On August 22nd, the Santa Clara River Steelhead Coalition, led by CalTrout, hosted a project kick-off event for the Rose Valley Project at the Rose Valley Lakes Recreation Area in the Los Padres National Forest.
Approximately 20 people representing federal, state, county and private entities attended and participated in the day’s activities.
The event kicks off a two-year “Feasibility and Alternative Assessment Study” to assess potential stream and riparian habitat restoration activities at the location. This project will advance the commitment to recover Southern steelhead and native rainbow trout.
The decline of Southern steelhead is primarily due to land use change, habitat fragmentation in Southern California and climate change, resulting in fish not having enough water or clear, unblocked thoroughfare from the headwaters to the ocean.
The project goal is to reconnect fish migratory habitat by removing four fish passage barriers and restore flows of clean, fresh water to levels that support steelhead and people. By restoring natural river function in Rose Valley, we can protect all listed threatened and endangered aquatic species in the Sespe Creek Watershed.
Additionally, the floodplains and riparian corridors along Southern California’s prominent steelhead rivers have experienced decline due to invasive species that consume and out-compete steelhead for habitat and food. This project will increase recovery and resiliency of native species in the Sespe Creek watershed after the Piru fires by analyzing options to remove aquatic invasive species and enhance wild and scenic rivers.
Just camped here in the Sespe/Ojai area for the first time and all the creeks were so dry. Albeit it is the end of summer… I still couldn’t help but think of what beauty the creeks in this area could hold. All I found was a small pool near Bear Creek that only held some Green Sunfish which I later found are very invasive to our beautiful rainbow/steelhead.
However, I noticed the giant scissors on the Matilija Dam on my drive back down and that put a smile on my face knowing that there were others who are actively trying to work on restoring this area for our fish and streams.
Wondering, how I can help/volunteer/find more information about what’s happening in this area. I’m sure the recent Thomas Fires also had a huge impact on the area as well.