Maybe you are curious about indigenous stewardship, or you have a question for one our research associates, or want to know more about Amah Mutsun history and culture?

AMLT Newsletters have a question and answer section featuring questions submitted by our readers.

Email your questions to and you may find the answer to your question in our next newsletter!

Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) at upstream spawning grounds. Photo by BLM, CC BY 2.0

Question: Are there still salmon that return to their home streams in Amah Mutsun territory? Do the Amah Mutsun do anything to help the salmon?

Answer: Federally threatened steelhead and endangered coho salmon still return to many coastal streams within Amah Mutsun Tribal Band territory, as they have for thousands of years. However, their numbers have been greatly reduced, the amount of stream habitat available to them is smaller and of lesser quality, and some streams have become completely impassable or not supportive of the salmon life cycle. Still, every fall once the first major rains have broken the sand bars that formed over the summer, salmon start their migration from the ocean to the freshwater streams where they were born to lay their eggs and continue the cycle of life. This is why salmon signify determination and renewal for many tribes.

The Amah Mutsun offer special prayers to call the salmon back each year, and in this way they honor their salmon kin and natural cycles of renewal that maintain balance in the world. The vision of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust is of a future where vigorous populations of native plants and animals are sustained on the land, for the benefit of Mother Earth and of all people. Amah Mutsun Land Trust research associates Sara French and Rob Cuthrell recently completed a detailed report on the ecology and conservation status of salmon populations along the Santa Cruz coast. This report will help the AMLT and others to steward sensitive salmon populations in Amah Mutsun territory.

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