California Trout is currently leading the effort to have Southern California steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) listed as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act. We need your help to make this happen: View and sign our petition now and read on to learn why your signature matters.
Listing the species as endangered will be the first step that California state agencies take to better inform their future fishery management decisions. It will allow agencies to prioritize funding for restoration and ensure any projects in the fish’s range avoid adverse impacts to the population. Moreover, the listing provides acknowledgement of the species’ fundamental importance and their dire situation.
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 social and economic benefits for our entire state. We prosper when rivers and waterways in key locations are thriving. Southern steelhead are the central to this relationship.
It is imperative that we relay the messages above to California’s Fish and Game Commission and show that the disappearance of the Southern steelhead species will not be acceptable.
CalTrout has a current petition out to the Commission encouraging the listing, which is supported by the best-available science and research. We also drew upon the drive and immense work from our partners in conservation and the innate desire of California citizens to help sustain the natural diversity of our great state.
It’s important to note that our recommendation is for Southern steelhead to be listed as endangered in all waterways within its 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.
Please join us in support of adding Southern California steelhead to California’s Endangered Species List:
CalTrout is uniquely positioned to lead the state endangered listing effort. Our organization leads two steelhead recovery coalitions that comprises of over 40 agencies, entities, and other organizations. With the coalitions, we are directing large-scale barrier removal and habitat improvement projects to revive the Southern steelhead population. However, to continue this work we need additional regulatory drivers.
The struggle of Southern steelhead is symbolic of a larger challenge we face in our state: maintaining healthy waterways for people and wildlife in urbanized coastal California.
Protecting native fish will ultimately restore our rivers.
Please sign our petition and help protect one of California’s most iconic native fish species.
It is unfortunate that this additional action is needed to “better inform … future fishery management decisions” since these fish have been in long-standing decline. These populations were listed as threatened on August 18, 1997 (62 FR 43937) and January 5, 2006 (71 FR 833); updated April 14, 2014 (79 FR 20802) under the ESA. Gustafson et al. (2007) estimated that 28 steelhead populations from this domain were already extinct, leaving 60 populations that were all critically low. That said, all efforts need to be made to reverse their decline, making this a necessary action.
Gustafson et al. (2007). Pacific Salmon Extinctions: Quantifying Lost and Remaining Diversity. Conservation Biology Volume 21, No. 4, 1009–1020; DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00693.x
Please help save our native Steelhead