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Laguna de Santa Rosa PIT Tag Monitoring Project


Redwood Empire Trout Unlimited will conduct a wet season PIT tag survey in the central Laguna de Santa Rosa to determine if endangered coho salmon are utilizing potentially high-quality habitat in the Laguna.

The Laguna de Santa Rosa is the largest tributary of the Russian River, and off-channel and floodplain habitat in the Laguna have the potential to provide velocity refuge and abundant food resources to overwintering juvenile coho and steelhead. Complex off-channel habitat is vital to coho survival, and habitat that also allows for foraging may be especially advantageous.

Historically, the Laguna de Santa Rosa was a wetland complex fed by numerous streams that supported perennial and seasonal lakes and wetlands. This wetland complex has been drastically reduced in area over the past 150 years through conversion to agriculture and other uses, and by extensive sedimentation; however, large portions of the Laguna still flood seasonally and have the potential to be used by coho.

This study is intended to help inform management and habitat restoration activities in the central Laguna and fill a data gap in the Russian River watershed.  RETU will be installing an maintaining a PIT tag antenna array during the winters of 2018/19 and 2019/20 to determine if tagged coho released by the Russian River Captive Broodstock Program are entering the Laguna.

Special thanks to the Rose Foundation for their support of this work. Thanks as well to the members and volunteers of Trout Unlimited who have contributed brains, brawn and dollars to this effort!

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