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Species in the Spotlight: Sacramento Winter-Run Chinook Salmon

November 19, 2020

The Sacramento River system is home to the only winter-run Chinook salmon in the world. This unique population is cut off from its historical spawning and rearing habitat, and faces many other threats, but efforts are underway to help it recover.

Sacramento Winter-Run Chinook Salmon

Salmon are a critical part of coastal economies and coastal communities, and the Central Valley is the engine of salmon production on the California coast.

The endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon are particularly important among California’s salmon runs because they exhibit a life-history strategy found nowhere else on the West Coast. These Chinook salmon are unique in that they spawn during the summer months when air temperatures usually approach their warmest.

Watch this video to learn how NOAA and partners are working to reintroduce them in the Central Valley and address other threats to their survival in order to give this species a fighting chance.