Oregon Coastal Coho Recovery Is Beginning
To begin the rebuilding of wild coho salmon, a threatened species, the harvest rate has been reduced by 87% and hatchery coho salmon releases are reduced by 95%. The resulting rebuilding is approaching the abundance of wild spawning adult coho salmon that were in coastal rivers in the 1950s. However, in the 1950s wild coho abundance was already depleted by harvest, hatchery and habitat abuse over the preceding 100 years or more. Consequently, the status of wild coho in Oregon coastal streams is a fraction of their historic abundance, and using the abundance of wild coho in the 1950s as the goal for rebuilding and recovery would be relying on a shifting baseline in order to describe success.