Coho on Tour with Paul Engelmeyer

Coho Fry on the Oregon Coast Photo: Conrad Gowell

Saturday, June 10th 2017

Ona Beach State Park (Boat Launch on east side of Hwy 101)

Additional Dates

Sunday, March 26th 2017

Green Salmon Cafe, Yachats

District Coordinator Paul Engelmeyer will lead a series of free tours, open to the public, to discuss the recently released Federal Coho Recovery plan. During the field trips attendees will view high quality and impaired habitat, restoration sites, experience population monitoring efforts, and discuss the history of fisheries management. Attendees should also be prepared to hike along a river with a day pack including rain gear, water bottles, and a packed lunch.

On the Oregon coast, coho hatcheries have been functionally eliminated, harvest has been significantly reduced, and habitat restoration communities are working hard to improve freshwater and estuarine conditions. Why attend? Environmental advocates can learn why NOAA believes Oregon Coast Coho have the highest chance of recovery of all threatened salmon in the Northwest.

During the March field trip, the group visited Cape Perpetua to talk about ocean conservation, and exploitation rates of coho under the Pacific Fisheries Management Council process. They saw the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Life Cycle Monitoring site, and salmon smolts out-migrating to the ocean. The Audubon Society of Portland's Ten Mile Creek sanctuary, a 216-acre reserve of extraordinary ecological importance, the largest intact stand of coastal temperate rainforest in Oregon on the final stop. This field trip was held to help to educate attendees about the extensive habitat restoration that has taken place in the spawning streams of threatened coho and the ongoing efforts to adaptively manage ocean harvest.

During the June field trip, Engelmeyer will begin at Beaver Creek State Park. There Paul will talk about land-based conservation strategies, including conservation easements and landowner driven stewardship in coastal wetlands. Attendees will learn about the value of alternate life history patterns and how fish hatcheries heavily impacted the diversity of coho salmon. From there participants will head up to the headwater tributaries to gain a vista of current land management issues, including logging and agricultural practices that affect water quality and quantity.

A stop along the way will explain the benefits of in-stream restoration work completed by local communities in partnership with the Siuslaw National Forest. On the way back, participants will see what is being done in Oregon's Yaquina estuary to restore juvenile salmon nursery habitats and discuss the planning that is taking place to ensure these habitats persist with sea-level rise.

Paul Engelmeyer, who has been working on coho recovery for over 25 years, will also discuss what still needs to be done to keep Oregon Coastal Coho on the path to broad sense recovery.

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