Santa Ynez River/Hilton Creek Litigation

Long-term Goal:

Ensure adequate flows are sustained in Hilton Creek in order to protect steelhead habitat and promote Southern steelhead recovery in the Santa Ynez River watershed.

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Settled an Endangered Species Act (ESA) case against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) by California Trout, represented by the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) on October 21, 2015.  The federal court approved settlement requires that the BOR: a) complete long-delayed repairs to the watering system that releases water into Hilton Creek, a tributary of the Santa Ynez River below Bradbury Dam, for the benefit of endangered Southern California steelhead; b) complete a possibility analysis to determine whether a gravity fed system could be adapted at the current Bradbury Dam outlet works; and c) allow CalTrout to review and comment on the NMFS Biological Opinion renewal;
  • Monitored completion of an emergency water backup system on Hilton Creek, the lack of which was a large part of the long delays that led to past fish deaths.  The system became fully operational in February, 2016.

What We Will Achieve in 2016-17:

  • Review and provide comment on the draft NMFS Biological Opinion renewal, once it is made available.

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California Trout, Inc.

California Trout, Inc.