California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Central Valley Chinook Salmon Population Assessment

The Fisheries Branch Anadromous Resource Assessment Unit compiles annual population estimates of Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River system. The GrandTab report is a compilation of sources estimating the late-fall, winter, spring, and fall-run Chinook salmon populations for streams surveyed.

Estimates are based on counts of fish entering hatcheries and migrating past dams, carcass surveys, live fish counts, and ground and aerial redd counts. Estimates are provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Water Resources, the East Bay Municipal Utilities District, the US Bureau of Reclamation, the Lower Yuba River Management Team, and the Fisheries Foundation of California.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin River system is the principal producer of Chinook salmon caught in California's ocean fisheries. Its salmon runs also contribute to the ocean fisheries of Oregon and Washington. The fall run has been monitored since 1952, spring run since 1960, and late fall and winter runs since 1970.

Monitoring of salmon escapement in Central Valley tributaries is an important component of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's fishery management function. The primary objectives of this work are to determine size and composition of salmon populations. Changes in salmon abundance, distribution, and habitat conditions that may reflect adverse effects on salmon are noted to determine if corrective action is necessary.


  • Central Valley Chinook Salmon Monitoring Annual Reports
    These reports describe the materials, methods, and results of salmon escapement population monitoring projects in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River systems. (PDF files)
  • GrandTab (PDF)
    GrandTab is a compilation of escapement estimates of the late-fall, winter, spring, and fall-run Chinook salmon in the California Central Valley. This is the complete 21 page GrandTab document. GrandTab is published as data becomes available.

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