Golden State Salmon Rebuilding Plan

Updated April 24, 2018


This document presents an updated summary of the Golden State Salmon Association’s (GSSA) Salmon Rebuilding Plan. GSSA’s salmon rebuilding projects are briefly described in one page project summaries linked below.

What got us here?

The populations of all four of the Central Valley runs have declined seriously in the past decade. Two of the runs are already listed under the Endangered Species Act and the other two are reaching all-time lows in their populations.

This plan was originally developed in 2011 and 2012 with science consulting assistance from Dave Vogel of Natural Resource Scientists.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service and California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife also provided technical assistance.

The first step in developing the plan was to analyze where in the system the adult and the juveniles were being lost. By far, the biggest losses are to juvenile salmon when they leave the rivers headed for sea.  Other major losses occur from destruction of salmon eggs by elevated river temperatures or the dewatering of the eggs when reservoir releases are cut back during the incubation period.

We then looked at each of these losses and researched how investments and other actions could bring about recovery. The proposed projects were all picked with the objective of achieving positive results within three to five years. Some of the projects have been completed, some are moving forward and others are stalled.

Why salmon?

GSSA is actively working on all fronts to protect, recover and rebuild the salmon populations of the Central Valley and the tens of thousands of jobs the industry supports and the $1.4 billion of economic benefits it produces for California. Much of the economic benefits accrue to the coastal communities from Santa Barbara to the Oregon border.  In addition, inland communities, mostly along the Sacramento River, also enjoy economic benefits from the salmon fishery. Finally, millions of Californians who appreciate the rich natural heritage we’ve been blessed with, but don’t fish salmon, see the connection between salmon conservation and preservation of Central Valley and coastal natural resources and ecosystems.

GSSA activities include:

  • Active work with the California Legislature and Congress to support positive salmon legislation and to oppose actions that would do further damage to the runs. Water issues, habitat restoration and funding needs are at the top of this list.
  • Active work with the state and federal fish agencies, water delivery agencies like the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board and Resource Agency. We support the good actions of these agencies and oppose the bad.
  • Active press and stakeholder communications to inform the public and our constituents of the salmon needs, threats to their existence and policies that will help.

Links to one page project descriptions and additional resources:

Habitat Restoration

B.1 Gravel Additions 

B.8 Feather River Temperature Improvements

D.5 Increase Access to Yolo Bypass 

C.2 Restore Side Channels and Floodplains

C.1 Upper Sac Artificial Rearing 

D.15 Restore Delta Shallow Water Habitat 

D.14 Breached Levees 

Flow Restoration

B.12 Spring Pulse Flows 

D.21 San Joaquin Flows 

D.22 Delta Flows 

B.9 Upper Sac Temperature 

B.11 Keswick Dewatering 

Survival & Straying

D.2 Barging Smolts 

D.3 Improve Trucking 

Modify Coleman Hatchery Release Practices

D.10 Clifton Court Predation 

D.17 Delta Pump Salvage 

B.6 Reduce Night Lighting  

D.13 Tracy Facility Predation 

Completed Projects 

A.4 Colusa Drain Straying 

B.10 Painters Riffle 


Dick Pool

John McManus