About Recovery Planning in California's Central Valley

California Central Valley spring-run Chinook and California Central Valley steelhead were listed as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 1999 and 1998, respectively. Following their listings, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook was listed as endangered in 2005. Their listings prompted NOAA Fisheries to work with local agency and non-governmental partners to develop a recovery plan that addresses the biological needs of these species by targeting the many threats they face.

In July 2014, NOAA Fisheries released a Recovery Plan for Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, and Central Valley steelhead. The recovery plan draws on the expertise of the Central Valley Technical Recovery Team, agency co-managers, and many public entities and individuals dedicated to recovering these fish. It is based on a sound scientific foundation and is a key decision-making resource for improving and sustaining the health of California's natural environment. 

The recovery plan provides actions to improve habitat conditions, ensure safe fish passage, minimize risks to wild populations resulting from hatchery management, and allow for sustainable harvest opportunities, among other actions. The plan identifies over 600 actions that will contribute to the long-term recovery of winter-run Chinook, spring-run Chinook, and steelhead in California's Central Valley. 

The recovery plan provides a road map for recovery, but the actions are voluntary because the plan is not a regulatory document. As such, strong partnerships are required for implementation. Most recently, the Recovery Team has been coordinating closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Department of Water Resources, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Golden Gate Salmon Association, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to implement recovery actions.