Salmonid Conference 2024

Holding Space—Restoring Habitat and Making Room for Innovation

By Salmonid Restoration Federation

Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF) produces the largest salmon restoration conference in California, convening a diverse range of people in the watershed restoration field including planners, engineers, policymakers, students, Watershed Stewards Program members, consultants, academics, tribal members, on-the-ground practitioners, and landowners. It is this wide range of practitioners and the intersection of science and application that animate our conference and create a dynamic venue for learning from one another’s experience and expertise.

In March SRF hosted the 41st Annual Salmonid Restoration Conference in Santa Rosa, CA. Due to selling out early last year, we hosted the conference at the Sonoma Fairgrounds for the workshops and tours, and at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Santa Rosa for the main conference days. This state-of-the-art facility had room for all our multifaceted events including the Plenary session, a mentor-mentee program, a lively poster session, exhibitor space, and a banquet dinner and awards ceremony.

Jen Quan, NOAA Fisheries West Coast Regional Administrator and Frankie Myers, Yurok Tribe Vice-Chair, both spoke at the SRF Conference Plenary Session.

This year’s Plenary included keynote addresses from Mark Bransom (CEO of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation) and Frankie Myers* (Yurok Tribe Vice-Chair) about the environmental and cultural significance of the Klamath dam removal— the largest dam removal in history. Other keynote speakers were Armando Quintero, Director of California State Parks, presenting on how language shapes our view and ability to achieve environmental justice; Jen Quan (West Coast Regional Administrator of NOAA Fisheries) and Kristen Koch (Director, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries), who gave a talk called Making the Most of Opportunities for Salmon Recovery in a Warming World; and Ann Willis, PhD, of American Rivers presenting on Healthy Rivers, Healthy Communities: How River Conservation Heals Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss, and Environmental Justice.

As with former conferences, participants this year had the opportunity to explore innovative restoration projects and take part in technical workshops. Practical workshops on forward-thinking restoration topics included:

  • Community Outreach, Collaboration Tools, and Tribal Engagement
  • Nature-like Fishways: Modern Perspectives and Techniques
  • The Role of Conservation Hatcheries in Salmon Recovery
  • Fish and Fire Conversation: Where Do We Go from Here?

Field tours included restoration projects in Lagunitas Creek, Napa River Restoration, the Garcia River Estuary Habitat Enhancement, Dry Creek, Process-Based Restoration in the Uplands of Western Sonoma, Urban Creek Restoration, and the Laguna de Santa Rosa.

There were concurrent sessions highlighting groundwater recharge planning, effectiveness monitoring, streamlined permitting pathways, Klamath post-dam removal restoration actions, fish passage, low-tech Process-Based Restoration, and so much more.

Our scholarship fund ensures that the conference is accessible to students, tribal members, and landowners who otherwise may not be able to attend. SRF matches each dollar contributed. Here is the link to our scholarship fund.

To learn more about the conference, please visit

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* Due to unforeseen circumstances, Frankie Myers was unable to attend.