California’s wetlands and floodplains are making a comeback. For decades, agricultural expansion and worsening drought conditions in the state have drained waterways and threatened wildlife in these habitats — 83% of California’s native fish species are experiencing population decline. But according to reporting, experts are working with California rice farmers to restore floodplains.
Experiments have shown that the endangered Chinook salmon species, among others, thrives in these restored environments. Juvenile salmon have relatively high survival rates in these floodplains — 50 to 80 percent in a month — and these salmon even grow faster than those hatched in the Sacramento River. This team effort between farmers and conservationists could give Chinook salmon and other endangered fish species a fighting chance.