Siskiyou Land Conservancy
Protecting California’s Wild North Coast and Rivers Since 2004

Anadromous Fish of the Smith River

Currently, thirty-two species of fish are known to inhabit the Smith River. Of these, thirteen are anadromous (fish that are spawn in fresh water, are reared in the ocean, and return to fresh water). A functional overview of anadromous fish in the Smith River can be found in the 2002 Smith River Anadromous Fish Action Plan. (The SRAFAP, however, is flawed in its feeble analysis of chemical use at the Smith River estuary.)

The following anadromous fish utilize the Smith River, some on rare occasion (such as pink salmon), others in significant numbers. As our friends at Smith River Alliance tell us, “The Smith River is a stronghold for salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout in California; at least five species in multiple runs use the river. It is unparalleled in its combination of natural river flows, protected habitat and healthy fish populations.”

Chinook Salmon

Coho Salmon

Pink Salmon

Chum Salmon

Sockeye Salmon


Coastal Cutthroat Trout


Pacific Lamprey

White Sturgeon

Green Sturgeon

Longfin Smelt (suspected)

American Shad- (non-native species)

Following are reports, or links thereto, about anadromous fish in the Smith River.