Salmon Creek is a community bounded to the north by Salmon Creek Lagoon and to the west and south by Sonoma Coast State Beach, about 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Santa Rosa and 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of Bodega Bay, California. Salmon Creek is an un-dammed stream that drains a watershed of 22,487 acres (9,100 ha) characterized by scattered rural development amidst pasture, vineyards, and mixed hardwood and redwood forests.
The Coast Miwok village of Pulya-lakum was formerly located near the mouth of Salmon Creek. In 1812, the Russian-American Company established Fort Ross about 12 miles (19 km) northwest of present-day Salmon Creek with the permission of the Mexican government. In 1844, a 35,487-acre (14,361 ha) land grant named Rancho Bodega was given by Governor Manuel Micheltorena to Stephen Smith. The grant extended along the Pacific coast from the Russian River on the north to Estero Americano on the south and included the present-day communities of Bodega, Bodega Bay, Salmon Creek, Carmet, Sereno Del Mar, Ocean View, and Bridge Haven.
In northern California and southern Oregon, juvenile salmon depend on groundwater aquifers to sustain their tributary habitats through the dry summers. Land-use conversion, channel modification, water extractions, and water pollution have altered the quantity, quality, and timing of in-stream flows, limiting the recovery of threatened steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and endangered coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Coho salmon went extinct in the watershed in the 1990s. Steelhead never disappeared, but their numbers have dropped precipitously since the 1970s. Read more here and here. Explore more of Salmon Creek here: