CalTrout is partnering with Conservation Corps – Orange County and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to remove non-native aquatic species in the Santa Margarita River near San Diego. Non-native species such as bass, sunfish and crayfish compete with native trout that historically populated this river.
This South Coast Steelhead Coalition grant awarded to CalTrout will support habitat improvement for the endangered Southern California steelhead in the upper Santa Margarita River. The river is one of four highest priority steelhead recovery rivers regionally. The goal of this project is to provide suitable spawning and rearing habitat for ocean-going trout over 20 miles inland. This will be accomplished once access is restored by removing two downstream fish passage barriers currently under remediation. Efforts are focused in the headwaters area of the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve, an exceptional gem of a field station operated by San Diego State University for research, education and wildlife preservation. Funding is gratefully acknowledged from Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project and Earth Island Institute.
Photos by Sandra Jacobson