Salmon and Trout – the Coastal Prairie Connection

Detail of rainbow trout, oil on cotton rag paper, Laura Cunningham.

Why talk about fish in a coastal prairie blog? Because the health of streams, clear water, and fish populations are intimately tied with healthy functioning watersheds–from marshes, meadows, upland grasslands, forests, and mountain ranges. Healthy deep-rooted coastal prairies can have huge benefits to waters and fish habitat.

So I decided to talk about salmon and trout in this blog to try to show the connections between healthy prairies and healthy fish. Years ago I worked as a seasonal fishery biologist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, so this is something of keen interest to me. I use current monitoring of cattle-impacted coastal prairies and salmonid streams in Point Reyes National Seashore as an example to show current threats to fish habitat, and how restoring coastal prairies can go a long way towards restoring stream and ocean habitat for fish.

See this special page with information on salmon, steelhead, and trout of California, how livestock grazing impacts these fish, and how the processes of grassland restoration and cultural fire can benefit watersheds and streams >> here.