At one time, Southern California was home to miles of steelhead spawning grounds along a number of coastal rivers including the Santa Clara, Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, Santa Margarita and Los Angeles.
Sadly, dams, water diversions, development and poor water quality have drastically reduced – in some cases nearly wiping out – the area’s steelhead populations. And coastal Southern California has all but disappeared from many fly anglers’ radar screens.
Recognizing this dire situation, a number of diverse groups, including CalTrout, formed a coalition in 2000 – The Southern California Steelhead Recovery Coalition. In 2012, CalTrout, with funding from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, formed the South Coast Steelhead Coalition and the Santa Clara River Steelhead Coalition.
The Coalitions are focused on arresting and reversing the decline of Southern California’s anadromous fish populations.
CalTrout and the Coalitions it is leading are working to:
- Remove impediments to Southern California steelhead in the region’s coastal rivers
- Ensure adequate water flows from dams and diversions to support steelhead