The Nature Conservancy Celebrates Passage of Legislation to Support Salmon and Steelhead Trout Restoration

A large school of coho salmon gather near the surface of a pool of water; the camera captures both the underwater scene and the above-water scene showing rocks and trees.
Coho Salmon California's wild coho are on the brink of extinction. © Adam Baus

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The Nature Conservancy (TNC) applauds Governor Newsom for signing AB 809 (Bennett), which supports salmon and steelhead trout monitoring and restoration efforts. This important legislation formally codifies the existing California Monitoring Program (CMP) within the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Once tremendously abundant, California’s wild salmon and steelhead trout are now on the brink of extinction. Due to habitat degradation, climate change and migration barriers, nearly all the state’s populations of these species have severely declined. This year, California shuttered its salmon fishery because of low fish populations.

Established in 2011, the CMP measures the recovery of endangered anadromous fish species including Chinook and coho salmon and steelhead trout. The data collected through this program are used to assess the efficacy of habitat protection and restoration investments, track and demonstrate the progress of salmon and steelhead restoration and recovery efforts, and make informed decisions regarding species recovery plans.

Reliable funding of the CMP is necessary to ensure continuous operation of the program and eliminate data gaps. By codifying the CMP, AB 809 will allow California to allocate money directly to the program through the annual budget process, facilitating the delivery of funding to the CMP. In doing so, this bill will ensure robust, comprehensive and long-term monitoring of salmon and steelhead, allowing California to make strategic investments that will effectively support salmon and steelhead recovery. TNC thanks Governor Newsom for his commitment to protecting California’s iconic salmon and steelhead trout populations and Assemblymember Bennett for championing this important legislation.

Building Homes for Salmon | Notes from the Field (4:57) Join North Coast Project Managers Dave Wright and Peter Van De Burgt on the Ten Mile River in Mendocino County. TNC has been working for years to make this critical waterway a haven for native salmon, and now that work is paying off. See for yourself!

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.