Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Parts of the U.S. Government are closed. This site will not be updated; however NOAA websites and social media channels necessary to protect lives and property will be maintained. See for critical weather information. To learn more, see

Display All Information

Document Type: Report
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8623
Title: Status review update for Pacific salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act:  Pacific Northwest
Author/Editor: Michael J. Ford, K. Barnas, T. Cooney, Lisa G. Crozier, M. Diaz, Jeffrey J. Hard, Elizabeth E. Holmes, D. M. Holzer, R. G. Kope, Peter W. Lawson, Martin Liermann, James M. Myers, M. Rowse, David J. Teel, Donald M. Van Doornik, Thomas C. Wainwright, Laurie A. Weitkamp, Mari Williams
Year: 2015
Institution: Report of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Date: 12/21/2015

In the Pacific Northwest, there are 17 distinct population segments (DPSs) or evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) of Pacific salmon and steelhead listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The ESA requires that the National Marine Fisheries Service review the status of these listed species at least every five years and determine whether any species should be removed from the list or have its listing status changed.

The most recent status review for listed salmon in the Pacific Northwest occurred in 2011, and did not result in any changes in listing status.  In 2015, NMFS again conducted a 5-year status review, with the West Coast Region responsible for the review process and decision-making regarding proposed changes in listing status.

This report provides the most recent information and analyses on the biological status of listed species, focusing on 1) information on ESU boundaries, and 2) trends and status in abundance, productivity, spatial structure and diversity.  Where possible, we also summarize current information with respect to recovery goals identified in recovery plans or in viability documents published by the Technical Recovery Team.

In two of the three formal status reviews that supported ESA listings, NMFS Biological Review Team categorized each ESU as either in danger of extinction, likely to become endangered or not likely to become endangered, based on its abundance, productivity, spatial structure and diversity.  In the third status review, biological risk was instead categorized as high, moderate, or low, and the review included narratives and probability of extinction definitions for the high and moderate risk categories.

In this report, for each listed ESU, we summarize whether there is new biological information to indicate that the ESU is likely to have moved from one of the three biological risk categories to another.  In addition, we note whether each ESU appears to be stable, improving, or declining in risk status, regardless of whether such changes warrant a change in listing category.

This information will be incorporated into the West Coast Region review, and the region will make final determinations about any proposed changes in listing status, taking into account not only biological information but also ongoing or planned protective efforts and recovery actions.

Notes: 356 pages
Theme: Recovery and rebuilding of marine and coastal species
Foci: Characterize the population biology of species, and develop and improve methods for predicting the status of populations.