State and federal wildlife officials on Tuesday unveiled ambitious plans to assure the long-term health of endangered salmon and other species in the Central Valley.
Although the two plans differ somewhat, officials said they have a common goal to restore three species from the threat of extinction: endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, threatened Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, and threatened Central Valley steelhead.
The National Marine Fisheries Service released a formal recovery plan for the three species, which describes actions proposed over a number of years to restore habitat and allow the three fish species to access additional habitat. About 90% of the original spawning habitat for the species has been blocked by dams, one of the primary factors in their decline.
Also Tuesday, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife released a Central Valley ecosystem restoration program, which takes a broader view of habitat improvements to benefit the three fish species as well as all other wildlife in the region.
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Actions proposed under the plans include habitat restoration in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, improved water flows in major rivers in the Valley, targeting tributaries to re-establish healthy populations of salmon and steelhead, and improving the function of fish hatcheries to minimize harm to protected species.