February 3, 2011
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is requesting public comment regarding a proposed range extension for the Central California Coast Coho salmon, a federally protected species.
NOAA proposes changing the southern boundary from the San Lorenzo River seven miles to Aptos Creek, near Santa Cruz. This modification to the "evolutionary significant unit" for coho salmon came about after a private landowner petitioned NOAA to consider de-listing the species in stream south of San Francisco Bay, prompting NOAA to assemble a biological review team to consider the request.
This team determined not only that there were still prevailing threats to coho, and that due to the similar habitat and watershed conditions in Soquel and Aptos Creek that the ESU be expanded to include these warerways. Coho salmon were initially listed as a threatened species in 1996, and relisted as endangered in 2005.
Public comment can be submitted before 5 pm April 5 online at www.regulations.gov or by mail to Craig Wingert, National Marine Fisheries Service, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802.