Central California Coast (CCC) coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are listed as endangered and threatened, respectively, under the US Endangered Species Act. Since 2003, the Scott Creek (Santa Cruz County) Salmonid Research and Monitoring Program has maintained the only fixed counting station in the Santa Cruz Mountains for assessing the status of coastal salmonid populations and for quantifying progress towards recovery.

Our team uses a combination of field monitoring techniques (e.g., migrant trapping, observational and mark/recapture surveys, food web/habitat assessments) to detect changes in population and ecosystem dynamics over space and time. Our research directly informs decisions concerning the status and trend of endangered and threatened salmonids by providing the information necessary to assess population viability and the efficacy of ongoing recovery actions in the Scott Creek watershed and broader region.

(Scott Creek photos © Adam Welz)