Scott River

Returning water to California’s most important coho salmon stream

A major tributary to the Klamath, the Scott River, is California’s most important river for wild coho salmon, which are threatened or endangered throughout most of their range. Western Rivers Conservancy is working to restore significant flows to the South Fork Scott River, the largest, cleanest and coldest tributary to the Scott. In doing so, we will deepen our impact within the Klamath system and improve the odds for coho salmon in California and southern Oregon. Photo by Nate Wilson.

The 2.5-mile stretch of the South Fork Scott that WRC is working to protect includes Critical Habitat for southern Oregon/northern California Coast coho, a threatened species. Our efforts will also conserve habitat for northern spotted owl, bald eagle and American marten. Photo by Nate Wilson.

The Scott River produces more than half of California’s wild coho, and conservation of spawning and rearing habitat is critical to ensuring their survival as a species, especially as California struggles with long-term drought and warming river temperatures. State and local organizations have invested millions of dollars in long-term restoration efforts on the 2.5-mile stretch of river that WRC is working to protect. Photo by Design Pics Inc/Alamy Stock Photo.

The property WRC is working to conserve controls senior water rights on the South Fork Scott River. WRC’s purchase of the lands will allow us to dedicate these water rights in-stream, increasing summer-time flows in the South Fork Scott by up to 20 percent. This will make a real difference for migrating, spawning and rearing fish. Photo by Nate Wilson.

WRC’s efforts on the South Fork Scott have also provided WRC the opportunity to acquire a nearby property and conserve a stunning viewshed along the Pacific Crest Trail. The property has been a high priority for the Pacific Crest Trail Association for years, and WRC’s acquisition of it will ensure these lands stays protected forever. Photo by Spring Images/Alamy Stock Photography.

In the face of the many challenges to the Klamath River basin, conservation of high-quality riverlands is of utmost importance. WRC’s work on the South Fork Scott River will benefit the fish, wildlife and people that depend not only on the South Fork and mainstem Scott rivers, but on the Klamath system as a whole. Photo by Nate Wilson.