Salmon, unable to swim upstream to spawn, at risk of extinction - species stranded in ocean awaiting water surge for migration The lack of rain this winter could eventually be disastrous for thirsty California, but the drought may have already ravaged some of the most storied salmon runs on the West Coast. The coho salmon of Central California, which swim up the rivers and creeks during the first winter rains, are stranded in the ocean waiting for the surge of water that signals the beginning of their annual migration, but it may never come. All the creeks between the Golden Gate and Monterey Bay are blocked by sand bars because of the lack of rain, making it impossible for the masses of salmon to reach their native streams and create the next generation of coho. Attempt to lure the cohoThe dire situation prompted the district to release 29 million gallons of valuable drinking water from Kent Lake early this month in an effort to lure the coho into the watershed, which winds 33 miles through the redwood- and oak-studded San Geronimo Valley on the northwest side of Mount Tamalpais. Steelhead trout, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, are also waiting offshore at the same streams, but they are more resilient - unlike coho, they can often wait a year to spawn. Fishermen in jeopardyA collapse of the fall run of chinook, which is the only viable fishery left in Central California, would put hundreds of commercial fishermen and marine-related businesses out of work.