The Pudding Creek Salmon and Steelhead Life Cycle Monitoring Station is a component of the larger Mendocino County Coastal Salmonid Monitoring Project. This Station was conceptualized by the Department and Campbell Timberland Management, with oversight from NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, and in association with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. This Project’s goals include determining marine and freshwater survival of salmon and steelhead, as well as estimating the ratio of redds (salmon and steelhead nests) to adult fish so that a total population estimate can be determined for the broader Mendocino County Region. The monitoring work began in fall 2005 and includes methods such as adult trapping, spawning surveys, tagging, electro-fishing, and smolt (juveniles migrating to ocean) trapping.
In 2011, the Department, in collaboration with its partners, expanded this study to include researching the linkages between implementing specific restoration actions (i.e. adding large woody debris to streams) and increasing fish abundance at Mendocino County streams. The ultimate goal is to improve efficiencies of restoring fish habitat to gain increases in fish populations over time. For this study, addition collaborators, The Nature Conservancy and Trout Unlimited, joined the effort. Other collaborators involved in this monitoring include two Humboldt State University graduate student projects, the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, the United States Geological Survey, California Department of Fire, United States Forest Service, and NOAA's Stream Restoration Center. This broad coalition is critical for adaptive management of these endangered salmon and trout.