Joining forces for fish

Chinook salmon, steelhead subject of federal and state recovery plans

Federal and state wildlife agencies jointly released two plans on July 22 intended to restore the Central Valley’s aquatic ecosystem and help chinook salmon and steelhead populations recover.

The plans, produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, share a goal of removing chinook and steelhead from federal and state endangered or threatened species lists, according to a press release. The CDFW plan applies more broadly to the Central Valley’s entire ecosystem, as California’s 2014-15 budget provided the agency with $38 million to improve salmon monitoring, restore critical habitat, improve water infrastructure for wildlife refuges, and remove barriers for fish passages.

However, the federal fish recovery plans are not regulatory requirements, but rather “guidance documents” and therefore will rely heavily on “the voluntary cooperation of multiple stakeholders,” the release said.