Protect California Summer Steelhead and Klamath Spring Chinook

At its June 16, 2021 meeting, the California Fish and Game Commission will decide whether to protect Klamath Spring Chinook salmon and Northern California Summer Steelhead under the California Endangered Species Act.

Spring Chinook and Summer Steelhead return to freshwater much earlier than their fall-run Chinook and Winter Steelhead counterparts. These unique life histories allow them to reach prime spawning and rearing habitats in the cool waters of our mountain streams.

Petitions to list both Spring Chinook and Summer Steelhead under the state of California’s Endangered Species Act are being decided at this meeting. CDFW has historically followed the lead of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which denied a petition to list Northern California Summer Steelhead and have delayed response to the Spring Chinook petition for four years. These fish need to be listed to ensure conservation action is taken to protect them.

Please take a few minutes today to write to the members of the Fish and Game Commission. Use the letter above or create one of your own. Email your comments to by Friday, June 11th.

If you would rather join the meeting virtually on Wednesday, June 16th and give a three minute testimony on these agenda items follow these instructions: Click here for instructions on joining the meeting virtually. The link will be updated prior to the meeting.

Suggested Talking Points

  • Importance of preserving diverse life histories, wild or unique/rare genetics – especially given climate change.
  • It is unlikely this genetic mutation could arise again.
  • CDFW’s own analysis (status review) shows that early migrators are endangered.
  • Conservation action to protect these fish needs to be implemented.

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