However, as of May 2015, drought conditions had worsened and above average ocean temperatures had not resulted in large storms.
In response to heightening drought conditions, California has tightened fishing restrictions in many areas of the state.
In mid-March 2019, California was declared totally drought-free, with the exception of a small pocket of "abnormally dry" conditions in Southern California, following a series of powerful Pacific storms during the first few months of the year.
In 2013 the total rainfall was less than 34% of what was expected.
Lehr has said that he fears coho salmon may go completely extinct south of the Golden Gate Bridge in the near future.
In early 2014 the main stems of the Eel, Mad, Smith, Van Duzen, and Mattole rivers were closed pending additional rainfall.According to Professor Scott Stine from Cal State East Bay, California experienced its wettest period in seven thousand years during the 20th century, according to his study of tree stumps around Mono Lake, Tenaya Lake and other parts of the Sierra Nevada.Brown ordered cities and towns to reduce their water usage by 25%, which would amount in 1.5 million acre-feet of water in the nine months following the mandate in April.Many regions of the state accumulated less rainfall in 2013 than any other year on record.As a result of this, many fish species were threatened.Large areas of the Russian and American rivers were closed indefinitely.Other actions have also been taken, such as releasing more water from the Kent Dam in hopes of raising the levels in the Lagunitas Creek watershed—one of the last spawning grounds that wild coho can still reach.By January 24, 2017, not one portion of the state was in "Exceptional" drought, the highest category on the Drought Monitor.On February 21, no part of the state was in the next-lower category of "Extreme" drought, and over 60% of the state's area was no longer in any level of drought.A record year of precipitation in California certainly brought the state out of the bad situation and more or less back to equilibrium.Unexpectedly, this occurred during a La Niña winter because California typically benefits from the El Niño winters, which were occurring in the recent precious years.