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Marin Coho Salmon Struggling

The driest year on record is reducing local salmon populations and is prompting concern among local conservationists

Coho salmon. Photo: NOAA
Coho salmon. Photo: NOAA

This year’s historically low rains are putting Marin’s Coho salmon population at risk, Channel 7 is reporting.

Marin County got just 10 inches of rain in all of 2013 compared to an average of 52 inches, making this the driest year on record--ever--for the Marin Municipal Water District.

The lack of rains is translating into less water in local creeks, streams and rivers, making it challenging for salmon to swim upstream to spawn, according to Channel 7.

Take Lagunitas Creek. Typically, it would have up to 600 salmon spawning after making the trek from Tomales Bay. But on Monday, only 100 salmon were reported, prompting concern, according to the report.

Introducing hatchery fish is one way to increase the number of salmon in local waterways. But doing so poses its own problems because salmon return to the creeks where they were hatched and mixing different fish in the same creek makes them more susceptible to disease and predation.

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