Temperature, Temperature, Temperature!

So Simple It Works: How Cows and Salmon Cooled Off and Became Friends

Cows and coho haven't always been friends. For cows grazing on northern California's grasslands, the most tasty-looking vegetation is along the banks of springs and creeks that coho call home. When grazing cattle chow down on these tender greens that help keep the waters cool, the water temperature rises and becomes inhospitable for coho.

The Nature Conservancy partnered with government and local ranchers to find a way for cows and salmon to coexist. On the Conservancy's Big Springs Ranch, we fenced off streams and restored vegetation. Cows are allowed to graze nearby, while salmon have a cool, protected place to spawn.

The result: Salmon are back, cows are still happy and we’ve got a restoration model to apply throughout the state.

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