Russian River Salmon and Steelhead Monitoring Program Awarded $1.8-million Grant to Continue Work


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    For Immediate Release - March 4, 2015                                                        


    Ann DuBay

    Brad Sherwood
    707.547.1927 (office)   
    707.322.8192 (cell)

    Santa Rosa, CA – The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) has been awarded a $1.8-million grant to continue a fish monitoring program aimed at aiding in the recovery of endangered or threatened salmon and steelhead in the Russian River watershed. The Water Agency’s program is part of the California Coastal Monitoring Program (CMP) that monitors salmon and steelhead in coastal California rivers. The Water Agency has participated in the program since 2013.

    The Russian River and its major tributaries are home to three species of fish that are endangered or threatened: coho salmon, steelhead, and Chinook salmon. Monitoring carried out under the CMP uses similar survey methods in coastal watersheds, allowing researchers to compare the status and trends of fish populations within and among river systems. Announcement of the grant award allows the Water Agency to continue its monitoring program in the Russian River watershed for the next four years.

    “This grant will allow the Water Agency to continue to be part of a larger effort to monitor threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead up and down the coast of California,” said Efren Carrillo, Fifth District Supervisor and a member of the Water Agency Board of Directors. “By using standardized sampling methods in all of the coastal watersheds, we will accurately measure and compare trends statewide and get an accurate measurement of the progress we are making.”

    Results of the CMP will provide a more complete understanding of the fish populations and serve as a measuring stick of how much progress is being made toward recovery of the endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead populations. Life stages being monitored include juvenile fish rearing in streams until they leave as smolts; smolts as they make their way to the ocean; and adults returning from the ocean. 

    Water Agency staff work in collaboration with the University of California Cooperative Extension on the monitoring program. State officials have been pleased with the results of the first two years of monitoring and the new grant underscores the success of the program to date.

    “The awarding of this grant is a vote of confidence from the state and federal agencies in the efforts of the Sonoma County Water Agency and their other agency partners toward recovery of these threatened and endangered species,” said James Gore, Fourth District Supervisor and a member of the Water Agency Board of Directors. “The Water Agency has the expertise and the monitoring infrastructure in place to make a significant contribution to this program. County residents can take pride in the work they continue to do on our behalf.”

    The grant was awarded through the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program, which is operated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and uses a variety state and federal funding sources, such as the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund. For more information, visit:

    For additional information about Coastal Monitoring Program, visit:


    The Sonoma County Water Agency is working to secure our future by investing in our water resources, community and environment.  The Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at


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