Volunteer: Coho and Steelhead Monitoring

Two green-backed, red-sided fish swim in a shallow creek.
Two male coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) spawners.


The Coho and Steelhead Monitoring Volunteer assists park staff in determining long-term trends in: a) distribution, abundance, and size of spawning coho salmon; b) abundance of smolt coho salmon and steelhead trout; and c) species diversity, distribution, abundance and size and age composition of juvenile coho salmon and steelhead trout. The volunteer also assists park staff in identifying gross changes in stream habitat.



  • Collect data relating to stream habitat, water quality, fish and invertebrate populations, salmon spawning, riparian area condition and stream channel substrate composition
  • Count numbers of spawning salmon, carcasses, and redds (nests) along Olema, Pine Gulch, Redwood, and Cheda Creeks during winter surveys
  • Help erect, repair and check smolt traps near creek mouths of Olema, Pine Gulch, and Redwood Creeks during spring surveys
  • Assist project staff during electrofishing operations by netting, measuring and recording data on juvenile fish during summer and fall surveys
  • Identify and record gross changes in habitat in Olema, Pine Gulch, Redwood, and Easkoot Creeks during summer and fall surveys

The volunteer must be able to follow verbal and written instructions and walk long distances over rough, uneven terrain in streams subject to high flows while carrying 20 to 40 lbs of equipment. The volunteer may be exposed to ticks, poison oak, rain and extreme temperatures. The work is off-trail and not recommended for volunteers with mobility constraints.

Schedule and Time Commitment

Work days are scheduled Monday to Friday throughout the year and are dependent upon weather conditions and program needs. Work days last six hours from 9 am to 3 pm. Please contact us (see below) for work schedules.

Coho and Steelhead Monitoring is a drop-in program where volunteers are not required to work more than one day at a time. However, volunteers are welcome to work as many of the work days as desired.


On-the-job training

Benefits to the Volunteer

The volunteer will gain knowledge on stream and fish sampling techniques while enjoying the satisfaction of helping to preserve salmon for current and future generations.

Group Type

Individuals are encouraged to participate.

Minimum Age

Minimum age is 16. Volunteers under 18 must have a signed parental consent form. Please contact us (see below) for more information.


Housing and RV sites are unavailable.

Application and Contact Information

Please apply here. (You will be redirected to Volunteer.gov.)

For schedules and more information, contact Mike Reichmuth at 415-464-5191 or by email.

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Last updated: February 4, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (e.g., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; fire danger information; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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