CDFW Provides Nearly $36M for Projects to Save Salmon


Due to a dwindling population, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has closed salmon fishing for the 2023 season.

California’s drought over the last three years has finally taken it’s toll. Significantly reducing salmon numbers as there is less water on land to allow for spawning. Salmon follow a general three-year cycle in which they are hatched in the rivers of California and Oregon and then return as adults, While salmon can recharge after a year of drought, the prolonged drought severely hurt their numbers. The CDFW says last year on the Sacramento River they expected around 196,000 to return.Yet, only 60,000 did. In 2022 The Klamath River also brought in the second-lowest number of chinook salmon returning since records began in 1997.

This week the CDFW has announced another 36 million dollars to go towards projects to ensure their survival and habitats, as well as promoting climate resiliency, wildlife corridors, and wetlands restoration.
Out of this funding, $20 million has been allocated to 10 projects under the Drought Emergency Salmon Protection Grants program, which focuses on the Shasta and Scott rivers and their watersheds. These projects aim to improve habitat, remove barriers to fish passage, and recharge groundwater. Another $9 million will be awarded to tribes in the Klamath River mainstem for post-McKinney Fire debris flow damage remediation and restoration of salmonids.

The funding is part of the $200 million allocated by the CDFW in late 2022 for restoration, which includes $100 million in emergency drought funding.