Our high-definition Coho Cam is streaming live from the Lagunitas Creek Watershed in Marin County, California. The Watershed supports the largest documented population of Central California Coast coho salmon, a critically endangered species that faces extinction.
Viewing tip: Coho Cam is located in the Pacific Time Zone. Daylight is from 8:22 am – 4:16 pm
About Coho Cam
Thank you for visiting SPAWN’s Coho Cam. In addition to providing a rare glimpse of critically endangered Central California Coast coho salmon, this live-streaming camera supports our ongoing research and monitoring efforts to improve salmonid recovery in Marin County.
The camera is located in San Geronimo Creek, a tributary to Lagunitas Creek. San Geronimo Creek is a very productive stream with high densities of spawning adult coho salmon and rearing juvenile coho salmon. This and other small tributiaries are often where young coho salmon spend their first few months.
Following the first hard rainfall each winter, wild adult coho salmon return from the ocean to their natal streams and can be observed spawning and making redds (nests) in gravel. This is a critical aspect of the salmon life cycle because the great majority of salmonid mortality generally takes place during the period of incubation in the gravel. After the eggs hatch, young fingerlings emerge from the cobbles in early spring where they feed on small insects and are often prey for larger fish and other aquatic wildlife.
Through the summer, fall, and winter the young fingerlings mature into parr, and then smolts where they follow food throughout the watershed before finally moving to the ocean in the spring one year after they were born to feed on large schools of fishes and invertebrates.
About Central California Coast Coho Salmon
Sixty years ago, estimates of the annual wild coho salmon population in the Lagunitas Creek Watershed were about 6,000. Since then, the coho salmon have suffered a 90% decline, with fewer than 200 adult females returning each year on average, highlighting the critically endangered status of the species. Marin’s Coho salmon are listed by the National Marine Fisheries Service as “critically endangered” under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Since the Coho’s listing in 1996, their population has continued to dramatically decline and the fish are now considered close to extinction.
Running through Marin County, the Lagunitas Creek Watershed supports the largest documented population of native coho in central California, representing about 20 percent of the wild coho salmon found along the California coast from Monterey Bay to Humboldt County. In recent years, more coho spawn in the 103-square mile Lagunitas Creek Watershed than in the 1,485-square mile Russian River Watershed to the north.
Coho Cam Funding
Coho Cam is funded through NOAA’s Species in the Spotlight program and public donations. If you enjoy Coho Cam, please consider helping support it and SPAWN’s continuous conservation efforts to prevent Coho salmon extinction by giving a gift today.