The Future of Salmon

Saving Salmon One Log at a Time

Watch how placing trees in streams can restore salmon habitat and possibly save this iconic species.


Salmon Country

Scientists, engineers, fishermen and farmers join forces with the Conservancy to protect and restore salmon runs.


The salmon, in its upstream journey to return home and spawn, serves as a symbol of the valiant, against-all-odds struggle to survive.

But the stakes of survival are higher than many imagine: the presence of wild salmon tells us that our watersheds are healthy, as numerous species depend on salmon. Salmon also comprise a significant portion of California’s economy: they are the basis of a $1.5 billion commercial and recreational fishing industry.

Development, climate change and industry have decimated salmon populations, however. Sixty-five percent of salmon and trout found in California are in danger of extinction.

Innovative Projects to Save Salmon

The Nature Conservancy in California is striving to reverse this trend. We are using an approach to salmon restoration that looks at the whole life cycle of these fish, offers maximum return on investment and produces solutions that can be applied to other regions. Read about some of our exciting work in these areas:

  • Using a tool we call the SalmonScape, we have identified the areas with the greatest potential for habitat restoration and where salmon also have the best chance of survival.
  • Experts agree that recreating the wood structures that were once a prominent feature of our rivers is one of the most effective means of protecting salmon populations. We’ve found a cost-effective and highly efficient system for in-stream wood restoration.
  • Other successful strategies for protecting salmon include restoring riverside forests; removing artificial obstacles from rivers, such as dams in Battle Creek; and promoting sustainable agriculture and ranching methods. Learn about our remarkable results in these areas:

Garcia River Forest
Klamath basin
Shasta Big Springs Ranch
Sacramento River
Lassen Foothills 

Exportable Ideas

The Nature Conservancy in California is devising strategies and policy solutions that can be implemented in other regions where salmon are at risk and in the places where California’s expanding human footprint will menace salmon and other species in the future.

With several active projects in key locations and our success in achieving tangible conservation results in the full range of wild salmon habitats, The Nature Conservancy is uniquely poised to spearhead this effort.