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Home » Resources » Riparian Ecology » Vegetation and Wildlife Habitat » Restoration Planting Design: Creating Wildlife Habitat » Design for Anadromous Fish

Design for Anadromous Fish


Chinook salmon
(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)
Used with permission from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. All rights reserved.


Steelhead (rainbow trout)
(Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Used with permission from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. All rights reserved.

The vegetation on riparian floodplains benefits anadromous fish such as Central Valley Chinook salmon and Sacramento Splittail. Overhanging trees and shrubs create Shaded Riverine Aquatic Habitat (SRA). SRA provide helps stabilize water temperatures during the summer. Additionally, these trees and shrubs release nutrients like plant material and insects into the river. This terrestrial source of nutrients is a critical component of aquatic food webs.

Both Chinook salmon and splittail use the riparian vegetated floodplains during prolonged flooding, when water is at bankfull flow. Juvenile fish grow faster on floodplains, because the water temperatures are higher and the food is abundant because of the submerged herbaceous vegetation. Splittail will sometimes spawn in the floodplain, using the terrestrial vegetation to attach their eggs.

Anadromous Fish Habitat

(Above) Anadromous Fish Habitat

For more information about anadromous fish and riparian vegetation, see Sommer and others 2001, Moyle 2002, Limm and Marchetti 2006, and Jeffres et al. 2008.