the ESU, which are highly vulnerable to extinction and dependent on ongoing conservation hatchery programs (Spence et al., In prep.).