The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has invited the public to comment on a petitioned Endangered Species Act state listing action for Southern California steelhead.
We are asking for your help to protect this iconic native species by submitting your public comment to CDFW by September 30, 2022. Please do not delay. It is vitally important that CDFW recognizes the pressing need of maintaining this species and hears from individual citizens who are showing support of the listing.
Southern California steelhead are important indicators of healthy watersheds and well-functioning river ecosystems. Steelhead runs that historically numbered in the tens of thousands in Southern California rivers are down to single digits today. Now is the time for the state of California to take meaningful action and fully protect this important fish.
Since June of 2021, California Trout has led the effort to list Southern steelhead as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). As a part of this process, CDFW is currently conducting a full status review of the species to inform the California Fish and Game Commission’s (FGC) final decision on the listing.
HOW TO COMMENT
By clicking the button below, a ready-to-send email with a pre-populated message will pop up. Don’t forget to sign your name at the bottom!
In case of technical difficulties, you may also submit a comment letter by emailing it to SCSH@wildlife.ca.gov, or by mail to: CDFW Fisheries Branch, Attn: Southern California Steelhead, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, California, 94244-2090.
See below for a sample comment that you are free to use.
Dear personnel of CDFW Fisheries Branch,
As a California resident, I write in support of designating the Southern California steelhead as endangered under California’s Endangered Species Act.
Southern California steelhead are an iconic native species. These fish are one of the best indicators of the greater health of the whole watershed. Southern California watersheds provide countless societal and economic benefit for our entire state, and we prosper when rivers and waterways in key locations are thriving.
Southern California steelhead populations are in danger of immediate extinction within the next 25-50 years due to adverse impacts from the urbanization of their habitats. Since its listing as an endangered species in 1997, Southern California steelhead abundance has continued to decline to precariously low levels. Allowing this species to disappear is not acceptable.
California Trout is recommending that Southern California steelhead be listed as endangered in all waterways within historic range below natural or man-made barriers. CalTrout chose this delineation specifically so that fishing for rainbow trout, the freshwater form of this amazing species, would still be possible above these barriers. I agree with CalTrout’s recommendations.
It’s not too late to save the Southern California steelhead from becoming extinct. Please make protection of these amazing fish a conservation priority by listing them as Endangered under the state’s Endangered Species Act.
Cover photo: Mark Capelli