16th Annual Coho Confab

August 9-11, 2013
Petrolia, CA



The Coho Confab is a symposium to explore watershed restoration, learn restoration techniques to recover coho salmon populations, and to network with other fish-centric people. Restoration pioneer Richard Gienger coined the term “Confab” from the verb “confabulate” which literally means to informally chat or to fabricate to compensate for gaps in one’s memory. The 16th Annual Coho Confab will be held in the Mattole River Valley. Salmonid Restoration Federation and Trees Foundation are the permanent co-hosts of this educational event and are exciting to be partnering this year with the Mattole River and Range Partnership that includes Sanctuary Forest, Mattole Restoration Council, and the Mattole Salmon Group. The Confab is sponsored by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife.

The Confab allows for participants and instructors to share innovative techniques, pioneering experience, and scientific methodologies. Participants learn skills and techniques that can be applied to restore habitat in their home watershed. The Coho Confab will open with a Friday evening community dinner. The evening will continue with orientation presentations including a presentation about the History of Mattole Restoration and Partnerships with Sungnome Madrone, Executive Director of the Mattole Salmon Group, and Richard Gienger, Founder of the Coho Confab. Tasha McKee, Executive Director, Sanctuary Forest, will discuss Land and Water Stewardship, Past, and Present, and Hezekiah Allen, Executive Director of the Mattole Restoration Council, will give a presentation entitled, Cannabis and Stewardship: Are Family Farms and Rural Homesteads Compatible with Watershed Recovery?

On Saturday there will be several concurrent field tours in the morning including a tour of riparian restoration projects, estuary restoration projects, and a macro-invertebrate sampling workshop. In the afternoon we will have a plenary session focused on Creating a Road Map and Action Plan for Coho Salmon Recovery in the Mattole and Beyond with presentations from Carlos Garza of NOAA Fisheries regarding coho salmon genetics and recovery actions that would benefit this endangered species; a coho salmon rescue and rehabilitation discussion with a representative of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, NOAA Fisheries, and staff from the Mattole Salmon Group, and a panel discussion about Innovative Restoration Strategies to Address Key Constraints to Recovery with Tasha McKee of Sanctuary Forest and Sungnome Madrone of the Mattole Salmon Group.

Sunday concludes with a half-day of concurrent tours including a tour in the Mattole estuary exploring innovative approaches in Baker Creek, a tour focused on Human Communities and Working Lands: Roads, Fuels Reduction, Forestry, and Water Conservation with Hezekiah Allen and Nathan Queener, Mattole Restoration Council, and a tour highlighting erosion control and habitat improvement projects in South Fork Eel River tributaries with the Eel River Salmon Restoration Program.

Saturday evening we will have a BBQ dinner and cabaret. Please come prepared with layers of clothes, sunscreen, a sun hat, a personal water bottle, flashlight, camping gear if needed, hiking shoes and river sandals.


Download the above poster here.

Note: Click on the images to download the PowerPoint file

John Carlos Garza and Libby Gilbert-Horvath, Molecular Ecology & Genetic Analysis Team, Southwest Fisheries Science Center


Thomas Williams, Southwest Fisheries Science Center National Marine Fisheries Service and University of California, Santa Cruz