CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2014 |
Steelhead trout once packed the natural pools of Southern California's spawning rivers - that is, until the waterways were transformed into concrete drainage canals in the 1930s to protect the burgeoning flatlands from flooding. The last steelhead in the Los Angeles River was a 25-incher caught off a bridge in Glendale in 1940, two years after that stretch was paved. Today, the region's steelhead population hovers around 500 - 10% of what it was seven decades ago. "The good news is that steelhead are remarkably resilient if given half a chance," Jerry Schubel, president and chief executive of the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, said last week as crews were installing plumbing and temperature controls in an exhibit he said was designed to "reveal some of the secrets of this fish and inspire conservation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 2010 |
A federal appeals court panel has ruled that wild steelhead remain an endangered species and rebuffed Central Valley irrigators' efforts to relax federal government protections on the Pacific salmon. Six irrigation districts had challenged the National Marine Fisheries Service decision to list the oceangoing steelhead separately from more plentiful freshwater rainbow trout on the grounds that the two fish interbreed and the steelhead were therefore protected from extinction. Both types of Pacific salmon are born in fresh water, but steelhead migrate to the ocean whereas rainbow trout remain in rivers and lakes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2000 |
An unusual coalition of interests announced Monday that they are banding together to press for greater protections for steelhead trout, which are fast disappearing from Southern California mountain streams. Calling the fish a wild symbol and indicator of ecosystem health, representatives of the Southern California Steelhead Recovery Coalition met in Los Angeles to raise awareness of the plight of the fish and urge government action to save it. "The Southern California steelhead holds the genetic key to all steelhead populations on the Pacific Coast," Michael Pottorff of San Diego Trout said.
May 31, 2005
Regarding "Searching for Steelhead and the Past in Malibu Creek" [May 24]: The reason the author couldn't find trout is that after a heavy runoff, all the trout have gone to sea. The Southern steelhead tolerates warm and low water in drought years and being flushed to sea in high-water years. Moderate-flow years allow the fish to return for a spring run. This little-known wonder of Southern California has been given very short shrift. Tony Rezzato Culver City
June 14, 1989 |
"Swim!" said the mama fishy, "Swim if you can!" and they swam and they swam, back over the dam. --Lyrics from "Three Little Fishes" by Saxie Dowell, 1939 Jimmy Decker swears that even after the Rindge Dam was wedged into Malibu Canyon in 1926 to create a water supply for the beach colony, the steelhead continued to migrate upstream to spawn. "Those years, we'd get up to 50 inches of rain in one season," Decker, 71, recalls. "The water used to pour over the dam six to 10 feet deep."
April 16, 1989 |
Long gone are the days when hotels reserved entire floors for out-of-town fishermen tempted by the thousands of steelhead that could be seen splashing in the Ventura River. So, too, has passed the time when a tourist guide could gush, as one did in 1911, that "a fine stream flows into the ocean at the west end of the city, and from May to October the breakfast tables of Ventura need never go trout-less." Since the 1950s, dams, diversions, mining and pollution have battered the once-bountiful river, from its convergence with Matilija Creek 16 miles north to the brackish lagoon at its mouth near the Ventura County Fairgrounds.