Coos Bay, located on the southern Oregon Coast, is the largest estuary between the Columbia River and San Francisco Bay. Palouse and Larson Creeks in the northern section of Coos Bay are the two most productive streams for coho salmon. Such productivity occurs despite the pressure salmon habitats have experienced through a long history of anthropogenic alterations, and continue to face from the region’s robust industrial economy, including recreational and commercial fisheries, agricultural production, and forestry. Restoration efforts since the 1980s have helped mitigate environmental impacts, but the turn of the century brought a new era of coordinated research, monitoring, and restoration. Forming a multi-stakeholder partnership with the goal of restoring salmon runs, the local nonprofitnon-profit Coos Watershed Association and its partners worked together to learn about the strategies that coho use to survive in these altered landscapes and apply research findings to restore habitats. Specifically, they examined the most appropriate habitat restoration strategies for various life histories of coho salmon, while working within social and political constraints. As a result, these efforts over the past 35 years have led to a better understanding of salmon populations in Palouse and Larson Creeks and an effective restoration program that continues till today.

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