Oregon Coast Coho Salmon
The Oregon Coast coho salmon is a threatened species. NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region, along with the Science Centers, work to protect and conserve this species under the Endangered Species Act.
Out of 28 salmonids listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on the west coast, threatened Oregon Coast coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) is one of the closest to recovery. Since NOAA Fisheries listed the species in 1998, thanks to the hard work of many parties, several key threats have been abated (i.e., hatcheries and harvest) and more native coho salmon return to the Oregon Coast than at the time of listing—though annual returns fluctuate greatly with variable ocean conditions. Our 2016 ESA Recovery Plan for Oregon Coast coho salmon anticipates that a focused, effective recovery implementation strategy could serve as the final catalyst for recovering and delisting the species.
ESU Description: This evolutionarily significant unit, or ESU, includes naturally spawned coho salmon originating from coastal rivers south of the Columbia River and north of Cape Blanco. This ESU also includes coho salmon from the Cow Creek Hatchery Program.
Current Population Trends:
- ESA Status Reviews and Five-Year Updates for Oregon Coast Coho Salmon
- Biological Status Analyses (to support the ESA Status Reviews and 5-Year Updates)
Critical Habitat: Designated February 11, 2008
Protective Regulations: Issued February 11, 2008 (73 FR 7815)
Recovery Plan: Recovery Plan for Oregon Coast Coho Salmon
NOAA Fisheries delineated eight recovery domains, or geographic recovery planning areas, for the ESA-listed salmon and steelhead populations on the West Coast. The Oregon Coast Recovery Domain includes rivers and lakes along the coast from Necanicum River to the Sixes River. The area covers cities along the coast and inland, including Tillamook, Lincoln City, Newport, Florence, Coos Bay and Roseburg (see map of recovery domains). This sub-domain is home to one ESA-listed salmon species: Oregon Coast coho salmon.
NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region manages recovery planning and implementation for this sub-domain through its Oregon and Washington Coastal Area Office.
In 2007, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), in partnership with state and federal natural resource agencies, published the Oregon Coast Coho Conservation Plan. Since that plan's publication in 2007, watershed councils, government agencies, and others have implemented a number of habitat restoration projects to improve habitat conditions for Oregon Coast coho salmon.
In October 2015, NOAA Fisheries published a Proposed Recovery Plan for Oregon Coast coho salmon for public comment, drawing on the state's conservation plan and other efforts along the coast. In 2016, NOAA Fisheries finalized the Oregon Coast Coho Salmon Recovery Plan.
Recovery Implementation Strategy: The Oregon Coast Coho Salmon Recovery Implementation Strategy (RIS) supplements the Oregon Coast Coho Salmon Recovery Plan (Plan). As of December 2016, when the Plan was finalized, the RIS contains an excerpt from the Plan for each of the five strata (shown below), but does not include population-level documents. We will add strategic action plans and other detailed information at the population level, developed in collaboration with ODFW and other agencies and local stakeholders, as they become available.
- North Coast Stratum
- Mid-Coast Stratum
- Lake Stratum
- Umpqua Stratum
- Mid-South Coast Stratum
- Oregon's Coastal Coho Conservation Plan
Partnerships for Recovery
Salmon recovery requires action at all levels of government and by all stakeholders to be effective. Partnerships among federal, state, local, and tribal entities, together with non-governmental and private organizations, are key to restoring healthy salmon runs and ensuring the cultural, economic, and environmental benefits they provide. Implementing recovery actions is especially critical at the local level. NOAA Fisheries supports this by providing scientific and policy support, providing funding as available, and working with our partners to improve regulatory mechanisms for salmon recovery.
Key partners working to restore Oregon Coast coho include, but are not limited to those identified below.
Federal & State Partners
- Bureau of Land Management
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- U.S. Forest Service
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
- Oregon Department of Agriculture
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Oregon Department of Forestry
- Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
- Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
- Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
- Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians
- Coquille Indian Tribe
- Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians
Local & Private Partners
- Coho Salmon Status Reviews and Five-Year Updates
- Coho Salmon Federal Register Notices
- Salmon and Steelhead Federal Register Rules and Notices prior to August 2019
- Coho Salmon Maps & GIS Data
- Salmon Publications
- Salmon and Steelhead Hatcheries on the West Coast
- Learn about what you can do to help endangered and threatened salmon recover
- Related Stories
If you have questions, would like to learn more about recovery efforts in your watershed, or would like to get involved directly, please contact:
West Coast Region - Oregon and Washington Coastal Office