“The lack of rain this winter has contributed to what fisheries biologists say is, so far, the worst return of coho salmon in the recorded history of Marin County’s Lagunitas Creek watershed, one of California’s most critical ecosystems for the endangered fish.

Only a smattering of coho were spotted and only 20 egg nests, or redds, were seen in the two main tributaries – Lagunitas and San Geronimo creeks – during the annual winter survey of fish, watershed biologists said this week.

The paltry showing of redds represents an 89 percent drop in the number of returning offspring of parents that gave birth in the lush western Marin watershed three years ago. Last year at this time, 148 redds had been counted, then the lowest number in the 14 years that records have been kept…

…the primary cause is the unusually dry weather in Northern California, which has prevented salmon from swimming up the creeks. The rains in December were barely enough to breach sandbars on most beaches, forcing salmon up and down the coast to circle in the open ocean where they are vulnerable to sea lions and other predators.”

Coho Disappear