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Although there has been no coho fishery for many years, the Salmon
Stamp Program has contributed funding to projects to improve habitats
for coho salmon along the north coast. There are two reasons why
it makes sense to invest in fish unavailable for harvest: 1) ocean
fisheries are severely constrained by the low numbers of natural
coho spawners (bearing the brunt of recovery efforts again); and
2) improvements in habitat for coho should also assist chinook salmon
Many log structures have been built in the Eel River, Mattole River,
Redwood Creek, and in Humboldt Bay tributaries. These structures
mimic the pools and cover needed by juvenile coho salmon as they
grow from fingerlings into smolts. In 1997 the Salmon Stamp Program
provided funding to reconstruct a flood-plain side channel in Prairie
Creek (a tributary to Redwood Creek) to provide overwintering habitat.
This successful project which cost $38,000 was the first of its
type in California to successfully address this critical limiting
factor for coho survival in coastal streams.
In 1998 the Salmon Stamp Program provided $40,000 for the first
road removal project undertaken through DFG to reduce sediment input
to Freshwater Creek, an important Humboldt Bay tributary. This effort
to treat habitat loss due to sedimentation of salmon streams at
its source is now widely emulated throughout coastal California.
Numerous tree planting and livestock exclusion fences along streams
have also been undertaken with Salmon Stamp, and with Proposition